[Country map of Brunei]



Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and Malaysia

Map references: Southeast Asia

total area: 5,770 sq km
land area: 5,270 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than Delaware

Land boundaries: total 381 km, Malysia 381 km

Coastline: 161 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or to median line
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: may wish to purchase the Malaysian salient that divides the country; all of the Spratly Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam; parts of them are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines; in 1984, Brunei established an exclusive fishing zone that encompasses Louisa Reef, but has not publicly claimed the island

Climate: tropical; hot, humid, rainy

Terrain: flat coastal plain rises to mountains in east; hilly lowland in west

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, timber

Land use:
arable land: 1%
permanent crops: 1%
meadows and pastures: 1%
forest and woodland: 79%
other: 18%

Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: NA
natural hazards: typhoons, earthquakes, and severe flooding are very rare
international agreements: party to - Endangered Species, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Law of the Sea

Note: close to vital sea lanes through South China Sea linking Indian and Pacific Oceans; two parts physically separated by Malaysia; almost an enclave of Malaysia


Population: 292,266 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 34% (female 48,458; male 50,624)
15-64 years: 62% (female 85,581; male 95,955)
65 years and over: 4% (female 5,172; male 6,476) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.63% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 25.83 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 5.07 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 5.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 24.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.24 years
male: 69.65 years
female: 72.91 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.41 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Bruneian(s)
adjective: Bruneian

Ethnic divisions: Malay 64%, Chinese 20%, other 16%

Religions: Muslim (official) 63%, Buddhism 14%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs and other 15% (1981)

Languages: Malay (official), English, Chinese

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1991)
total population: 88%
male: 92%
female: 82%

Labor force: 119,000 (1993 est.); note - includes members of the Army
by occupation: government 47.5%, production of oil, natural gas, services, and construction 41.9%, agriculture, forestry, and fishing 3.8% (1986)
note: 33% of labor force is foreign (1988)


conventional long form: Negara Brunei Darussalam
conventional short form: Brunei

Digraph: BX

Type: constitutional sultanate

Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan

Administrative divisions: 4 districts (daerah-daerah, singular - daerah); Belait, Brunei and Muara, Temburong, Tutong

Independence: 1 January 1984 (from UK)

National holiday: National Day 23 February (1984)

Constitution: 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 Islamic law

Suffrage: none

Executive branch:
chief of state and head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister His Majesty Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji HASSANAL Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah (since 5 October 1967)
cabinet: Council of Cabinet Ministers; composed chiefly of members of the royal family

Legislative branch: unicameral
Legislative Council (Majlis Masyuarat Megeri): elections last held in March 1962; in 1970 the Council was changed to an appointive body by decree of the sultan; an elected legislative Council is being considered as part of constitution reform, but elections are unlikely for several years

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: Brunei United National Party (inactive), Anak HASANUDDIN, chairman; Brunei National Solidarity Party (the first legal political party and now banned), leader NA; Brunei Peoples Party (banned), leader NA

Member of: APEC, ASEAN, C, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, GATT, ICAO, IDB, IMO, INMARSAT, INTELSAT (nonsignatory user), INTERPOL, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Haji JAYA bin Abdul Latif
chancery: Watergate, Suite 300, 3rd floor, 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 342-0159
FAX: [1] (202) 342-0158

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Theresa A. TULL
embassy: Third Floor, Teck Guan Plaza, Jalan Sultan, Bandar Seri Begawan
mailing address: American Embassy Box B, APO AP 96440
telephone: [673] (2) 229670
FAX: [673] (2) 225293

Flag: 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


Overview: The economy is a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation and welfare measures, and village tradition. It is almost totally supported by exports of crude oil and natural gas, with revenues from the petroleum sector accounting for more than 40% of GDP. Per capita GDP is among the highest in the Third World, and substantial income from overseas investment supplements domestic production. The government provides for all medical services and subsidizes food and housing.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $4.43 billion (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: -4% (1993 est.)

National product per capita: $16,000 (1993 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.5% (1993 est.)

Unemployment rate: 5% (1993 est.)

revenues: $1.5 billion
expenditures: $1.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $255 million (1990 est.)

Exports: $2.2 billion (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: crude oil, liquefied natural gas, petroleum products
partners: Japan 52%, South Korea 10%, UK 9%, Thailand 7%, Singapore 6% (1991)

Imports: $1.2 billion (c.i.f., 1993 est.)
commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals
partners: Singapore 34%, UK 23%, US 10%, Japan 8%, Malaysia 7%, Switzerland 4% (1991)

External debt: $0

Industrial production: growth rate 12.9% (1987); accounts for 41.6% of GDP (1990), includes mining, quarrying, and manufacturing

capacity: 380,000 kW
production: 1.2 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 3,971 kWh (1993)

Industries: petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction

Agriculture: imports about 80% of its food needs; principal crops and livestock include rice, cassava, bananas, buffaloes, and pigs

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-87), $20.6 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $153 million

Currency: 1 Bruneian dollar (B$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Bruneian dollars (B$) per US$1 - 1.4524 (January 1995), 1.5274 (1994), 1.6158 (1993), 1.6290 (1992), 1.7276 (1991), 1.8125 (1990); note - the Bruneian dollar is at par with the Singapore dollar

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 13 km private line
narrow gauge: 13 km 0.610-m gauge

total: 1,090 km
paved: bituminous 370 km (with another 52 km under construction)
unpaved: gravel or earth 720 km

Inland waterways: 209 km; navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 meters

Pipelines: crude oil 135 km; petroleum products 418 km; natural gas 920 km

Ports: Bandar Seri Begawar, Kuala Belait, Muara, Seria, Tutong

Merchant marine:
total: 7 liquefied gas carriers (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 348,476 GRT/340,635 DWT

total: 5
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 3
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1


Telephone system: 33,000 telephones (1987); service throughout country is adequate for present needs; international service good to adjacent Malaysia
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: INTELSAT (NA Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) earth stations

broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 4, shortwave 0
radios: 74,000 (1987)
note: radiobroadcast coverage good

broadcast stations: 1
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Land Forces, Navy, Air Force, Royal Brunei Police

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 81,560; males fit for military service 47,403; males reach military age (18) annually 2,835 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $312 million, 6.2% of GDP (1994)