Population and Housing Census 2000 is the fourth Census
implemented since the formation of Malaysia, the previous
Censuses being conducted in the years 1970, 1980 and 1991.
Population and Housing Census 2000 was carried out from
5th July 2000 till 20th July 2000. Census 2000 was carried
out successfully and I would like to thank all persons who
had given their cooperation in supplying the information
Population Distribution and Basic Demographic Characteristics
Report is the first report released based on the computer
processing of all individual census forms. Prior to this
report, two preliminary reports giving preliminary summary
counts of total population, number of households and number
of living quarters for the whole of Malaysia by state, administrative
districts, local authority areas as well urban and rural
areas were released.
as the in the previous censuses as well as experiences of
other countries in the world, census taking is subject to
under enumeration. For the Population and Housing Census
2000, the figures given in this report have been adjusted
for under enumeration rates which were obtained from the
Census Coverage Evaluation Survey conducted between 7 and
26 August 2000.
population and growth
The total population of Malaysia, according to the 2000
Census, was 23.27 million compared to 18.38 million in 1991
thus giving an average annual population growth rate of
2.6% over the 1991-2000 period. This rate was similar to
that of the 1980-1991 intercensal period which also recorded
an average annual growth rate of 2.6%. State-wise, Selangor
had the highest growth rate of 6.1% for the period 1991-2000
followed by Sabah (4.0%), Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan (3.6%)
and Johor (2.6%). Among the states which experienced very
low growth rates were Perak (0.4%), Perlis (0.8%) and Kelantan
In terms of population distribution by state in Census 2000,
Selangor was the most populous state (4.19 million) followed
by Johor (2.74 million) and Sabah (2.60 million). Their
share of the total population of Malaysia was 18.0%, 11.8%
and 10.6% respectively. The least populated states were
Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan (0.08 million or 0.3%) and Perlis
(0.20 million or 0.9%).
With respect to urbanization, it was observed that the proportion
of urban population had increased to 62.0% in Census 2000
from 50.7% in 1991. States with very high proportions of
urban population in Census 2000 were Wilayah Persekutuan
Kuala Lumpur (100%), Selangor (87.6%) and Pulau Pinang (80.1%).
Conversely the states with low urbanization levels were
Kelantan (34.2%), Perlis (34.3%) and Kedah (39.3%).
Of the total population of Malaysia in Census 2000, about
21,890 thousand or 94.1% were Malaysian citizens. Of the
total Malaysian citizens, Bumiputera comprised 65.1%, Chinese
26.0% and Indians 7.7%, the ethnic composition being 60.6%,
28.1% and 7.9% respectively in 1991. Non-Malaysian citizens
totalled 1,385 thousand (or 5.9%) in Census 2000 as against
805 thousand (or 4.4%) in 1991. In Sarawak, the predominant
ethnic group in Census 2000 was the Ibans which accounted
for 30.1% of the state's total Malaysian citizens followed
by the Chinese (26.7%) and Malays (23.0%). Similar data
for Sabah showed the predominant ethnic group being the
Kadazan Dusun (18.4%) followed by Bajau (17.3%) and Malays
The proportion of population of Malaysia below 15 years
of age in Census 2000 was 33.3% compared to 36.7% in 1991.
State-wise, this proportion was very low in Wilayah Persekutuan
Kuala Lumpur (25.6%), Pulau Pinang (26.9%) and Selangor
(30.5%). At the other end of the spectrum,this proportion
was high in the states of Kelantan (41.5%), Terengganu (40.3%)
and Sabah (38.4%). Conversely, the proportion of population
65 years and over for Malaysia in Census 2000 was recorded
at 3.9% compared to 3.7% in 1991. Consequently, the median
age for Malaysia as a whole increased from 21.9 years in
1991 to 23.6 years in 2000. All these different age parameters
point clearly towards a continuation of the trend of population
ageing in Malaysia.
Census 2000 revealed that for Malaysia as whole men outnumbered
women, a pattern not unsimilar to that observed in 1991.
In Census 2000 there were 104 males for every 100 females,
a marginal increase over the sex ratio of 103 in 1991. In
Census 2000, the ratio of males to females was relatively
high for Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan (110), Pahang (110),
Johor (107), Sabah (107), Negeri Sembilan (105), Selangor
(105) and Terengganu (104). On the other hand, women outnumbered
men in the states of Perlis, Pulau Pinang and Kedah. The
phenomenon of women outnumbering men is particularly noticeable
from the age group beginning 60-64 years and the gap widens
with advancing age. This is not unexpected given that life
expectancy among females is higher than that of males.
Census 2000 also revealed that young adults tend to marry
at a later age. Consequently, the proportion of never married
(single) person aged 20-34 years continued to increase between
1991 and 2000 from43.2% to 48.1%. Among females 20-24 years
of age, 68.5% were single in 2000 compared to only 60.2%
in 1991. Similar patterns were also observed for females
in the25-34 age group, as well as among males. The tendency
of young male adults to marry at a later age is indicated
by the data on mean age at first marriage which showed an
increase from 28.2 years in 1991 to 28.6 years in 2000 while
for females the increase was from 24.7 years to 25.1 years
over the same period.
It was observed that religion is highly correlated with
ethnicity. Islam was the most widely professed religion
in Malaysia; its proportion increasing from 58.6% in 1991
to 60.4% in 2000. Malaysia, being a multi-religious nation,
also had a fair share of those embracing other religions
such as Buddhism (19.2%), Christianity (9.1%), Hinduism
(6.3%) and Confucianism/Taoism/other traditional Chinese
religion (2.6%) as revealed in Census 2000.
data on population such as educational level, occupation,
migration as well as household and living quarter characteristics
will be released in stages subsequently.