Brunei Population

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Brunei is 464,478, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 464,478
Population growth rate 1.51%
Birth rate 17.00 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall 76.57 years
Men 74.28 years
Women 78.97 years
Age structure
0-14 years 22.82%
15-64 years 72.00%
65 years and above 5.17%
Median age 29.60 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 1.00
Population density 80.57 residents per km²
Urbanization 76.20%
67% Malay, 15% Chinese, 6% indigenous (Kedayan, Tutong, Belait, Bisaya, Dusun, Murut, Iban, etc.); 12% others (Europeans, Indonesians, Thais, Indians, etc.)
Muslims (official state religion) 67%, Buddhists 13%, Christians 10%, Indigenous religions and other 10%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.845
HDI ranking 43rd out of 194

People in Brunei

420,000 people live in Brunei, that’s as many as in Nuremberg, for example. 68 out of 100 are Malays, 15 out of 100 Chinese, eleven out of 100 are guest workers from East India, Europe or Australia. Six out of 100 belong to other small ethnic groups. The guest workers from Europe or Australia often work in well-paid jobs and are socially recognized. You are doing well financially. But there are also many workers who work for cheap wages and mostly come from the Philippines and Indonesia. The Chinese occupy an important position in the economy and the Malays are important for the administration. One problem is that most Chinese people are not of Muslim faith. Who does not join Islam, has problems finding a job with the state or with naturalization. 50 out of 100 residents of Brunei are younger than 24 years old.

People’s standard of living

Most of the people live in the larger cities and only a few in the countryside. And here the coast is preferred, the hinterland is hardly populated. The larger cities are located on the coast. The state does not collect taxes, everything is free: every resident of Brunei receives education and health. You might think that these are actually ideal states. But everything has its price. The residents of Brunei pay for their high standard of living in Asia with their freedom. (see Living in Brunei). In the photo on the right you can see the Princess of Darussalam. She is married to the heir to the throne of the small sultanate, so after the death of the current sultan, she will succeed to the throne with her husband.

Languages in Brunei

The language Brunei is the language of Malaysia, so Malay. It is spoken here in a special form, however, and some expressions typical for the region differentiate the language from Malay, which is spoken in Malaysia. But you can also hear Chinese here, as many Chinese live in Brunei. The smaller tribes also speak their own dialects. English is the business language and is also taught as a foreign language in schools.

Religions in Brunei

The Islam is very important in Brunei state religion and thus. Alcohol is banned all over the country, restricted for Muslims anyway, for foreign tourists. The government is trying to persuade non-Muslims living in Brunei to convert to Islam. If you are not a Muslim, you have problems with recruitment in the civil service, here Muslims are clearly preferred (also look at everyday life – effects of Islam).

However, the Sultanate’s constitution provides for freedom of religion, at least in theory.

Brunei Overview

Brunei, situated on the northern coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, is famous for its wealth of oil and natural gas reserves, which have contributed to its reputation as one of the richest countries in the world. The capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, is known for its opulent mosques, including the majestic Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and the lavish Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque. Brunei’s lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and biodiversity make it a haven for ecotourism enthusiasts, while its blend of Malay, Chinese, and indigenous cultures adds to its cultural richness.

  • Capital City: Bandar Seri Begawan
  • Population: Approximately 440,000
  • Area: 5,765 square kilometers
  • Full Country Name: Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace
  • Currency: Brunei Dollar (BND)
  • Language: Malay
  • ISO Country Codes: BN, BRN

Bordering Countries of Brunei

Brunei is a small country located in Southeast Asia, bordered by Malaysia to the north and east. The total length of Brunei’s land border is around 266 kilometers and it also shares a maritime boundary with Indonesia in the South China Sea. Malaysia is Brunei’s most important neighbor and the two countries share an extensive border of over 800 kilometers which runs through some of Southeast Asia’s most spectacular landscapes including the Limbang River and Temburong National Park. The Limbang River forms part of their shared boundary, making it an important waterway for both countries. Brunei also shares a maritime boundary with Indonesia in the South China Sea where they are separated by an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This EEZ gives both countries rights to manage, develop, and exploit resources within their respective zones. In addition to its land and maritime borders, Brunei also has close ties with other nations in Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines due to its location in the heart of this region. As such, Brunei has become an important hub for trade, investment and tourism between these countries.

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