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Malaysia Population and religion percentage

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia, separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo’s East Malaysia. The population of Malaysia according to the 2020 Census is 32,447,385. As per the UN World Population Prospects report, the estimated population of Malaysia in 2023 is 34,671,896 (34.6 million or 3.46 Crores)

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Malayasia location on Map

Malaysia2024 Population
Total Population34,671,896 (34 million)
Global Rank45
Share of World Pop.0.42%
Land Area 329,613 sq. km (127,264 sq. mi)
Area Rank67
Pop. Density99 people/sq. km
Capital CityKuala Lumpur
Fertility Rate* of Malaysia2.01
Infant mortality rate** in Malaysia5.2
Median Age in Malaysia 30.3 Years
Life Expectancy in Malaysia76.65 years
Urban Population of Malaysia78.4 %

Source: United Nation World  Populations Prospects 

Religion in Malaysia

Malaysian constitution grants freedom of religion and it’s a secular state, and Islam is the “religion of the Federation”. According to Census 2020,  Approximately 63.5% of the population follows Islam. Sunni Islam of the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence is the dominant branch of Islam in Malaysia, while 18% are nondenominational Muslims.

Buddhism is the second largest religion and is followed by 18.7% of the population. 83.6% of the Chinese population identify as Buddhist, with significant numbers of adherents following Taoism (3.4%) and Christianity (11.1%), along with small Muslim populations in areas like Penang.

Among Other religions 9.1% follows Christianity, 6.1% Hinduism and 1.3% practice Confucianism, Taoism, and other traditional Chinese religions. and the remaining 2.7% are classified as unaffiliated, which can mean agnostic, atheist, or “nothing in particular.”

The majority of the Indian population follows Hinduism (86.2%), with a significant minority identifying as Christians (6.0%) or Muslims (4.1%). Christianity is the predominant religion of the non-Malay Bumiputera community (46.5%) with an additional 40.4% identifying as Muslims.

Religion percentage in Malaysia

Religion /AffiliationsPercentage
Islam 63.50%
Buddhism 18.70%
Christianity 9.10%
Hinduism 6.10%
Chinese folk religion 1.30%
Unaffiliated 2.70%

Source: Census 2020

Malaysia Ethnic population

Malaysia’s population comprises many ethnic groups. People of Austronesian origin comprise the majority of the population and are known as the Bumiputras. Among bumiputras, Malays are the main and majority group and makeup about half of the total population. Bumiputra status is also accorded to certain non-Malay indigenous peoples, including ethnic Thais, Khmers, Chams, and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak. In the 2021 census, 69.7% of the population was considered bumiputra, 22.5 % Malaysian Chinese, and 6.8% Malaysian Indian. Among Indians, Tamils are the largest subgroup. Others include Malyali, Telugu, and Punjabis. Arabs and Nepalis also have a sizeable population.

Ethnic Percentage

  • Bhumiputas – 69.7%
  • Malaysian Chienses –  22.5%
  • Indians – 6.8%
  • Others – 1%

Source: 2021 Census estimates

Top Cities in Malaysia by Population


1Kuala LumpurFederal Territories15,88,750
2Seberang PeraiPenang8,18,197
5Subang JayaSelangor7,08,296
6George TownPenang7,08,127
8Petaling JayaSelangor6,13,977
11Shah AlamSelangor5,41,306
12Iskandar PuteriJohor5,29,074
13SerembanNegeri Sembilan5,15,490
14Johor BahruJohor4,97,067
15Malacca CityMalacca4,84,855
16Ampang JayaSelangor4,68,961
17Kota KinabaluSabah4,52,058
18Sungai PetaniKedah4,43,488
20Alor SetarKedah4,05,523


Indian Population in Malaysia

As per the 2018 Ministry of External Affairs report, there are 2,987,950  (29.88 Lakhs) Indians residing in Malaysia

  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) – 2,760,000 (27.60 Lakhs)
  • Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) – 227,950 (2.28 Lakhs)

Read more about  Indian Population in Malaysia

Population of Malaysia 2024 | Religion in Malaysia