Brunei Country Overview
Where is Brunei located? The Sultanate of Brunai is an Asian country found on the island of Borneo. On the time zone map, which divides countries along longitudes into different world time zones, it can be seen that Brunai is in a time zone called “Brunei Time” (BNT). In this time zone there is a time shift of 8 hours to the coordinated world time (UTC). This means that clocks in Brunei are already 8 hours later than clocks showing international universal time. There is no daylight saving time changeover in Brunei in the summer.
As of 2023, the latest population of Brunei is 464,478, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||1.51%|
|Birth rate||17.00 births per 1,000 people|
|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|
|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.