chapter  12
21 Pages

Demographic and labour force dynamics


The growth of the Malaysian population over the past century has been even more spectacular than the impressive increases in other Southeast Asian populations. Malaysia did not have the substantial population cores found in the floodplains of Thailand, Burma or Vietnam, or the density already developed on the fertile volcanic soils of Java. Malaysia’s population growth was dependent on mining and estate agriculture, and this has been a development of the last century and a half. Thus, the multiplication of Malaysia’s population over the past 110 years has been of the order of 11 times, compared with around seven times elsewhere in Southeast Asia.1