page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Brunei
Location 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
4 30 N, 114 40 E
total: 5,765 sq km
country comparison to the world: 172
land: 5,265 sq km
water: 500 sq km
slightly smaller than Delaware
total: 381 km
border countries: Malaysia 381 km
161 km
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
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Bukit Pagon 1,850 m
petroleum, natural gas, timber
arable land: 2.08%
permanent crops: 0.87%
other: 97.05% (2005)
10 sq km (2003)
8.5 cu km (1999)
total: 0.09
per capita: 243 cu m/yr (1994)
typhoons, earthquakes, and severe flooding are rare
seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia
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
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
388,190 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
0-14 years: 26.6% (male 53,282/female 50,141)
15-64 years: 70.1% (male 135,640/female 136,292)
65 years and over: 3.3% (male 6,199/female 6,636) (2009 est.)
total: 27.8 years
male: 27.7 years
female: 27.8 years (2009 est.)
1.759% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
18.2 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
3.29 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 216
2.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
urban population: 75% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.6% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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: 0.93 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 12.27 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 144
male: 14.68 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 75.74 years
country comparison to the world: 74
male: 73.52 years
female: 78.07 years (2009 est.)
1.91 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
noun: Bruneian(s)
adjective: Bruneian
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)
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2006)
5.2% of GDP (2000)
country comparison to the world: 59
Government ::Brunei
conventional long form: Brunei Darussalam
conventional short form: Brunei
local long form: Negara Brunei Darussalam
local short form: Brunei
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)
4 districts (daerah-daerah, singular - daerah); Belait, Brunei-Muara, Temburong, Tutong
1 January 1984 (from the UK)
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)
based on English common law; for Muslims, Islamic Sharia law supersedes civil law in a number of areas; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age for village elections; universal
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
The Sultan appointed a council with 29 members as of 2 September 2005; the council has met in March of each year since then
elections: last held in March 1962 (date of next election NA)
note: The Legislative Council met on 25 September 2004 for first time in 20 years with 21 members appointed by the Sultan; it passed constitutional amendments calling for a 45-seat council with 15 elected members
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; Sharia courts deal with Islamic laws (2006)
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
NA
ADB, APEC, APT, ARF, ASEAN, C, EAS, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDB, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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
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
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
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 into 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, increasing agricultural production, and, in general, further widening the economic base beyond oil and gas.
$20.25 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
$20.12 billion (2007 est.)
$20 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
$14.55 billion (2008 est.)
0.6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
0.6% (2007 est.)
5.1% (2006 est.)
$53,100 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
$53,700 (2007 est.)
$54,400 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 0.7%
industry: 75%
services: 25% (2005 est.)
188,800 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166
agriculture: 4.5%
industry: 63.1%
services: 32.4% (2003 est.)
3.7% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 43
4% (2006)
NA%
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
revenues: $6.889 billion
expenditures: $4 billion (2008 est.)
0.3% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 139
5.5% (February 2009)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 85
$2.674 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 87
$4.258 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 112
$2.38 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA
rice, vegetables, fruits; chickens, water buffalo, cattle, goats, eggs
petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction
1.8% (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
3.091 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
2.926 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
157,400 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
15,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
207,500 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
237.6 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
1.1 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
13.4 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
4.2 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
9.2 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 22
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199
390.8 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
$7.101 billion (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
$8.25 billion (2007)
country comparison to the world: 93
$6.767 billion (2006)
crude oil, natural gas, garments
Japan 43.8%, Indonesia 23.2%, South Korea 11.2%, Australia 10.8% (2008)
$2.055 billion (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
$2 billion (2006 est.)
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals
Singapore 35.8%, Malaysia 19%, Japan 7.5%, China 6%, Thailand 4.9%, US 4.6%, UK 4.6% (2008)
$0 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 202
Bruneian dollars (BND) per US dollar - NA (2007), 1.5886 (2006), 1.6644 (2005), 1.6902 (2004), 1.7422 (2003)
Communications ::Brunei
76,600 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 151
376,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 162
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)
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)
4 (includes 2 UHF stations broadcasting a subscription service) (2006)
.bn
14,978 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 108
217,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 133
Transportation ::Brunei
2 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 210
total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2009)
3 (2009)
gas 37 km; oil 18 km (2008)
total: 3,650 km
country comparison to the world: 159
paved: 2,819 km
unpaved: 831 km (2005)
209 km (navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 m) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 97
total: 8
country comparison to the world: 119
by type: liquefied gas 8
foreign-owned: 1 (UK 1) (2008)
Lumut, Muara, Seria
Military ::Brunei
Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF): Royal Brunei Land Forces, Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Brunei Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei) (2009)
18 years of age (est.) for voluntary military service; non-Malays are ineligible to serve (2007)
males age 16-49: 108,356
females age 16-49: 110,153 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 92,543
females age 16-49: 95,301 (2009 est.)
male: 3,460
female: 3,399 (2009 est.)
4.5% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 24
Transnational Issues ::Brunei
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
drug trafficking and illegally importing controlled substances are serious offenses in Brunei and carry a mandatory death penalty