Country Summary



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. In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate. Independence was achieved in 1984. The same family has ruled Brunei for over six centuries. 



total: 5,765 sq km
land: 5,265 sq km
water: 500 sq km


tropical; hot, humid, rainy

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, timber

People and Society


484,991 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Malay 67.4%, Chinese 9.6%, other 23% (2021 est.)


Malay (Bahasa Melayu) (official), English, Chinese dialects


Muslim (official) 82.1%, Christian 6.7%, Buddhist 6.3%, other 4.9% (2021 est.)

Population growth rate

1.43% (2023 est.)


Government type

absolute monarchy or sultanate


name: Bandar Seri Begawan

Executive branch

chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967); note - the monarch is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Council or Majlis Mesyuarat Negara Brunei (33 seats; 20 members appointed by the sultan from ex-officio cabinet ministers, titled people, and prominent citizens in public service and various professional fields, 13 members from 4 multi-seat constituencies, and 3 ex-officio members - the speaker and first and second secretaries); members serve 5-year terms


Economic overview

almost exclusively an oil and gas economy; high income country; expansive and robust welfare system; the majority of the population works for the government; promulgating a nationalized halal brand; considering establishment of a bond market and stock exchange

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$26.779 billion (2021 est.)
$27.212 billion (2020 est.)
$26.907 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$60,100 (2021 est.)
$61,600 (2020 est.)
$61,400 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

poultry, eggs, fruit, cassava, bananas, legumes, cucumbers, rice, pineapples, beef


petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction, agriculture, aquaculture, transportation


$11.202 billion (2021 est.)
$6.886 billion (2020 est.)
$7.828 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

Singapore 21%, China 20%, Japan 19%, Australia 14%, Malaysia 5% (2021)

Exports - commodities

refined petroleum, natural gas, crude petroleum, industrial hydrocarbons, industrial alcohols  (2021)


$9.219 billion (2021 est.)
$6.382 billion (2020 est.)
$6.806 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

Singapore 18%, China 14%, Malaysia 12%, Nigeria 5%, United Arab Emirates 5%, United States 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

crude petroleum, refined petroleum, cars, tug boats, valves (2019)

Exchange rates

Bruneian dollars (BND) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
1.344 (2021 est.)
1.38 (2020 est.)
1.364 (2019 est.)
1.349 (2018 est.)
1.381 (2017 est.)

Page last updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024