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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 the developing world.
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)
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: 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 Brunei
379,444 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 28.1% (male 54,411/female 52,134)
15-64 years: 68.8% (male 138,129/female 123,017)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 5,584/female 6,169) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 27.4 years
male: 28 years
female: 26.7 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.87% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
18.79 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
3.45 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
3.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.09 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 12.25 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 15.46 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.01 years
male: 72.57 years
female: 77.59 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.28 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 200 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 200 (2003 est.)
noun: Bruneian(s)
adjective: Bruneian
Ethnic groups:
Malay 67%, Chinese 15%, indigenous 6%, other 12%
Muslim (official) 67%, Buddhist 13%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs and other 10%
Malay (official), English, Chinese
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.9%
male: 96.3%
female: 91.4% (2002)
Government Brunei
Country name:
conventional long form: Negara 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 52 S, 114 55 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
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); note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
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
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:
Brunei Solidarity National Party (PPKB) [Haji Mohd HATTA bin Haji Zainal Abidin]; National Development Party (NDP) [YASSIN Affendi]; People's Awareness Party (PAKAR) [Awang Haji MAIDIN bin Haji Ahmad]
note: parties are small and have limited activity (2005)
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Pengiran Anak Dato PUTEH
chancery: 3520 International Court NW #300, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 237-1838
FAX: [1] (202) 885-0560
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Emil SKODON
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:
This small, well-to-do economy encompasses a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation, welfare measures, and village tradition. Crude oil and natural gas production account for nearly half of GDP and more than 90% of government revenues. Per capita GDP is far above most other Third World countries, 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):
$6.842 billion (2003 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$5.486 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.7% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$23,600 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 56.1%
services: 40.3% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
note: includes foreign workers and military personnel; temporary residents make up about 40% of labor force (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 2.9%
industry: 61.1%
services: 36% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate:
4.8% (2004)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0.9% (2004)
revenues: $3.765 billion
expenditures: $4.815 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
rice, vegetables, fruits; chickens, water buffalo, eggs
petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction
Industrial production growth rate:
7.3% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
2.806 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
2.609 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
200,800 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - consumption:
10,770 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
192,700 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
1.255 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
11.5 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
2 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
9.5 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
390.8 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
$4.514 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
crude oil, natural gas, refined products
Exports - partners:
Japan 36.8%, Indonesia 19.3%, South Korea 12.7%, US 9.5%, Australia 9.3% (2005)
$1.641 billion c.i.f. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Singapore 32.7%, Malaysia 23.3%, Japan 6.9%, UK 5.3%, Thailand 4.5%, South Korea 4% (2005)
Debt - external:
Economic aid - recipient:
$770,000 (2004)
Currency (code):
Bruneian dollar (BND)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Bruneian dollars per US dollar - 1.6644 (2005), 1.6902 (2004), 1.7422 (2003), 1.7906 (2002)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Brunei
Telephones - main lines in use:
90,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
205,900 (2004)
Telephone system:
general assessment: service throughout the country is excellent; international service is good to East Asia, Europe, and the US
domestic: every service available
international: country code - 673; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean); digital submarine cable links to Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore (2001)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 2 (transmitting on 18 different frequencies), shortwave 0
note: British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) station transmits two FM signals with English and Nepali service (2006)
329,000 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
4; note - including two UHF stations broadcasting a subscription service (2006)
201,900 (1998)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
27 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (2000)
Internet users:
56,000 (2005)
Transportation Brunei
2 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)
3 (2006)
gas 672 km; oil 463 km (2006)
total: 2,525 km
paved: 2,338 km
unpaved: 187 km (2000)
209 km (navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 m) (2005)
Merchant marine:
total: 8 ships (1000 GRT or over) 465,937 GRT/413,393 DWT
by type: liquefied gas 8
foreign-owned: 8 (UK 8) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Lumut, Muara, Seria
Military Brunei
Military branches:
Royal Brunei Armed Forces: Royal Brunei Land Forces, Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Brunei Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei) (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 103,885
females age 18-49: 93,024 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 85,045
females age 18-49: 77,436 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 3,478
females age 18-49: 3,342 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$290.7 million (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
5.1% (2003 est.)
Transnational Issues Brunei
Disputes - international:
in 2003 Brunei and Malaysia ceased gas and oil exploration in their disputed offshore and deepwater seabeds and negotiations have stalemated prompting consideration of international legal adjudication; Malaysia's land boundary with Brunei around Limbang is in dispute; Brunei established an exclusive economic fishing zone encompassing Louisa Reef in 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 18 January, 2007