Brunei, officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace, is a sovereign state on the north coast of Borneo in Southeast Asia. The country is surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia and it is the only sovereign state on the island of Borneo.
Brunei is a small country with just 5,765 square kilometers of land, which makes it the 172nd largest country. Its population is thus right in line with its size. Brunei is divided into four districts, the largest of which is Brunei-Maura, with more than half of the country's population. Nearly 97% of Brunei's population lives in the larger western area (including Brunei-Muara, Tutong and Belait) while just 10,000 people live in the mountains of the east.
The estimated population is 437,259, with about 200,000 people living in the capital and largest city of Bandar Seri Begawan.
75% of Brunei's population lives in urban areas, with an urbanization rate of more than 2% per year. In 2004, the last time during which official records were made, the 66.3% of the population was Malay, 11.2% was Chinese, and 3.4% was indigenous. Indigenous groups of the Malay race include Belait, Dusun, Kedayan, Murut, Tutong and Bisaya.
Malay is the official language and Islam is the official religion, with more than 66% of the population adhering to Islam. Other faiths include Buddhism (13%), Christianity (10%), Freethinkers (7%) and indigenous religions (2%). The culture and laws in the country are heavily influenced by Islam, and the country is more conservative than nearby Malaysia and Indonesia. Last year, the Sultan of Brunei announced a tough Islamic penal code would be put in place.