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The Hokkien community is the largest Chinese dialect group in Singapore. According to the 2000 Singapore census, Hokkiens constituted 41% of the Chinese population in the country. The Hokkiens here trace their origins to the Fujian province in China.
The Hokkiens in Singapore originated from districts such as Anxi, Nanan, Huian, Jinjiang, Xiamen and Jinmen in China's Fujian province. Many Hokkiens had left China due to rural poverty, overcrowding and insufficient land for farming. They had heard about the Nanyang region and decided to venture here in the early 19th century in search of a better life. Many of them migrated to Malacca, Malaysia first before moving farther south to Singapore. When they arrived in Singapore, the Hokkiens settled in the business areas around the Singapore River, especially in Telok Ayer, which was then bordering the sea coast.