The 2010 Population and Housing Census of Malaysia (Census 2010) was the fifth decennial census to be conducted since the formation of Malaysia in 1963. The previous censuses were conducted in 1970, 1980, 1991 and 2000. Census is an enormous statistical project that has been undertaken in order to produce very useful data for planning and implementation of national development.
2. Summary Findings
Census 2010 revealed that the total population of Malaysia was 28.3 million, compared with 23.3 million in 2000 (Chart 1). This gives an average annual population growth rate of 2.0 per cent for the period 2000-2010. The rate was lower compared to that of 2.6 per cent during 1991-2000 (Chart 2). The state with the highest growth rate for the period 2000-2010 was W. P. Putrajaya (17.8%), followed by Selangor (2.7%), Melaka (2.6%) and Sabah (2.1%). Among the states which experienced lower growth rate were Terengganu (1.4%), Perak (1.4%), W. P. Labuan (1.3%) and Perlis (1.2%).
3. Population distribution
Population distribution by state indicated that Selangor was the most populous state (5.46 million), followed by Johor (3.35 million) and Sabah (3.21 million). The population share of these states to the total population of Malaysia was 42.4 per cent. The least populated states were W. P. Putrajaya (72,413) and W .P. Labuan (86,908).
4. Population density
Population density of Malaysia stood at 86 persons per square kilometre in 2010 compared with 71 persons in 2000. Unlike the population distribution, the population density revealed a different picture. Selangor being the most populous state was only ranked fifth in terms of population density with 674 persons per square kilometre. Among the most densely populated states were W. P. Kuala Lumpur (6,891 persons), Pulau Pinang (1,490 persons) and W. P. Putrajaya (1,478 persons).
In tandem with Malaysia's rapid development, the proportion of urban population increased to 71.0 per cent in 2010 compared with 62.0 per cent in 2000 (Chart 5). Apart from W. P. Kuala Lumpur and W. P. Putrajaya with 100 per cent level in urbanisation, the other states with high level of urbanisation were Selangor and Pulau Pinang with 91.4 per cent and 90.8 per cent respectively (Chart 6). Conversely, the states with lower urbanisation levels were Kelantan (42.4%), Pahang (50.5%) and Perlis (51.4%).
6. Ethnic composition
The total population was 28.3 million of which 91.8 per cent were Malaysian citizens and 8.2 per cent were non-citizens. Malaysian citizens consist of the ethnic groups Bumiputera (67.4%), Chinese (24.6%), Indians (7.3%) and Others (0.7%).
Among the Malaysian citizens, the Malays was the predominant ethnic group in Peninsular Malaysia which constituted 63.1 per cent. The Ibans constituted 30.3 per cent of the total citizens in Sarawak while Kadazan/Dusun made up 24.5 per cent in Sabah.
The proportion of the population of Malaysia below the age of 15 years decreased to 27.6 per cent compared with 33.3 per cent in 2000. In contrast, the proportion of working age population (15 to 64 years) increased to 67.3 per cent from 62.8 per cent. The proportion of population aged 65 years and over also increased to 5.1 per cent as compared with 3.9 per cent in 2000. Consequently, the median age increased from 23.6 years in 2000 to 26.2 years in 2010, while the dependency ratio dropped from 59.2 per cent to 48.5 per cent. The trend of these indicators is in line with the transition of age structure towards aging population of Malaysia.
8. Sex ratio
Men outnumbered women with the sex ratio of 106 (Chart 9). Similar pattern was observed in year 2000 (104). The ratio of males to females was relatively high for Pahang (113), Johor (112), Negeri Sembilan (107), Sabah (107), Selangor (107), W. P. Labuan (107) and Sarawak (106). On the other hand, men were outnumbered by women in W. P. Putrajaya (89) and Perlis (97) as shown in Chart 10.
9. Marital status
In 2010, population aged 15 years and over who were never married were 35.1 per cent while those who were married were 59.6 per cent. The proportion of males who were never married (37.8%) was slightly higher than females (32.2%). However, the proportions of males and females who were married were almost similar at 59.8 per cent and 59.4 per cent respectively.
The mean age at first marriage for males decreased to 28.0 years compared with 28.6 years in 2000. Inversely, the age for females rose to 25.7 years compared with 25.1 years in 2000.
Islam was the most widely professed religion in Malaysia with the proportion of 61.3 per cent. As a multi-racial nation, other religions embraced were Buddhism (19.8%), Christianity (9.2%) and Hinduism (6.3%).