Lee Kuan Yew's Singaporean "economic miracle" in charts

Joe Hall
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Mourners pay their respects to the former Prime Minister at Singapore General Hospital. (Source: Getty)

In the wake of Lee Kuan Yew’s death at the age of 91, the former Singapore prime minister’s startling economic achievements are being remembered and celebrated.

Singapore’s economic miracle, which saw the tiny South-East Asian island blossom into one of the world’s leading financial centres, was largely driven by Yew’s unrelenting (often to a fault) vision for a business-friendly city.
From an average per capita GDP of just $427.9 in 1960, Singapore is now one of the richest countries on earth, with a per capita average of over $55,000 in 2013.
Singapore has overtaken Asia-pacific powerhouses such as Hong Kong and Japan - as well as established European economies such as the UK.
Singapore is now the world's most expensive city, according to the Economist's bi-annual Worldwide Cost of Living report and regularly tops the rankings for quality of life indexes - the Economist also ranked Singapore sixth in its 2013 "Where-to-be-born Index" ranking the quality of life in country's around the world.
Mercer's 2015 Quality of Living survey ranked Singapore as the 26th best city in the world for quality of life - the highest of any Asian city - based on 39 factors including culture and environment, political stability, safety, infrastructure and the ease of doing business.
Political stability was certainly a key feature of Lee's stewardship of Singapore; the inefficiency and corruption that hampered other countries in the region were weeded out of politics yet his quelling of public dissent and harassment of political opposition to his People's Action Party (PAP) earned him criticism abroad.
Corruption in politics was partly tackled by large salaries handed to its ministers - one of the highest-paid cabinets in the world. For example, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong earns more than Barack Obama, David Cameron and Vladimir Putin combined.
Lee's influence and achievements still reverberate around the world through leaders taking influence from his model. His brand of one-party capitalism - open to investment but wary of Western liberalism - has been adopted by Beijing where Yew's death has been granted prominent coverage. In a letter of condolence Chinese president Xi Jinping wrote that "Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and the older generation of Chinese leaders jointly set the course for the development of China-Singapore ties."

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