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Statistics of Malaysia's population wellbeing (social relations) in June 2023

Statistics of Malaysia's population wellbeing (social relations) in June 2023

This debut publication by the Department of Statistics showcases how often locals interact with neighbours, engage in social media activities, and more.

For the first time, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) has released its Publication of MyCensus 2020: Population Well-Being (Social Relations) based on the findings from Population and Housing Census of Malaysia 2020 (MyCensus 2020).

The publication features statistics on the population aged 15 years and over in four segments, namely:

  1. social media accounts users;
  2. access to the internet;
  3. eating together within a week;
  4. and face-to-face interaction with neighbours within a month.

Interaction with neighbours

A total of 13.8mn out of 14.8mn respondents (93.5%) engaged in face-to-face interaction with neighbours in a month, while 958,808 persons (6.5%) never had any face-to-face interaction.

Further, two-fifths (41.4%) engaged in face-to-face interaction with neighbours on a daily basis, 41.5% at least once a week, and 10.6% at least once a month. Nevertheless, 6.5% (or 0.96mn) of 13.8mn respondents admitted that they never had any interaction with neighbours in a month.

By location, the following states had the highest level of daily interaction with neighbours:

  • Kelantan (55.8%),
  • Sabah (54.7%),
  • Terengganu (52.8%),
  • Kedah (52.7%),
  • Sarawak (51.0%), and
  • Perlis (50.4%).

In terms of weekly interaction, the highest levels were observed in Pulau Pinang (50.3%), Melaka (47.6%), and Putrajaya (47.2%).

Meanwhile, Pakan (98.0%) and Bukit Mabong (96.3%) in Sarawak; and Tongod in Sabah (97.5%) stood out as the friendliest districts due to their notably high proportions of daily interactions with neighbours.

By age, the population aged 15 to 64 years interact with neighbours the most at least once a week (41.9%), while those aged 65 years and over exchanged greetings largely on a daily basis (46.7%). Lastly, Bumiputera (Malay and Other Bumiputera) interact with neighbours mostly on daily basis (47.7%), while Chinese (44.4%) and Indians (45.9%) mainly at least once a week.

Social media

The study asked about six social media platforms namely Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), LinkedIn, and Telegram, i.e., the most common platforms used by 24.7mn Malaysians aged 15 years and over.

Out of this total, 64.7% (16.0mn persons) have responded to the question on having social media accounts. Particularly, WhatsApp has the highest social media users with 86.5% (or 13.8mn persons). Two-thirds of respondents (77.1%; 12.3mn) reported using Facebook, followed by 39.2 %(6.3mn) used Instagram.

A much smaller share of respondents said they have ever used Telegram (23.2%; 3.7mn persons), X (11.7%; 1.9mn persons), LinkedIn (4.8%; 0.8mn persons) and others (1.5%; 0.2mn persons).

By state, about a third of WhatsApp users (36.7%) reside in three states, namely:

  • Selangor (14.1%),
  • Johor (13.1%) and
  • Perak (9.5%).

These states were also the heaviest users of Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram.

The majority of X users were in the developed states of Selangor, Johor, and Kuala Lumpur, while LinkedIn users were more predominantly in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Pulau Pinang.

Interestingly, the use of WhatsApp was more common among individuals of all ages (15 to 64 years; 65 years and over) and ethnic groups (Bumiputera, Chinese, Indians and Others).

Internet access

The survey identified seven means of internet access: home, workplace, another person's home, facilities with free internet access, community facilities with internet, education centres, and mobile data.

A total of 13.6mn individuals responded to this part of the survey.

Largely, mobile data was widely used mode of accessibility the internet in Malaysia with a total of 11.8mn persons. This was followed by home internet access as the second most preferred among Malaysian with a total of 5.3mn users. The other options were as follows:

  • workplace (2.6mn persons),
  • free internet access facilities (0.8mn persons),
  • educational centres (0.7mn persons),
  • other people's homes (0.5mn persons) and
  • community internet access facilities (0.4mn persons).

Approximately one-third (34.4%) of mobile data users were located in Johor (12.4%), Selangor (11.7%), and Perak (10.3%). Further, Johor Bahru, Johor; Petaling, Selangor; and Kinta, Perak recorded the highest proportion of mobile data users.

Eating together

Lastly, 'eating together' refers to the share of the population aged 15 years and over who eat together as a family or with household members in a week during mealtime of breakfast, coffee break, lunch, hi-tea, dinner and supper. A total of 13.3mn in population (53.9%) responded to this portion of the survey.

Of this, 81.9% (10.9mn persons) eat together during dinner, while two-thirds have breakfast (73.4%) and lunch (67.4%) together. A lower percentage of respondents eat together during hi-tea (19.4%), coffee-breaks (15.3%), and supper (5.9%).

In terms of frequency, over 50% of respondents eat together five to seven times a week during breakfast (60.3%), lunch (57.1%) and dinner (75.9%).

By location, Sarawak recorded the highest percentage of eating together five to seven times in a week for breakfast (76.4%), lunch (72.0%), and second highest for dinner (86.0%). On the other hand, Putrajaya recorded the least at eating together one to two times a week during breakfast (45.3%), lunch (52.0%), and dinner (18.8%).

As a whole, there was no indication of polarisation in terms of age and ethnic groups for eating together, social media, and internet access, as DOSM highlighted. Individuals of all ages (15 to 64 years; 65 years and over) and ethnic group of Bumiputera, Chinese, Indians and Others mainly eat dinner together, commonly used WhatsApp, and largely used mobile data as the mode of internet access.

Lead image / Department of statistics

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