Picture Languages

Malay speaking countries

Malay is an official language in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore and is spoken in 3 other countries as monther tongue by a part of the population. The Malay language (native name: Bahasa Melayu, بهاس ملايو‎) has its roots in the Austronesian language family.

With 33.12 million native speakers, Malay has the highest prevalence in Indonesia. As a percentage of the total population, the largest share of around 58 percent is in Malaysia. A total of about 57.0 million people worldwide speak Malay as their mother tongue.
Distribution Malay

CountryRegionOfficial languageDistributionTotal
IndonesiaSoutheast Asiayes12.1 %33,124,000
MalaysiaSoutheast Asiayes58.4 %19,607,000
ThailandSoutheast Asiano3.6 %2,578,000
PhilippinesSoutheast Asiano0.7 %797,000
SingaporeSoutheast Asiayes11.9 %649,000
BruneiSoutheast Asiayes45.5 %203,000
East TimorSoutheast Asiano2.2 %29,000

Unless otherwise described in the text, this page is about native speakers — not the total number of speakers. How many people understand or speak Malay as a subsequently learned language is not the subject of this page. Countries where native speakers make up only a few thousand, or even a few hundred people, or countries with a percentage well below 1% are unlikely to be listed here.