Kuala Lumpur - Demographics

Demographics

Ethnicities of Kuala Lumpur - 2010 Census
ethnic group percent
Malays 44.2%
Chinese 43.2%
Indians 10.3%
Other Bumiputera and others 1.8%
Religion in Kuala Lumpur - 2010 Census
religion percent
Islam 46.4%
Buddhism 35.7%
Hinduism 8.5%
Christianity 5.8%
Chinese Ethnic Religion 1.1%
Other 2.0%
No religion 0.5%

Kuala Lumpur is the most populous city in Malaysia, with a population of 1.6 million in the city proper as of 2010. It has a population density of 6,696 inhabitants per square kilometre (17,340 /sq mi), and is the most densely populated administrative district in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is a primate city as it has an estimated metropolitan population of 6.9 million as of 2007.

Kuala Lumpur has a heterogeneous populace which includes the country's three major ethnic groups: the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians, although the city also has a mix of different cultures including Eurasians, as well as Kadazans, Ibans and other indigenous races from East Malaysia and Peninsula Malaysia. According to the 2010 census by the Department of Statistics, the percentage of the Bumiputera population in Kuala Lumpur was around 44.2%, while the Chinese population comprised 43.2% and Indians 10.3%. A notable phenomenon has been the increase in the presence of foreign residents in Kuala Lumpur, who now constitute about 9% of the city’s population.

Birth rates in Kuala Lumpur have declined and resulted in the lower proportion of young people falling below 15 years old category from 33% in 1980 to slightly less than 27% in 2000. On the other hand, the working age group of 15–59 increased from 63% in 1980 to 67% in 2000. The elderly age group, 60 years old and above has increased from 4% in 1980 and 1991 to 6% in 2000.

Kuala Lumpur's rapid development triggered a huge influx of low-skilled foreign workers from Indonesia, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Vietnam into Malaysia, many of these low-skilled workers enter the country illegally or without proper permits.

Kuala Lumpur is plural and religiously diverse. The city has many places of worship catering to the multi-religious population. Islam is practiced primarily by the Malays and the Indian Muslim communities. Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism are practiced mainly among the Chinese. Indians traditionally adhere to Hinduism. Some Chinese and Indians also subscribe to Christianity.

As of 2010 Census the population of Kuala Lumpur is 46.4% Muslim, 35.7% Buddhist, 8.5% Hindu, 5.8% Christian, 1.1% Taoist or Chinese religion adherent, 2.0% follower of other religions, and 0.5% non-religious.

Bahasa Malaysia is the principal language in Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur residents are generally literate in English, with a large proportion adopting it as their first language. It has a strong presence, especially in business and is a compulsory language taught in schools. Cantonese and Mandarin are prominent as they are spoken by the local majority Chinese population. Other major dialect spoken is Hakka. While Tamil is dominant amongst the local Indian population, other Indian languages spoken include Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi and Punjabi.

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