kuching – social-and-cultural


Kuching has a population of over 570,000 of the state’s current estimated 2.6 million. The last official census ( the national census is conducted once every ten years) found a city population of 325,132 consisting of Malays (146,580), Chines (120,860), Iban (28,691), Bidayuh (13,681), Non-Malaysian citizens (7,216), other Sarawak Bumiputras (Orang Ulu) (3,250), Melanau (2,078), Indian (1,626) and others (1,140).

The Chinese are made up of Hokkien in the city areas and Hakka in the suburbs. Other Chinese subgroups consist of Foochow, Hainanese, Teochew, Cantonese, and Henghua.

The Iban, Bidayuh, Dayak and Orang Ulu are mainly Christian while the Chinese practise either Buddhism, Taoism or Christianity. Most Malays and Melanau are Muslim. The city also has Hindus, Sikhs and an unknown number of animists and secularists. There is a sizable number of non-citizen migrant workers from the bordering Indonesian region of Kalimantan.

Interracial marriages are common in Kuching, and the city is reported to be home to 30 different ethnic groups – perhaps a record in Southeast Asia if not the world.