Definition of Youth

According to Brunei’s National Youth Policy, youth in Brunei are aged 15-40 years. However, the policy states that there is no age restriction for “Youth Leaders”.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • --
  • XX
  • Female
  • 18
  • --
  • --

  • Minimum legal age for marriage without parental consent varies across states/provinces, ethnic groups, religious groups or forms of marriage. No data for marriage with parental consent. Male homosexual acts illegal. Female homosexual acts legal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
The Penal Code notes that a child above 7 and under 12 of immature understanding is exempt from prosecution. Source:  Penal Code of Brunei

Majority Age



Voting Age


No data. Absolute monarchy with no elections.
Source:  Inter-Parliamentary Union

Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 99.88% Male (15-24) %
  • 99.83% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 94.49%Male %
  • 95.00% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • -- Male (13-15) %
  • -- Female (13-15) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
The national youth policy of Brunei dates back to 2002. A reform has been urgently called for.  

The overarching goal of the national youth policy is to “create excellent Brunei youth”.   The policy has five objectives:  

  1. Uphold Islam as the official religion and integral to daily life;
  2. Enable youth to contribute to the economy, culture and society;
  3. Foster understanding and awareness;
  4. Build knowledge and skills of youth;
  5. Develop attitudes and personal qualities, such as patriotism, confidence and creativity.
The policy includes key strategic areas (Education; Employment & Training; Leadership; Social & Economic Initiatives; International Exchange; Community Service), as well as a strategic action plan for the implementation of a sports development programme.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports is the main governmental body responsible for youth affairs, as described in the national youth policy. Its objectives and strategy include formulating and implementing the national youth policy, providing programmes that generate community involvement, promote volunteering and coordinate youth efforts among all agencies and across various fields. The Ministry is split into five divisions: Administration; Culture & Arts; Social Services; Research, Development & International Affairs, and; Development, Youth and Sports.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The Brunei Youth Council (MBB) is a non-governmental, non-profit volunteer organisation. Its aim is to unite all youth organisations,  
to strongly promote the economic, social, cultural, physical, mental and spiritual development of youth and instill in them a sense of national identity and a spirit of dedicated, responsible and useful youth citizens.
Its Youth General Assembly, which meets annually, formulates policies, elects a Supreme Executive Committee and approves annual reports and balance sheets.   The MBB is a member of The Commonwealth Youth Council.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
As reported by RTB News on 27 March 2013, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports was allocated BND 103 million (USD 80.9 million) for the financial year 2013/2014. It is unclear what proportion of this amount is specifically for youth. According to the World Bank, Brunei spent 16.89% of its government expenditure and 3.27% of its GDP on education provision in 2012.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

From “Youth policy review urged” (2012, 27 June):  
BRUNEIAN youth yesterday called for a review of the National Youth Policy to make it more responsive and comprehensive, pointing out that it has not been reviewed since its introduction in 2002. The current National Youth Policy states that it should be reviewed once not more than every four years, according to a Memorandum by the Youth of Brunei Darussalam. They recommended that the definition of youth in Brunei be changed to "young men and women aged 15 to 35", including youth in institutional and organisational leadership positions. Currently, there is no age limit stipulated for a youth leader. This (review of National Youth Policy) was one of the few recommendations put forth to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) at the conclusion of the four-day Commonwealth Youth Programme: Youth Leadership and Advocacy Workshop, held at the Youth Centre in the capital. [...]