Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan
Population estimate, 2015: 423,000
GNI per capita, 2013: (PPP$) 70,883
HDI/world rank, 2014: 0.856/31
Internet domain extension: .bn
Brunei International Airport (Bandar Seri Begawan) handled 1,262,343 passengers (all international) in 2005. The national carrier is the state-owned Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA).
The climate is tropical marine, hot and moist, but nights are cool. Humidity is high and rainfall heavy, varying from 100″ (2,500 mm) on the coast to 200″ (5,000 mm) inland. There is no dry season. Bandar Seri Begawan, Jan. 80 °F (26.7 °C), July 82 °F (27.8 °C). Annual rainfall 131″ (3,275 mm).
Constitution and Government
The Sultan and Yang Di Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam is HM Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzadin Waddaulah. On 29 Sept. 1959 the Sultan promulgated a constitution, but parts of it have been in abeyance since Dec. 1962 under emergency powers assumed by the Sultan. Since 1984 the Legislative Council (Majlis Masyuarat Megeri) has been effectively replaced by a Council of Cabinet Ministers appointed and presided over by the Sultan. The constitution was amended in Sept. 2004, allowing for the Legislative Council to be reconvened, but with no independent executive powers and its 21 members chosen by the Sultan.
The unit of currency is the Brunei dollar (BND) of 100 cents, which is at parity with the Singapore dollar (also legal tender).
In 2013 military expenditure totalled US$416 m. (US$1,002 per capita), representing 2.5% of GDP.
In 2012 industry contributed 71.1% to GDP, services 28.2% and agriculture 0.7%. The fall in oil prices in 1997–98 led to the setting up of an Economic Council to advise the Sultan on reforms. In 1998 an investigation was mounted into the Amedeo Corporation, Brunei’s largest private company, run by Prince Jefri, the Sultan’s brother. Amedeo collapsed with large debts.
The labour force in 2013 was 200,400 (167,200 in 2003). 67.4% of the population aged 15–64 was economically active in 2013. In the same year 3.8% of the population was unemployed.
In 2008 there were three daily newspapers with an average circulation of 41,000. The Borneo Bulletin and the Brunei Times are English-language papers, while Media Permata is a Malay paper.
The official religion is Islam. In 2010, 75.1% of the population were Muslims (mostly Sunnis of Malay origin) according to estimates by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. There are also some Christians, Buddhists and folk religionists.
There were an estimated 3,560 km of roads in 2005; 77.2% of all roads were paved in 2005. The main road connects Bandar Seri Begawan with Kuala Belait and Seria. In 2007 there were 252,700 passenger cars in use (649 per 1,000 inhabitants—one of the highest rates in the world), 16,700 vans and lorries, 1,500 buses and coaches, and 12,200 motorcycles and mopeds. There were 38 fatalities in road accidents in 2005.
Regular shipping services operate from Singapore, Hong Kong, Sarawak and Sabah to Bandar Seri Begawan, and there is a daily passenger ferry between Bandar Seri Begawan and Labuan. In 2005 merchant shipping totalled 2.4 m. GRT. In 2005 vessels totalling 1,066,381 NRT entered ports and vessels totalling 1,061,339 NRT cleared.
2005 births, 6,933; deaths, 1,072. Rates, 2005: birth per 1,000 population, 18.7; death, 2.9. There were 2,018 marriages in 2005. Life expectancy in 2007: males, 74.9 years; females, 79.6. Annual population growth rate, 1995–2005, 2.5%. Infant mortality, 2010, six per 1,000 live births; fertility rate, 2005, 2.1 children per woman.
There is a telephone network linking the main centres. Brunei had an estimated 412,900 mobile phone subscriptions in 2009 (or 1,033.0 per 1,000 inhabitants) and 80,500 fixed telephone lines. There were 787.8 internet users per 1,000 inhabitants in 2009. Fixed internet subscriptions totalled 100,000 in 2009 (255.6 per 1,000 inhabitants). In March 2012 there were 234,000 Facebook users.
Territory and Population
Brunei, on the coast of Borneo, is bounded in the northwest by the South China Sea and on all other sides by Sarawak (Malaysia), which splits it into two parts, the smaller portion forming the Temburong district. Area, 5,765 km2 (2,226 sq. miles). Population (2011 census) 393,372 (203,144 males), giving a density of 68.2 per km2. 76.1% of the population lived in urban areas. The four districts are Brunei/Muara (2011 census: 279,924), Belait (60,744), Tutong (43,852) and Temburong (8,852). The capital is Bandar Seri Begawan (estimate 2001: 27,285). The official language is Malay but English is in use.
In 2010, 214,290 non-resident tourists (excluding same-day visitors) arrived by air—up from 157,474 in 2009 but down from 225,757 in 2008.