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Brunei*Brunei flag
Basic facts
The country 
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Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan
Area: 5,765 sq km; 2,226 sq miles
Population: 343,653 (July 2001 Estimate)
Urbanisation: Urban 71 per cent (1998 Estimate); Rural 29 per cent (1998 Estimate)


Exports: Crude oil, liquefied natural gas, petroleum products

Industry: Petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction

Agriculture: Principal crops and livestock include rice, cassava, bananas, buffalo and pigs

Currency: 1 Bruneian dollar (B$), consisting of 100 cents

Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, timber


The people

Ethnic: Malay 64 per cent, Chinese 20 per cent, other 16 per cent

Language: Malay (official), English, Chinese. The official language is Malay, but English is also used for official purposes.

Religion: Muslim (official) 67 per cent, Buddhist 13 per cent, Christian 10 per cent, Indigenous beliefs and other 10 per cent. Islam is the state religion and the majority of the people are Muslim. The remainder adhere to Buddhism, Christianity, or indigenous religions.


The history

Independence: 1 January 1984 (from the United Kingdom)

Government: Brunei, formerly a protectorate of the United Kingdom, became an independent sovereign state in January 1984. Executive authority is held by the Council of Ministers, which is presided over by the Sultan of Brunei and by the chief minister, or mentri besar, who is responsible to the sultan.

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