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Brunei country facts

Brunei Darussalam East and Southeast Asia Bandar Seri Begawan 422,675 inhabitants 5,765 sq km 73.32 inhabitants/sq km Bruneian dollars (BND) population evolution



The Sultanate of Brunei's influence peaked between the 15th and 17th centuries when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines. Brunei subsequently entered a period of decline brought on by internal strife over royal succession, colonial expansion of European powers, and piracy. In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate; independence was achieved in 1984. The same family has ruled Brunei for over six centuries. Brunei benefits from extensive petroleum and natural gas fields, the source of one of the highest per capita GDPs in Asia.



Southeastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and Malaysia

Geographic coordinates

4 30 N, 114 40 E

Area (sq km)

total: 5,765 sq km
land: 5,265 sq km
water: 500 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

slightly smaller than Delaware

Land boundaries (km)

total: 266 km
border countries: Malaysia 266 km

Coastline (km)

161 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or to median line


tropical; hot, humid, rainy


flat coastal plain rises to mountains in east; hilly lowland in west

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Bukit Pagon 1,850 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, timber

Land use (%)

arable land: 0.52%
permanent crops: 0.87%
other: 98.61% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)

10 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources (cu km)

8.5 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) ()

total: 0.09 cu km/yr (97%/0%/3%)
per capita: 301.6 cu m/yr (2009)

Natural hazards

typhoons, earthquakes, and severe flooding are rare

Environment - current issues

seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

close to vital sea lanes through South China Sea linking Indian and Pacific Oceans; two parts physically separated by Malaysia; almost an enclave within Malaysia

People and Society


noun: Bruneian(s)
adjective: Bruneian

Ethnic groups (%)

Malay 65.7%, Chinese 10.3%, other indigenous 3.4%, other 20.6% (2011 est.)

Languages (%)

Malay (official), English, Chinese

Religions (%)

Muslim (official) 78.8%, Christian 8.7%, Buddhist 7.8%, other (includes indigenous beliefs) 4.7% (2011 est.)


422,675 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 24.2% (male 52,753/female 49,548)
15-24 years: 17.3% (male 36,187/female 36,965)
25-54 years: 46.9% (male 96,006/female 102,028)
55-64 years: 7.6% (male 16,542/female 15,589)
65 years and over: 4% (male 8,301/female 8,756) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Brunei

Median age (years)

total: 29.3 years
male: 28.9 years
female: 29.6 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

1.65% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

17.49 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

3.47 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

2.47 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 76% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 2.13% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (capital) 241,000
note: the boundaries of the capital city were expanded in 2007, greatly increasing the city area; the population of the capital increased tenfold (2011)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate (deaths/100,000 live births)

24 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 10.48 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 12.48 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.39 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 76.77 years
male: 74.46 years
female: 79.19 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

1.82 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Health expenditures (% of GDP)

2.5% of GDP (2011)

Physicians density (physicians/1,000 population)

1.36 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density (beds/1,000 population)

2.8 beds/1,000 population (2011)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)

less than 0.1% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

fewer than 200 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

fewer than 200 (2003 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate (%)

7.5% (2008)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)

3.5% of GDP (2013)

Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.4%
male: 97%
female: 93.9% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) (years)

total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2012)


Country name

conventional long form: Brunei Darussalam
conventional short form: Brunei
local long form: Negara Brunei Darussalam
local short form: Brunei

Government type

constitutional sultanate (locally known as Malay Islamic Monarchy)


name: Bandar Seri Begawan
geographic coordinates: 4 53 N, 114 56 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

4 districts (daerah-daerah, singular - daerah); Belait, Brunei-Muara, Temburong, Tutong


1 January 1984 (from the UK)

National holiday

National Day, 23 February (1984); note - 1 January 1984 was the date of independence from the UK, 23 February 1984 was the date of independence from British protection


drafted 1954 to 1959, signed 29 September 1959; amended 1984, 2004, 2011; note - some constitutional provisions suspended since 1962 under a State of Emergency, others since independence in 1984 (2011)

Legal system

mixed legal system based on English common law and Islamic law; note - in May 2014, the first sharia-based penal codes were instituted and apply to Muslims and non-Muslims

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


18 years of age for village elections; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967); note - the monarch is both chief of state (Yang Di-Pertuan Agong) and head of government
head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967)
cabinet: Council of Cabinet Ministers appointed and presided over by the monarch; deals with executive matters; note - there is also a Religious Council (members appointed by the monarch) that advises on religious matters, a Privy Council (members appointed by the monarch) that deals with constitutional matters, and the Council of Succession (members appointed by the monarch) that determines the succession to the throne if the need arises
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary

Legislative branch

the Sultan appointed a Legislative Council with 29 members in September 2005; he increased the size of the council to 33 members in June 2011; the council meets annually in March
elections: last held in March 1962 (date of next election NA)
note: the Legislative Council met on 25 September 2004 for first time in 20 years with 21 members appointed by the Sultan; it passed constitutional amendments calling for a 45-seat council with 15 elected members; no timeframe for an election was announced

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of Court of Appeal and High Court, each with a chief justice and 2 judges); Sharia Court of Appeal (consists of judges appointed by the monarch)
note - Brunei has a dual judicial system of secular and sharia (religious) courts; the Judicial Committee of Privy Council in London serves as the final appellate court for civil cases only
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the monarch to serve until age 65, and older if approved by the monarch; Sharia Court of Appeal judges appointed by the monarch; judge tenure NA
subordinate courts: Intermediate Court; Magistrate's Courts; Juvenile Court; small claims courts; lower sharia courts (2006)

Political parties and leaders

National Development Party or NDP [YASSIN Affendi]
note: Brunei National Solidarity Party or PPKB [Abdul LATIF bin Chuchu] and People's Awareness Party or PAKAR [Awang Haji MAIDIN bin Haji Ahmad] were deregistered in 2007; parties are small and have limited activity

Political pressure groups and leaders


International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Dato Yusoff Abd HAMID (since 2 October 2009)
chancery: 3520 International Court NW #300, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 237-1838
FAX: [1] (202) 885-0560

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel L. SHIELDS III (since 28 March 2011)
embassy: Simpang 336-52-16-9, Jalan Datu, Bandar Seri Begawan, BC4115
mailing address: Unit 4280, Box 40, FPO AP 96507; P.O. Box 2991, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8675, Negara Brunei Darussalam
telephone: [673] 238-4616
FAX: [673] 238-4604

Flag description

yellow with two diagonal bands of white (top, almost double width) and black starting from the upper hoist side; the national emblem in red is superimposed at the center; yellow is the color of royalty and symbolizes the sultanate; the white and black bands denote Brunei's chief ministers; the emblem includes five main components: a swallow-tailed flag, the royal umbrella representing the monarchy, the wings of four feathers symbolizing justice, tranquility, prosperity, and peace, the two upraised hands signifying the government's pledge to preserve and promote the welfare of the people, and the crescent moon denoting Islam, the state religion; the state motto "Always render service with God's guidance" appears in yellow Arabic script on the crescent; a ribbon below the crescent reads "Brunei, the Abode of Peace"

National anthem

name: "Allah Peliharakan Sultan" (God Bless His Majesty)
lyrics/music: Pengiran Haji Mohamed YUSUF bin Pengiran Abdul Rahim/Awang Haji BESAR bin Sagap
note: adopted 1951


Economy - overview

Brunei has a small well-to-do economy that depends on revenue from natural resource extraction but encompasses a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation, welfare measures, and village tradition. Crude oil and natural gas production account for 60% of GDP and more than 90% of exports. Per capita GDP is among the highest in Asia, and substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from domestic production. For Bruneian citizens the government provides for all medical services and free education through the university level. The government of Brunei has been emphasizing through policy and resource investments it strong desire to diversity its economy both within the oil and gas sector and to new sectors.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$22.25 billion (2013 est.)
$21.93 billion (2012 est.)
$21.73 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$16.56 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

1.4% (2013 est.)
0.9% (2012 est.)
3.4% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$54,800 (2013 est.)
$54,900 (2012 est.)
$55,200 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 70.9%
services: 28.4% (2013 est.)

Labor force

205,800 (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

agriculture: 4.2%
industry: 62.8%
services: 33% (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate (%)

2.6% (2011)
2.7% (2010)

Population below poverty line (%)


Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


revenues: $6.992 billion
expenditures: $5.366 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

42.2% of GDP (2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) (% of GDP)

9.8% of GDP (2013 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

1% (2013 est.)
0.5% (2012 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)

5.5% (31 December 2013 est.)
5.5% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$3.472 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$3.509 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money

$11.92 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$11.41 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$2.846 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.351 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares


Agriculture - products

rice, vegetables, fruits; chickens, water buffalo, cattle, goats, eggs


petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction, agriculture, transportation

Industrial production growth rate (%)

1.5% (2013 est.)

Current account balance

$3.977 billion (2009 est.)


$12.75 billion (2011)
$9.88 billion (2010)

Exports - commodities (%)

crude oil, natural gas, garments

Exports - partners (%)

Japan 45.7%, South Korea 15.1%, Australia 9.1%, NZ 6.6%, India 5.8%, Vietnam 4.7% (2012)


$3.02 billion (2011 est.)
$2.73 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

iron and steel, motor vehicles, machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals

Imports - partners (%)

Singapore 26.3%, China 21.3%, UK 21.3%, Malaysia 11.8% (2012)

External debt ($)

$0 (2005)

Exchange rates

Currency converter
Bruneian dollars (BND) per US dollar -
1.23 (2013 est.)
1.2496 (2012 est.)
1.3635 (2010 est.)
1.45 (2009)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March


Electricity - production (kWh)

3.723 billion kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

3.391 billion kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

759,000 kW (2010 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

100% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

141,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

147,900 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

1.1 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

13,500 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

14,640 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

3,198 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

12.44 billion cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

2.97 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

9.42 billion cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

390.8 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

8.656 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

70,933 (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

469,700 (2012)

Telephone system

general assessment: service throughout the country is good; international service is good to Southeast Asia, Middle East, Western Europe, and the US
domestic: every service available
international: country code - 673; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; the Asia-America Gateway submarine cable network provides new links to Asia and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

state-controlled Radio Television Brunei (RTB) operates 5 channels; 3 Malaysian TV stations are available; foreign TV broadcasts are available via satellite and cable systems; RTB operates 5 radio networks and broadcasts on multiple frequencies; British Forces Broadcast Service (BFBS) provides radio broadcasts on 2 FM stations; some radio broadcast stations from Malaysia are available via repeaters (2009)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

49,457 (2012)

Internet users

314,900 (2009)



1 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)


3 (2013)

Pipelines (km)

condensate 33 km; condensate/gas 86 km; gas 628 km; oil 492 km (2013)

Roadways (km)

total: 3,029 km
paved: 2,425 km
unpaved: 604 km (2010)

Waterways (km)

209 km (navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 m; the Belait, Brunei, and Tutong rivers are major transport links) (2012)

Merchant marine

total: 9
by type: chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas 8
foreign-owned: 2 (UK 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Muara
oil/gas terminal(s): Lumut, Seria
LNG terminal (export): Lumut


Military branches

Royal Brunei Armed Forces: Royal Brunei Land Forces, Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Brunei Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei) (2013)

Military service age and obligation (years of age)

17 years of age for voluntary military service; non-Malays are ineligible to serve; recruits from the army, navy, and air force all undergo 43-week initial training (2013)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 112,688
females age 16-49: 117,536 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 95,141
females age 16-49: 99,386 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 3,572
female: 3,465 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures (% of GDP)

2.43% of GDP (2012)
2.54% of GDP (2011)
2.43% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

per Letters of Exchange signed in 2009, Malaysia in 2010 ceded two hydrocarbon concession blocks to Brunei in exchange for Brunei's sultan dropping claims to the Limbang corridor, which divides Brunei; nonetheless, Brunei claims a maritime boundary extending as far as a median with Vietnam, thus asserting an implicit claim to Louisa Reef

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 21,009 (2012); note - thousands of stateless persons, often ethnic Chinese, are permanent residents and their families have lived in Brunei for generations; obtaining citizenship is difficult and requires individuals to pass rigorous tests on Malay culture, customs, and language; stateless residents receive an International Certificate of Identity, which enables them to travel overseas; the government is considering changing the law prohibiting non-Bruneians, including stateless permanent residents, from owning land

Illicit drugs

drug trafficking and illegally importing controlled substances are serious offenses in Brunei and carry a mandatory death penalty

Largest cities of Brunei

These are the 50 largest cities of Brunei ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population