Malaysia Fast Facts
Area: 329,847 sq km
Population: 32,652,083 (July 2020 est.)
Median age: 29.2 years
Capital: Kuala Lumpur
Ethnic Groups: Malay and indigenous 62%, Chinese 20.6%, Indian 6.2%, other 0.9%, non-citizens 10.3% (2017 est.)
Religions: Muslim 61.3%, Buddhist 19.8%, Christian 9.2%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism and other traditional Chinese religions 1.3%, Other or Unspecified 1.4%, None 0.8% (2010 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $933.3 billion (2017 est.)
GDP per capita: $29,100 (2017 est.)
Unemployment: 3.4% (2017 est.)
Malaysia is made up of two noncontiguous regions: West Malaysia on the Malay Peninsula, which consists of 11 states, and East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, which consists of two states.
Since Malaysia’s independence in 1957, the sultans who are the hereditary monarchs in nine of the country’s 13 states have selected one of themselves to serve a five-year term as king. The king’s role is largely ceremonial in Malaysia, and the power to govern resides with the federal Parliament and the prime minister.