Fast Facts

Population:
363,000
Capital:
Bandar Seri Begawan; 61,000
Area:
5,765 square kilometers (2,226 square miles)
Language:
Malay, English, Chinese
Religion:
Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, indigenous beliefs
Currency:
Bruneian dollar
Life Expectancy:
76
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $18,600
Literacy Percent:
92
Flag: Brunei
Map: Brunei

A small country, Brunei is located on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Consisting of just two jungle enclaves—inhabited by Malays, Chinese, and indigenous tribes—Brunei won its independence in 1984 after almost a century as a British protectorate. Rich in oil and natural gas, the people of this Muslim sultanate enjoy high subsidies and generous health care. Brunei has an absolute monarchy and a hereditary nobility, with the sultan awarding titles to commoners. Malay is the official language, but English is widely understood and used in business.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction
  • Agriculture: Rice, vegetables, fruits; chickens
  • Exports: Crude oil, natural gas, refined products

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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