Malaysia’s Population & Demographic profile – knowing your target audience


For any marketer, it is vital to know who your advertisements are displayed to. This is where the population profile comes into play. As an advertiser, by knowing who your target audience is, you will be able to communicate better and more effectively because you place your ads at the right media and directed at the appropriate group.

Malaysia – One of the most diverse populations in the world

With about 30 million people in Malaysia(2015), it is a constant challenge for advertisers to place their ads especially with the growing trend of using new media to complement the more conventional mass media like television and radio.

What are Malaysians like?

  • Occupation and job scope – A large portion of Malaysians are employed in the service and sales sector which constitute about 20% of the total. As expected, the manufacturing sector holds the largest number of Malaysian workers followed wholesale and the retail industries. Construction businesses hold about 9.5% of Malaysian workforce while other areas include accommodation and restaurant, real estate while government services constitute about 6.6% of the workforce.
  • Salary scheme – Malaysians are mainly made up of the middle income group where 28.3% of them are in the RM1,001 to RM2,000 bracket. Despite the minimum salary policy, a large portion of them are in the RM500 and below bracket while 11% of Malaysian earn between RM3,001 and RM5,000 per month. In this context, only 2.2% of them earn over RM10,000 per month.
  • Age group – In 2015, the total population in Malaysia is expected to exceed 30million and this means that the figure would have doubled since the 1980s. At the moment, there is a larger portion of the younger age group as compared to the older age group. In 2010, there are about 500,000 people below 10 years of age while there are about 100,000 of them around 70 years old.
    This number is expected to change in the next 20 years as the younger group grows older. It is expected that by 2030, there will be over 2 children who are aged below 14 years of age to every person above 65 years old.

What does this mean?

Knowing such figures are very important for every advertiser and marketer as they will be able to gauge who their target markets are which will then allow them to learn about what the buying behaviours are, the income levels and other related factors.

Such information are imperative in all areas of advertising that include conceptualizing of the idea and campaign and the type of ads that will be most appropriately placed at the most suitable medias concerned.

Malaysia is a multi-cultural country that is made up of people from various races and backgrounds.

Population and growth

In 2020, the total population in Malaysia surpassed 32 million people. This is a significant occurrence considering that it was at the 31 million brackets for the 3 years before that. Over the years, the population in Malaysia has been growing steadily within 1 to 3 percent each year.

Key Demographics Areas in Klang Valley

The life expectancy for Malaysians is around 74 years with males having a shorter expectancy of about 71 years while females are at 77 years old. The estimated fertility rate is about 2 births per woman. Each year, there is a birth rate of around 500,000 in Malaysia.

The Malays, Chinese and Indian forms the majority of people in the country with Bumiputeras (comprises of Malays and the ethinic groups) which constitute more than 60% of the total19,150,900 (61.8%); Chinese – 6,620,300 (21.4%); Indian – 1,988,600 (6.4%); Others – 270,700 (0.9%) and Non-Malaysian Resident – 2,965,300 (9.6%). Live births in 2015 recorded a decrease of 1.4% compared to 2014. Population in the age group 0 to 14 in 2015 is 24.9%; 15 to 64 years is 69.2% and 65 years and above is 5.8%.

Petaling Jaya

Area: SS, Kelana Jaya, USJ, Puchong

Ethnicity: Integrated market area; Malay 42%, Chinese 44%, Indian 13%Top Roads Used: Federal Highway, LDP, Persiaran Kewajipan, Jln Klang Lama

KL West

Area: Damansara, Bandar Utama, Bangsar

Ethnicity: Integrated market area; Malay 50%, Chinese 37%, Indian 13%Top Roads Used: Federal Highway, Jalan Bangsar, Jalan Maarof, Jalan Kerinchi, LDP

KL East

Area: Wangsa Maju, Cheras, AMpang, Sungai Long

Ethnicity: Integrated market area; Malay 48%, Chinese 41%, Indian 11%Top Roads Used: Jalan Loke Yew, Jalan Cheras, Jalan Genting Klang, Jalan Kampung Pandan, Jalan Tun Razak, MRR2

KL North

Area: Batu Caves, Kepong, Segambut, Selayang, Gombak

Ethnicity: Integrated market area; Malay 42%, Chinese 44%, Indian 13%Top Roads Used: Jalan Sentul, Jalan Kuching, Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Kepong

KL Centre

Area: Maluri, Titiwangsa, Golden Triangle

Ethnicity: Integrated market area; Malay 47%, Chinese 33%, Indian 20%Top Roads Used: Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Sentul, Jalan Pudu


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