Country Information Database


Brunei Country Information

Flag of Brunei
Map of Brunei
Introduction Brunei
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.
Geography Brunei
Southeastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and Malaysia
Geographic coordinates:
4 30 N, 114 40 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
total: 5,770 sq km
land: 5,270 sq km
water: 500 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Delaware
Land boundaries:
total: 381 km
border countries: Malaysia 381 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:
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Bukit Pagon 1,850 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, timber
Land use:
arable land: 2.08%
permanent crops: 0.87%
other: 97.05% (2005)
Irrigated land:
10 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
8.5 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.09
per capita: 243 cu m/yr (1994)
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, Environmental Modification, 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 Brunei
381,371 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 27.2% (male 53,400/female 50,333)
15-64 years: 69.6% (male 132,895/female 132,391)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 5,927/female 6,425) (2008 est.)
Median age:
total: 27.5 years
male: 27.5 years
female: 27.5 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.785% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
18.39 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
3.28 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
2.74 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 12.69 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 15.19 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.52 years
male: 73.32 years
female: 77.83 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.94 children born/woman (2008 est.)
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.)
noun: Bruneian(s)
adjective: Bruneian
Ethnic groups:
Malay 66.3%, Chinese 11.2%, indigenous 3.4%, other 19.1% (2004 est.)
Muslim (official) 67%, Buddhist 13%, Christian 10%, other (includes indigenous beliefs) 10%
Malay (official), English, Chinese
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.7%
male: 95.2%
female: 90.2% (2001 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
5.2% of GDP (2000)
Government Brunei
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
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 and Muara, Temburong, Tutong
1 January 1984 (from 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
29 September 1959 (some provisions suspended under a State of Emergency since December 1962, others since independence on 1 January 1984)
Legal system:
based on English common law; for Muslims, Islamic Shari'a law supersedes civil law in a number of areas; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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 the chief of state 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 monarch is hereditary
Legislative branch:
Legislative Council met on 25 September 2004 for first time in 20 years with 21 members appointed by the Sultan; passed constitutional amendments calling for a 45-seat council with 15 elected members; Sultan dissolved council on 1 September 2005 and appointed a new council with 29 members as of 2 September 2005; council met in March 2006 and in March 2007
elections: last held in March 1962 (date of next election NA)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court - chief justice and judges are sworn in by monarch for three-year terms; Judicial Committee of Privy Council in London is final court of appeal for civil cases; Shariah courts deal with Islamic laws (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; parties are small and have limited activity
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Angela SHIM
chancery: 3520 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 237-1838
FAX: [1] (202) 885-0560
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador William E. TODD
embassy: Third Floor, Teck Guan Plaza, Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan, BS8811
mailing address: PSC 470 (BSB), FPO AP 96507; P.O. Box 2991, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8675, Negara Brunei Darussalam
telephone: [673] 222-0384
FAX: [673] 222-5293
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; the emblem includes a swallow-tailed flag on top of a winged column within an upturned crescent above a scroll and flanked by two upraised hands
Economy Brunei
Economy - overview:
Brunei has a small well-to-do economy that encompasses a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation, welfare measures, and village tradition. Crude oil and natural gas production account for just over half 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. The government provides for all medical services and free education through the university level and subsidizes rice and housing. Brunei's leaders are concerned that steadily increased integration in the world economy will undermine internal social cohesion. Plans for the future include upgrading the labor force, reducing unemployment, strengthening the banking and tourist sectors, and, in general, further widening the economic base beyond oil and gas.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$19.64 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$12.39 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
0.4% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$51,000 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.9%
industry: 71.6%
services: 27.5% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
180,400 (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 2.9%
industry: 61.1%
services: 36% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate:
4% (2006)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0.4% (2007 est.)
revenues: $3.765 billion
expenditures: $4.815 billion (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
rice, vegetables, fruits; chickens, water buffalo, cattle, goats, eggs
petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction
Industrial production growth rate:
1.8% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
2.735 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
2.625 billion kWh (2005 est.)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
219,300 bbl/day (2006)
Oil - consumption:
14,900 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports:
205,600 bbl/day (2006)
Oil - imports:
660.1 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
1.35 billion bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
11.03 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
2.254 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
8.776 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
374.8 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
$7.101 billion (2007 est.)
$6.767 billion f.o.b. (2006)
Exports - commodities:
crude oil, natural gas, refined products, clothing
Exports - partners:
Japan 30.8%, Indonesia 23.6%, South Korea 16.9%, Australia 12.2%, US 5.2% (2007)
$2 billion c.i.f. (2006)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals
Imports - partners:
UK 46.3%, Singapore 19.4%, Malaysia 11.2% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
$770,000 (2004)
Debt - external:
$0 (2005)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Currency (code):
Bruneian dollar (BND)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Bruneian dollars per US dollar - NA (2007), 1.5886 (2006), 1.6644 (2005), 1.6902 (2004), 1.7422 (2003)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Brunei
Telephones - main lines in use:
79,200 (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
339,800 (2007)
Telephone system:
general assessment: service throughout the country is excellent; 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, scheduled for completion by late 2008, will provide new links to Asia and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) (2007)
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)
329,000 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
4 (includes 2 UHF stations broadcasting a subscription service) (2006)
201,900 (1998)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
15,347 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (2000)
Internet users:
159,200 (2006)
Transportation Brunei
2 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)
3 (2007)
gas 672 km; oil 463 km (2007)
total: 3,650 km
paved: 2,819 km
unpaved: 831 km (2005)
209 km (navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 m) (2007)
Merchant marine:
total: 8 ships (1000 GRT or over) 465,937 GRT/413,393 DWT
by type: liquefied gas 8
foreign-owned: 1 (UK 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Lumut, Muara, Seria
Military Brunei
Military branches:
Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF): Royal Brunei Land Forces, Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Brunei Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei) (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.) for voluntary military service; non-Malays are ineligible to serve (2007)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 108,356
females age 16-49: 110,153 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 91,297
females age 16-49: 93,228 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 3,223
female: 3,182 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
4.5% of GDP (2006)
Transnational Issues Brunei
Disputes - international:
Brunei and Malaysia agreed in September 2008 to resolve their offshore and deepwater seabed dispute, resume hydrocarbon exploration and renounce any territorial claims on land; Brunei established an exclusive economic fishing zone encompassing Louisa Reef in the southern Spratly Islands in 1984, but makes no public territorial claim to the offshore reefs; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions in the Spratly Islands but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct" desired by several of the disputants
Illicit drugs:
drug trafficking and illegally importing controlled substances are serious offenses in Brunei and carry a mandatory death penalty

This page was last updated on 2 October, 2008 Access Time: Tue, 26 Sep 2023 01:25:35 +0000