Brunei Darussalam

Population: 422 675

GDP: 16 560 000 000.00 $


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.



Population: 422,675 (2014)


Nationality: noun: Bruneian(s)  adjective: Bruneian



Ethnic groups: Malay 65.7%, Chinese 10.3%, other indigenous 3.4%, other 20.6%.



Languages:  Malay (official), English, Chinese.



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



GDP:  $ 16 560 000 000.00 (2013).

Military Organization


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

Conflicts and Disputes

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.



Thousands of stateless persons (21,009), 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.



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

Geographical Information and Map


Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan


Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and Malaysia. 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.


Geographic coordinates:

4 30 N, 114 40 E.



total: 5,765 sq km

land: 5,265 sq km

water: 500 sq km.


Land boundaries:

total: 266 km

border countries: Malaysia 266 km.


Coastline: 161 km.


Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, timber.