Indonesia facts, size, population, economy…

The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; Japan occupied the islands from 1942 to 1945. Indonesia declared its independence after Japan’s surrender, but it required four years of intermittent negotiations, recurring hostilities, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to transfer sovereignty in 1949

Map of Indonesia
Map of Indonesia

Indonesia’s first free parliamentary election after decades of repressive rule took place in 1999. Indonesia is now the world’s third-largest democracy, the world’s largest archipelagic state, and home to the world’s largest Muslim population. Current issues include: alleviating poverty, improving education, preventing terrorism, consolidating democracy after four decades of authoritarianism, implementing economic and financial reforms, stemming corruption, holding the military and police accountable for past human rights violations, addressing climate change, and controlling avian influenza. In 2005, Indonesia reached a historic peace agreement with armed separatists in Aceh, which led to democratic elections in Aceh in December 2006. Indonesia continues to face a low intensity separatist movement in Papua.

Transnational Issues

Geography    Indonesia

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Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean
Geographic coordinates:
5 00 S, 120 00 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
total: 1,919,440 sq km
water: 93,000 sq km
land: 1,826,440 sq km
Area – comparative:
slightly less than three times the size of Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 2,830 km
border countries: East Timor 228 km, Malaysia 1,782 km, Papua New Guinea 820 km
54,716 km
Maritime claims:
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
mostly coastal lowlands; larger islands have interior mountains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Puncak Jaya 4,884 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, fertile soils, coal, gold, silver
Land use:
arable land: 9.9%
permanent crops: 7.2%
other: 82.9% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
48,150 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
occasional floods, severe droughts, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, forest fires
Environment – current issues:
deforestation; water pollution from industrial wastes, sewage; air pollution in urban areas; smoke and haze from forest fires
Environment – international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation
Geography – note:
archipelago of more than 17,000 islands (6,000 inhabited); straddles Equator; strategic location astride or along major sea lanes from Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean
  People    Indonesia

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234,893,453 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 29.7% (male 35,437,274; female 34,232,824)
15-64 years: 65.4% (male 76,743,613; female 76,845,245)
65 years and over: 4.9% (male 5,086,465; female 6,548,032) (2003 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.52% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
21.49 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
6.26 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 38.09 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 32.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 43.5 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.94 years
male: 66.54 years
female: 71.47 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.5 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:
120,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths:
4,600 (2001 est.)
noun: Indonesian(s)
adjective: Indonesian
Ethnic groups:
Javanese 45%, Sundanese 14%, Madurese 7.5%, coastal Malays 7.5%, other 26%
Muslim 88%, Protestant 5%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 2%, Buddhist 1%, other 1% (1998)
Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects, the most widely spoken of which is Javanese
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 88.5%
male: 92.9%
female: 84.1% (2003 est.)
  Government    Indonesia


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Indonesia
conventional short form: Indonesia
local long form: Republik Indonesia
former: Netherlands East Indies; Dutch East Indies
local short form: Indonesia
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
27 provinces (propinsi-propinsi, singular – propinsi), 2 special regions* (daerah-daerah istimewa, singular – daerah istimewa), and 1 special capital city district** (daerah khusus ibukota); Aceh*, Bali, Banten, Bengkulu, Gorontalo, Jakarta Raya**, Jambi, Jawa Barat, Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur, Kalimantan Barat, Kalimantan Selatan, Kalimantan Tengah, Kalimantan Timur, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung, Lampung, Maluku, Maluku Utara, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Papua, Riau, Sulawesi Selatan, Sulawesi Tengah, Sulawesi Tenggara, Sulawesi Utara, Sumatera Barat, Sumatera Selatan, Sumatera Utara, Yogyakarta*; note – with the implementation of decentralization on 1 January 2001, the 357 districts (regencies) have become the key administrative units responsible for providing most government services
note: following the 30 August 1999 provincial referendum for independence which was overwhelmingly approved by the people of Timor Timur and the October 1999 concurrence of Indonesia’s national legislature, the name East Timor was adopted as a provisional name for the political entity formerly known as Propinsi Timor Timur; East Timor gained its formal independence on 20 May 2002
17 August 1945 (proclaimed independence; on 27 December 1949, Indonesia became legally independent from the Netherlands)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 17 August (1945)
August 1945, abrogated by Federal Constitution of 1949 and Provisional Constitution of 1950, restored 5 July 1959
Legal system:
based on Roman-Dutch law, substantially modified by indigenous concepts and by new criminal procedures code; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
17 years of age; universal and married persons regardless of age
Executive branch:
chief of state: President MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri (since 23 July 2001) and Vice President Hamzah HAZ (since 26 July 2001); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri (since 23 July 2001) and Vice President Hamzah HAZ (since 26 July 2001); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected separately by the People’s Consultative Assembly or MPR for five-year terms; selection of president last held 23 July 2001; selection of vice president last held 26 July 2001; next election to be held in July 2004; in accordance with constitutional changes, the election of the president and vice president will be by direct vote of the citizenry
note: the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat or MPR) includes the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or DPR) plus 195 indirectly selected members; it meets every five years to elect the president and vice president and to approve broad outlines of national policy and also has yearly meetings to consider constitutional and legislative changes; constitutional amendments adopted in 2001 and 2002 provide for the MPR to be restructured in 2004 and to consist entirely of popularly-elected members who will be in the DPR and the new House of Regional Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah or DPD); the MPR will no longer formulate national policy
election results: MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri elected president, receiving 591 votes in favor (91 abstentions); Hamzah HAZ elected vice president, receiving 340 votes in favor (237 against)
Legislative branch:
unicameral House of Representatives or Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR) (500 seats; 462 elected by popular vote, 38 are appointed military representatives until 2004 election when military seats expire; members serve five-year terms)
election results: percent of vote by party – PDI-P 37.4%, Golkar 20.9%, PKB 17.4%, PPP 10.7%, PAN 7.3%, PBB 1.8%, other 4.5%; seats by party – PDI-P 154, Golkar 120, PPP 58, PKB 51, PAN 35, PBB 14, other 30; note – subsequent to the election, there has been a change in the distribution of seats; the new distribution is: PDI-P 153, Golkar 120, PPP 58, PKB 51, PAN 35, PBB 13, other 32
elections: last held 7 June 1999 (next to be held April 2004)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Mahkamah Agung (justices appointed by the president from a list of candidates approved by the legislature); note – the Supreme Court is preparing to assume administrative responsibility for the federal court system, previously run by the executive
Political parties and leaders:
Crescent Moon and Star Party or PBB [Yusril Ihza MAHENDRA, chairman]; Federation of Functional Groups or Golkar [Akbar TANDJUNG, general chairman]; Indonesia Democracy Party-Struggle or PDI-P [MEGAWATI Sukarnoputri, chairperson]; National Awakening Party or PKB [Alwi SHIHAB, chairman]; National Mandate Party or PAN [Amien RAIS, chairman]; United Development Party or PPP (federation of former Islamic parties) [Hamzah HAZ, chairman]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Flag description:
The Indonesian Flag
The Indonesian Flag

Two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; similar to the flag of Monaco, which is shorter; also similar to the flag of Poland, which is white (top) and red

  Economy    Indonesia

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Economy – overview:
Indonesia, a vast polyglot nation, faces severe economic development problems, stemming from secessionist movements and the low level of security in the regions, the lack of reliable legal recourse in contract disputes, corruption, weaknesses in the banking system, and strained relations with the IMF. Investor confidence will remain low and few new jobs will be created under these circumstances. In November 2001, Indonesia agreed with the IMF on a series of economic reforms in 2002, thus enabling further IMF disbursements. Keys to future growth remain internal reform, the build-up of the confidence of international donors and investors, and a strong comeback in the global economy.
purchasing power parity – $663 billion (2002 est.)
GDP – real growth rate:
3.5% (2002 est.)
GDP – per capita:
purchasing power parity – $3,100 (2002 est.)
GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture: 17%
industry: 41%
services: 42% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
27% (1999)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 27% (1999)
Distribution of family income – Gini index:
32 (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
11.9% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
99 million (1999)
Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture 45%, industry 16%, services 39% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
10.6% (2002 est.)
revenues: $26 billion
expenditures: $30 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
petroleum and natural gas; textiles, apparel, and footwear; mining, cement, chemical fertilizers, plywood; rubber; food; tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
4.9% (2002 est.)
Electricity – production:
95.78 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity – production by source:
fossil fuel: 86.9%
hydro: 10.5%
other: 2.6% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity – consumption:
89.08 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity – exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity – imports:
0 kWh (2000)
Oil – production:
1.451 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil – consumption:
1.045 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil – exports:
Oil – imports:
Oil – proved reserves:
7.083 billion bbl (January 2002 est.)
Natural gas – proved reserves:
2.549 trillion cu m (January 2002 est.)
Agriculture – products:
rice, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, rubber, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, copra; poultry, beef, pork, eggs
$52.3 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports – commodities:
oil and gas, electrical appliances, plywood, textiles, rubber
Exports – partners:
Japan 19.2%, US 14.5%, Singapore 11.6%, South Korea 6.6%, China 5.6%, Taiwan 3.7% (2002)
$32.1 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports – commodities:
machinery and equipment; chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs
Imports – partners:
Japan 18.2%, South Korea 9.6%, Singapore 8.4%, China 7.9%, US 7.6%, Australia 5.0% (2002)
Debt – external:
$131 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid – recipient:
$43 billion from IMF program and other official external financing (1997-2000)
Indonesian rupiah (IDR)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Indonesian rupiahs per US dollar – 9,311.19 (2002), 10,260.8 (2001), 8,421.77 (2000), 7,855.15 (1999), 10,013.6 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year; note – previously was 1 April – 31 March, but starting with 2001, has been changed to calendar year
  Communications    Indonesia

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Telephones – main lines in use:
5,588,310 (1998)
Telephones – mobile cellular:
1.07 million (1998)
Telephone system:
general assessment: domestic service fair, international service good
domestic: interisland microwave system and HF radio police net; domestic satellite communications system
international: satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 678, FM 43, shortwave 82 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
41 (1999)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
24 (2000)
Internet users:
4.4 million (2002)
  Transportation    Indonesia

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total: 6,458 km
narrow gauge: 5,961 km 1.067-m gauge (125 km electrified); 497 km 0.750-m gauge (2002)
total: 342,700 km
paved: 158,670 km
unpaved: 184,030 km (1997)
21,579 km total
note: Sumatra 5,471 km, Java and Madura 820 km, Kalimantan 10,460 km, Sulawesi (Celebes) 241 km, Irian Jaya 4,587 km
crude oil 2,505 km; petroleum products 456 km; natural gas 1,703 km (1989)
Ports and harbors:
Cilacap, Cirebon, Jakarta, Kupang, Makassar, Palembang, Semarang, Surabaya
Merchant marine:
total: 710 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 3,045,673 GRT/4,106,508 DWT
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Greece 1, Hong Kong 2, India 1, Japan 2, Malaysia 1, Monaco 3, Panama 1, Philippines 1, Singapore 11, South Korea 1, Switzerland 1, UK 2, US 1 (2002 est.)
ships by type: bulk 42, cargo 400, chemical tanker 15, container 56, liquefied gas 3, livestock carrier 1, passenger 9, passenger/cargo 13, petroleum tanker 127, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 16, short-sea passenger 9, specialized tanker 11, vehicle carrier 6
631 (2002)
Airports – with paved runways:
total: 153
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 48
under 914 m: 43 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 46
Airports – with unpaved runways:
total: 478
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 450 (2002)
9 (2002)
  Military    Indonesia

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Military branches:
Army, Navy (including marines and naval air arm), Air Force
Military manpower – military age:
18 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower – availability:
males age 15-49: 65,665,721 (2003 est.)
Military manpower – fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 38,290,550 (2003 est.)
Military manpower – reaching military age annually:
males: 2,213,727 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures – dollar figure:
$1 billion (FY98)
Military expenditures – percent of GDP:
1.3% (FY98)
  Transnational Issues    Indonesia

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Disputes – international:
East Timor-Indonesia Boundary Committee continues to meet regularly to survey and delimit land boundary; East Timor refugees delay return from camps in Indonesia; maritime delimitations with Australia and East Timor await further discussions; ICJ awarded Sipadan and Ligitan islands to Malaysia in 2002; Indonesian secessionists, squatters and illegal migrants create repatriation problems for Papua New Guinea
Illicit drugs:
illicit producer of cannabis largely for domestic use; possible growing role as transshipment point for Golden Triangle heroin

Source: The World Factbook 2003


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Bjørn Grøtting

Photographer based in Norway. See a collection of my best photos in the portfolio. Licensing of images is done through Photoshelter or alamy.
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