Singapore, which is officially known as the Republic of Singapore. It exists as a sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. About one degree of latitude (137 kilometers or 85 miles) north of the equator. It shares borders with the Straits of Malacca to the west, the Riau Islands (Indonesia) to the south, and the South China Sea to the east. The country’s territory consists of one main island, 63 satellite islands and islets, and one outlying islet. The combined area of which has increased by 25% since the country gained independence as a result of extensive land reclamation projects. It has the second greatest population density in the world. Singapore is a multicultural state and recognizes the need to respect cultural identities. With four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil. English is the lingua franca.