Brunei facts on every entity in the world

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 the world.



Southeastern Asia, along the northern coast of the island of Borneo, bordering the South China Sea and Malaysia

Geographic coordinates

4.30° N, 114.40° E

Area 173/257

total: 5,765 sq km

land: 5,265 sq km

water: 500 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Delaware

Land boundaries

total: 266 km

border countries (1): Malaysia 266 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


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: South China Sea 0 m

highest point: Bukit Pagon 1,850 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, timber

Land use

agricultural land: 2.5%

arable land 0.8%; permanent crops 1.1%; permanent pasture 0.6%

forest: 71.8%

other: 25.7% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

10 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

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.)


Malay (official), English, Chinese dialects


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

Population 175/238

429,646 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 23.82% (male 52,750/female 49,579)

15-24 years: 17.13% (male 36,485/female 37,127)

25-54 years: 46.9% (male 97,228/female 104,286)

55-64 years: 7.88% (male 17,366/female 16,470)

65 years and over: 4.27% (male 8,925/female 9,430) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 38%

youth dependency ratio: 31.9%

elderly dependency ratio: 6.1%

potential support ratio: 16.4% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 29.6 years

male: 29.2 years

female: 29.9 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 72/233

1.62% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 107/224

17.32 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 215/225

3.52 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 41/222

2.43 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 77.2% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: -1.79% 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

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 132/184

23 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 137/224

total: 10.16 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 12.09 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 8.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 76/224

total population: 76.97 years

male: 74.64 years

female: 79.41 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 152/224

1.8 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Health expenditures 188/191

2.5% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

1.44 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density

2.8 beds/1,000 population (2012)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths


Obesity - adult prevalence rate 141/191

18.6% (2014)

Education expenditures 126/173

3.8% of GDP (2014)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

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 or MIB)


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 suspended since independence in 1984 (2015)

Legal system

mixed legal system based on English common law and Islamic law; note - in May 2014, the first phase of a sharia-based penal codes was instituted, which applies to Muslims and non-Muslims and exists in parallel to the existing common law-based code

International law organization participation

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


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Brunei

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 12 years


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 and head of government

head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed and presided over by the monarch; note - 4 additional advisory councils appointed by the monarch are the Religious Council, Privy Council for constitutional issues, Council of Succession, and Legislative Council

elections/appointments: none; the monarchy is hereditary

Legislative branch

description: Legislative Council or Majlis Mesyuarat Negara Brunei (36 seats; members appointed by the sultan including 3 ex-officio members - the speaker and first and second secretaries; meets annually for approximately two weeks)

elections: last held in March 1962 (date of next election NA)

Judicial branch

highest resident 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

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


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 symbol(s)

royal parasol; national colors: yellow, white, black

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 is also characterized by a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation, welfare measures, and village tradition. Crude oil and natural gas production account for 70% of GDP and more than 90% of exports, with Japan and Korea as the primary export markets. Per capita GDP is among the highest in the world, and substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from domestic hydrocarbon production. For Bruneian citizens, who pay no taxes, 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 its strong desire to diversify its economy both within the oil and gas sector and to new sectors. Brunei is a founding member of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and, with the nine other ASEAN members, formed the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 124/230

$32.9 billion (2015 est.)

$33.28 billion (2014 est.)

$34.08 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$11.64 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 205/225

-1.2% (2015 est.)

-2.3% (2014 est.)

-2.1% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 8/230

$79,700 (2015 est.)

$80,700 (2014 est.)

$82,600 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 24/179

29% of GDP (2015 est.)

49.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

63.6% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 15.9%

government consumption: 22%

investment in fixed capital: 32%

investment in inventories: 0%

exports of goods and services: 67.5%

imports of goods and services: -37.4%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0.9%

industry: 66.8%

services: 32.3% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

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


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

Industrial production growth rate 149/202

0.9% (2015 est.)

Labor force 169/233

205,800 (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 4.2%

industry: 62.8%

services: 33% (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate 19/207

2.7% (2014 est.)

2.7% (2013 est.)

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%


revenues: $4.142 billion

expenditures: $5.547 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 57/219

35.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 207/220

-12.1% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 21/226

-0.4% (2015 est.)

-0.2% (2014 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 138/184

5.5% (31 December 2015 est.)

5.5% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 113/192

$3.32 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$3.327 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 104/193

$11.92 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

$11.41 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 119/191

$5.788 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$4.477 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance 89/197

-$357 million (2015 est.)

$4.849 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 101/224

$7.08 billion (2015 est.)

$10.51 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

mineral fuels, organic chemicals

Exports - partners

Japan 39%, South Korea 12.5%, Australia 9.7%, India 9.2%, Thailand 6.4%, Indonesia 5.8% (2014)

Imports 124/223

$4.84 billion (2015 est.)

$3.599 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and mechanical appliance parts, mineral fuels, motor vehicles, electric machinery

Imports - partners

Singapore 29.2%, China 26.9%, Malaysia 13.2%, US 8.5%, South Korea 4.5%, UK 4.1% (2014)

Debt - external 204/206

$0 (2005)

$3.576 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

note: public external debt only; private external debt unavailable

Exchange rates

Bruneian dollars (BND) per US dollar -

1.35 (2015 est.)

1.27 (2014 est.)

1.27 (2013 est.)

1.25 (2012 est.)

1.26 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 128/220

3.694 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 130/219

3.451 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 113/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 126/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 131/214

759,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 7/214

100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 60/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 164/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 163/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 42/214

111,800 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 35/214

131,200 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 167/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 42/215

1.1 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 105/214

9,402 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 133/212

18,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 118/214

253.6 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 144/213

7,666 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 38/216

12.47 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 74/215

2.97 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 23/215

9.5 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 170/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 33/212

390.8 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 107/212

8.678 million Mt (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 164/219

total subscriptions: 48,200

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 11 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 171/217

total: 465,800

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 110 (2014 est.)

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)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 1, FM 2 (transmitting on 18 different frequencies), shortwave 0 (British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) station transmits two FM signals with English and Nepali service) (2006)

Television broadcast stations

4 (includes 2 UHF stations broadcasting a subscription service) (2006)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 96/232

49,457 (2012)

Internet users 146/217

total: 277,200

percent of population: 65.6% (2014 est.)


Airports 214/236

1 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 1

over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)


3 (2013)


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

Roadways 167/223

total: 3,029 km

paved: 2,425 km

unpaved: 604 km (2010)

Waterways 96/107

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

Merchant marine 115/156

total: 9

by type: chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas 8

foreign-owned: 2 (UK 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Muara

oil terminal(s): Lumut, Seria

LNG terminal (export): Lumut

Military and Security

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

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)

Military expenditures 30/132

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: 20,524 (2014); 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