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Indonesia

Indonesia Guide. Indonesia Country Profile.

Country Profile: Indonesia.

Fact: Indonesia has over 238 million people, it is the world’s fourth most populous country, and has the world’s largest population of Muslims.

The Republic of Indonesia, commonly known as Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia comprises 17,508 islands. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. The nation’s capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia is a founding member of ASEAN and a member of the G-20 major economies.

The Indonesian economy is the world’s eighteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and fifteenth largest by purchasing power parity.

The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought Islam, and European powers fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. Indonesia’s history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change. The current nation of Indonesia is a unitary presidential republic consisting of thirty three provinces.

Across its many islands, Indonesia consists of distinct ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. The Javanese are the largest—and the politically dominant—ethnic group. Indonesia has developed a shared identity defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population, and a history of colonialism including rebellion against it. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world’s second highest level of biodiversity. The country is richly endowed with natural resources, yet poverty remains widespread in contemporary Indonesia.

:: Background of Indonesia ::

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. Free and fair legislative elections took place in 1999 after decades of repressive rule. Indonesia is now the world’s third most populous 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 human rights violations, addressing climate change, and controlling infectious diseases, particularly those of global and regional importance. 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 low intensity armed resistance by the separatist Free Papua Movement.

:: Geography of Indonesia ::

Location: Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean
Geographic coordinates: 5 00 S, 120 00 E

Area:
total: 1,904,569 sq km
land: 1,811,569 sq km
water: 93,000 sq km

Area – comparative: slightly less than three times the size of Texas
Land boundaries: 2,830 km
Border countries: Timor-Leste 228 km, Malaysia 1,782 km, Papua New Guinea 820 km
Coastline: 54,716 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
Terrain: mostly coastal lowlands; larger islands have interior mountains

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Puncak Jaya 5,030 m

Natural resources: petroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, fertile soils, coal, gold, silver

Land use:
arable land: 11.03%
permanent crops: 7.04%
other: 81.93% (2005)
Irrigated land: 45,000 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 2,838 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 82.78 cu km/yr (8%/1%/91%)
per capita: 372 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards: occasional floods; severe droughts; tsunamis; earthquakes; volcanoes; forest fires; volcanism: Indonesia contains the most volcanoes of any country in the world – some 76 are historically active; significant volcanic activity occurs on Java, western Sumatra, the Sunda Islands, Halmahera Island, Sulawesi Island, Sangihe Island, and in the Banda Sea; Merapi (elev. 2,968 m, 9,737 ft), Indonesia’s most active volcano and in eruption since 2010, has been deemed a “Decade Volcano” by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Agung, Awu, Karangetang, Krakatau (Krakatoa), Makian, Raung, and Tambora

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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography – note: archipelago of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited); straddles equator; strategic location astride or along major sea lanes from Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean

:: People of Indonesia ::

Population: 242,968,342 (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 28.1% (male 34,337,341/female 33,162,207)
15-64 years: 66% (male 79,549,569/female 78,918,321)
65 years and over: 6% (male 6,335,208/female 7,968,876) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 27.9 years
male: 27.4 years
female: 28.4 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.097% (2010 est.)
Birth rate: 18.45 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
Death rate: 6.25 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
Urbanization:
urban population: 44% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 28.94 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 33.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 23.89 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.05 years
male: 68.53 years
female: 73.69 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.28 children born/woman (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 0.2% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 270,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 8,700 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: chikungunya, dengue fever, and malaria
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
Nationality: noun: Indonesian(s) adjective: Indonesian
Ethnic groups: Javanese 40.6%, Sundanese 15%, Madurese 3.3%, Minangkabau 2.7%, Betawi 2.4%, Bugis 2.4%, Banten 2%, Banjar 1.7%, other or unspecified 29.9% (2000 census)
Religions: Muslim 86.1%, Protestant 5.7%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 1.8%, other or unspecified 3.4% (2000 census)

Languages: Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects (the most widely spoken of which is Javanese)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.4%
male: 94%
female: 86.8% (2004 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2008)
Education expenditures: 3.5% of GDP (2007)