The town population consists of mainly the Dusun, and the Chinese who operate the shops. Of late however there is a large influx of immigrants both from the southern Philippines and Indonesia. Many of them are illegals and live in squatters. A considerable number of them however were controversially naturalised and relocated into low-cost housing settlements provided by the Malaysian government.
Kota Kinabalu City (North) Bus Terminal is located in Inanam. A substantial part of the sub-district near the town centre consists of a light industrial area. Towards the interior, traditional Dusun villages scatter the hill slopes, with fruit orchards and rubber smallholdings.