Useful country information
Land area: 2,035 sq mi (5,271 sq km); total area: 2,228 sq mi (5,770 sq km)
Population (2019 est.): 433,285 (growth rate: 1.69%); birth rate: 17.74/1000; infant mortality rate: 11.15/1000; life expectancy: 76.37; density per sq km: 72
Capital and largest city: Bandar Seri Begawan, 100,700
Other large cities: Kuala Belait 27,800, Seria 23,400
Monetary unit: Brunei dollar
National Name: Negara Brunei Darussalam
Languages: Malay (official), English, Chinese
Ethnicity/race: Malay 67%, Chinese 15%, indigenous 6%, other 12%
National Holiday: National Day, February 23
Religions: Islam (official religion) 67%, Buddhist 13%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs and other 10%
Literacy rate: 92.7% (2011 est.)
The Sultanate of Brunei's heyday occurred 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. Brunei benefits from extensive petroleum and natural gas fields, the source of one of the highest per capita GDPs in the less developed countries. The same family has now ruled in Brunei for over six centuries.
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