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Geography, climate and population
Brunei Darussalam lies in Southeast Asia, on the northwest coast of the island shared with Indonesian Borneo and Sabah and Sarawak states of Malaysia. It is bordered on the landward side by Sarawak. The country is composed of two enclaves separated from each other by the valley of the Limbang River in Sarawak. Brunei Darussalam is divided into four districts having an area of 5 770 km2 (Table 1).
The districts of Brunei-Muara, Tutong and Belait, which form the larger western portion, are dominated by hilly lowlands, swampy plains and alluvial valleys. Mountainous terrain abounds in the eastern district of Temburong. The highest elevation is Bukit Pagon, at 1 850 m.
The cultivable area is estimated as 13 000 ha, which is about 2.5 percent of the total land area. In 2009, the cultivated area was an estimated 8 000 ha, about 61.5 percent of the cultivable area. About 5 000 ha were under permanent crops, the remaining 3 000 ha being under annual cultivation. In 1997, the cultivated area was estimated as 6 000 ha, of which 4 000 ha was for permanent and 2 000 ha annual crops.
Brunei Darussalam has a tropical climate characterized by high rainfall and temperatures throughout the year. Climatic variations follow the influence of the monsoon winds. The northeast monsoon blows from December to March, while the southeast monsoon occurs around June to October.
The total average annual precipitation is an estimated 2 722 mm. There are two rainy seasons: from September to January and from May to July.
The temperature is relatively uniform throughout the year, with an annual average of 27.9 ░C, ranging from 23.8 to 32.1 ░C. The drought months of March and April are the warmest. Owing to high temperatures and rainfall, humidity is high throughout the year with an average of 82 percent.
In 2009, Brunei Darussalam had a population of 392 000, about 25 percent of which lived in rural areas (Table 1). In 1999, the population was 320 000, thus the annual population growth rate during the period 1999-2009 is estimated as 2.1 percent. In 1996, the district of Brunei-Muara, which includes the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, had the largest population with 201 100 inhabitants, while Temburong district in the east was sparsely populated with a total of 8 700. The average population density is 68 inhabitants/km2.