Kuala Lumpur Population 2021

8,210,745
map placeholder

Kuala Lumpur's 2021 population is now estimated at 8,210,745. In 1950, the population of Kuala Lumpur was 261,528. Kuala Lumpur has grown by 213,915 since 2015, which represents a 2.67% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Kuala Lumpur, which typically includes Kuala Lumpur's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Kuala Lumpur, or KL, is the federal capital and most populous city of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is the fastest growing metropolitan area of the country. Ranked as an alpha world city, it's the economic, financial and cultural city of the country and one of three Malaysian Federal Territories. The city also has a high Human Development Index. In 2016, Kuala Lumpur had an estimated population of 1.76 million.

City Size and Population Density

Kuala Lumpur has an estimated 2016 population of 1.76 million people in an area of just 94 square kilometers (243 square kilometers). This gives the city proper a very high population density of 17,310 people per square mile or 6,890 per square kilometer. Greater Kuala Lumpur, or the Klang Valley, is a significant urban agglomeration with an estimated population of 7.2 million in 2016 with a population density that is nearly equal to that of the city proper.

Kuala Lumpur Demographics

According to the 2010 census, major ethnic groups in Kuala Lumpur are:

  • Malay/Bumiputera: 45.9%
  • Chinese: 43.2%
  • Indians: 10.3%
  • Other: 1.6%

The city is primarily a mix of Malays, Chinese, and Indians, although there are many cultures in the city such as Eurasians, Kadazans, Ibans and indigenous peoples from East Malaysia and Peninsular Malaysia. In the 1970s, the Malaysian government put in place policies deemed "racially discriminatory" to favor the Malays (also called Bumiputera, a term that describes the Malay and other indigenous peoples of Southeast Asia). This was done to defuse ethnic tensions after violence against Chinese Malaysians, and it created a strong urban Malay middle class, although it did little to get rid of poverty in rural areas and it led to resentment from other groups, including the large Chinese and Indian minorities.

In recent years, the share of foreign residents in the city has increased, now accounting for about 9% of the total population. Rapid development in the city has led to an influx of low-skilled foreign workers from countries like Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Vietnam. Many have come illegally or without the permits necessary for work.

Kuala Lumpur has many religions. Islam accounts for 46.4% of the population, followed by Buddhism (35.7%), Hinduism (8.5%), Christianity (5.8%), Daoism (1.1%) and other religions (2%).

Kuala Lumpur Population Growth

Kuala Lumpur is an aging city as birth rates have fallen in the last decade or two. This has led to a lower percentage of young people under 15, a group that has dropped from 33% in 1980 to under 27% in 2000. The working age group between 15 and 59 has increased from 63% in 1980 to 67% in 2000 as more people move to the city for opportunities.

Kuala Lumpur Population 2021

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
203510,466,8231.18%122,467
203410,344,3561.25%127,375
203310,216,9811.31%132,254
203210,084,7271.38%137,124
20319,947,6031.45%142,354
20309,805,2491.53%147,864
20299,657,3851.62%153,794
20289,503,5911.72%160,264
20279,343,3271.83%167,518
20269,175,8091.95%175,529
20259,000,2802.09%184,650
20248,815,6302.25%193,906
20238,621,7242.40%202,158
20228,419,5662.54%208,821
20218,210,7452.67%213,915
20207,996,8302.78%216,529
20197,780,3012.86%216,389
20187,563,9123.35%245,367
20177,318,5453.35%237,408
20167,081,1373.35%229,706
20156,851,4313.35%222,255
20146,629,1763.35%215,045
20136,414,1313.35%208,069
20126,206,0623.35%201,320
20116,004,7423.35%194,789
20105,809,9533.35%188,471
20095,621,4823.35%182,109
20085,439,3733.36%176,689
20075,262,6843.35%170,717
20065,091,9673.35%165,180
20054,926,7873.35%159,605
20044,767,1823.36%154,853
20034,612,3293.35%149,621
20024,462,7083.35%144,767
20014,317,9413.39%141,472
20004,176,4697.03%274,254
19993,902,2157.02%255,904
19983,646,3117.02%239,122
19973,407,1897.01%223,143
19963,184,0467.03%209,085
19952,974,9617.02%195,096
19942,779,8657.02%182,301
19932,597,5647.01%170,119
19922,427,4457.15%161,905
19912,265,5408.00%167,879
19902,097,6618.00%155,438
19891,942,2237.99%143,730
19881,798,4938.01%133,446
19871,665,0478.00%123,381
19861,541,6668.00%114,239
19851,427,4277.99%105,633
19841,321,7948.01%98,076
19831,223,7188.00%90,679
19821,133,0398.00%83,959
19811,049,0807.99%77,635
1980971,4458.01%72,080
1979899,3658.00%66,643
1978832,7228.00%61,706
1977771,0167.99%57,057
1976713,9598.01%52,975
1975660,9848.00%48,980
1974612,0048.00%45,350
1973566,6547.99%41,933
1972524,7218.01%38,934
1971485,7877.67%34,586
1970451,2012.76%12,137
1969439,0642.76%11,795
1968427,2692.77%11,509
1967415,7602.76%11,184
1966404,5762.76%10,884
1965393,6922.76%10,576
1964383,1162.77%10,320
1963372,7962.76%10,028
1962362,7682.76%9,758
1961353,0102.76%9,483
1960343,5272.77%9,254
1959334,2732.76%8,992
1958325,2812.76%8,750
1957316,5312.76%8,503
1956308,0282.77%8,298
1955299,7302.76%8,062
1954291,6682.76%7,846
1953283,8222.76%7,625
1952276,1972.77%7,440
1951268,7572.76%7,229
1950261,5280.00%

Kuala Lumpur Population Data (Urban Area)

Name 2021 Population 2021 Growth
Kuala Lumpur8,210,7452.67%
Johor Bahru1,044,5482.02%
Ipoh827,7191.74%
Kuching621,1141.56%
Kota Kinabalu562,8242.41%
Kuantan514,4192.30%
Seremban484,3702.04%
Kuala Terengganu390,9481.71%
Sandakan380,1181.30%
Kota Bharu352,4381.37%
Alor Star350,3342.50%

Other Cities in Malaysia

  1. Department of Statistics Malaysia - Population statistics for the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
  2. Department of Statistics Malaysia - Malaysia Population Distribution and Basic Demographic Characteristic Report
  3. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations

Sources