Ranked number 11 in the world among cities exhibiting the strongest economic clout by PwC’s 2016 Cities of Opportunity Index, Kuala Lumpur is the capital city for the Federation of Malaysia. The Malaysian capital scored well on economic clout benchmarks for employment growth and rate of real GDP (gross domestic product) improvement.
Kuala Lumpur’s economic prowess is also illustrated by the fact that 8 of Fortune Global 500 companies have their headquarters located in Malaysia’s capital city. These global firms include petroleum refiner Petronas.
Nicknamed “KL” and “The Garden City of Lights”, Kuala Lumpur also places number 55 among the world’s top financial centers.
Malaysia exported US$189.4 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016. Highest-value Malaysian exports are electronic integrated circuits, petroleum gas, processed petroleum oils, palm oil, computers, crude oil and phone system devices including smartphones according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower, Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and the Putra Mosque
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Sheila Majid, singer & actress (born Jan. 3, 1965)
- Shila Amzah, singer-songwriter, actress & producer (born Aug. 13, 1990)
- Indi Nadarajah, actor & comedian (born Jul. 2, 1959)
- Siti Nurhaliza, singer & businesswomen (born Jan. 11, 1979)
- Carmen Soo, model, actress & TV host (born Oct. 14, 1977 )
- Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Commonwealth Games diver (born Jul. 12, 1999)
- Tony Fernandes, co-founder Tune Group entertainment (born Apr. 30, 1964)
- Tiara Jacquelina, actress & producer (born Oct. 3, 1967)
- Ling Tan, fashion supermodel (born Oct. 9, 1974)
- Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first prime minister (born Feb. 8, 1903)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches of published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Kuala Lumpur resident: Kuala Lumpurian
Population: 1,768,000 (Kuala Lumpur city)
Density: 18,809 people per square mile (7,262 per square kilometer)
Population: 7,365,000 (Greater Kuala Lumpur)
Density: 8,503 people per square mile (3,283 per square kilometer)
Population: 30,949,962 (Malaysia)
Density: 244 people per square mile (94 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$171.8 billion in 2014 (Greater Lumpur)
GDP per person: $28,076
Note: The above GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars.
Official currency used in Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian ringgit
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on November 21, 2016
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Asia: Malaysia. Accessed on January 30, 2017
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas. Accessed on November 21, 2016
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on November 21, 2016
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on November 21, 2016
Fortune, 2015 Global 500. Accessed on January 30, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on January 30, 2017
Official Government Website, Official Portal of Kuala Lumpur City Hall. Accessed on November 21, 2016
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 2016 Cities of Opportunity Report. Accessed on January 30, 2017
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas – Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on November 21, 2016
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on November 21, 2016
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Kuala Lumpur. Accessed on November 21, 2016
Wikipedia, Greater Kuala Lumpur. Accessed on November 21, 2016
Wikipedia, Malaysia. Accessed on January 30, 2017
Wikipedia, Putrajaya. Accessed on November 21, 2016
Wikipedia, Capital Districts and Territories. Accessed on November 21, 2016
Kuala Lumpur’s city boundaries cover an area of 94 square miles (243 square kilometers) within which 1.8 million people live.
Separate from the capital city is Malaysia’s federal government administrative center located in Putrajaya, a small city of 88,000 residents located 24 miles (40 kilometers) south of Kuala Lumpur.
Greater Kuala Lumpur refers to a metropolitan area that covers 866 square miles (2,243 square kilometers). For the purpose of this analysis, Greater Kuala Lumpur includes Port Klang as part of its continuously developing urbanized perimeter. The population of Greater Kuala Lumpur is 7.4 million residents.
At the country level, Malaysia’s land territory covers 126,895 square miles (328,657 square kilometers). The national population count was 30.9 million inhabitants as of July 2016.
Population density is higher within Malaysia’s capital city with an average 18,800 Kuala Lumpurians per square mile (7,300 per square kilometer).
Urban density diminishes to an average 8,500 inhabitants per square mile (3,300 per square kilometer) for the Greater Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area.
For Malaysia overall, national population density drops to an average 244 residents per square mile (94 per square kilometer).
Malaysia gained its independence from the United Kingdom on August 31, 1957. Malaysians celebrate Independence Day each August 31. Malaysia Day is the following public holiday on each September 16.