Indonesia Travel Information

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Nature Conservancy in Indonesia

Facts About Indonesia

Background: The world's largest archipelago, Indonesia achieved independence from the Netherlands in 1949. Current issues include: implementing IMF-mandated reforms of the banking sector, effecting a transition to a popularly elected government after four decades of authoritarianism, addressing charges of cronyism and corruption, holding the military accountable for human rights violations, and resolving growing separatist pressures in Aceh and Irian Jaya. On 30 August 1999 a provincial referendum for independence was overwhelmingly approved by the people of Timor Timur. Concurrence followed by Indonesia's national legislature, and the name East Timor was provisionally adopted. The independent status of East Timor - now under UN administration - has yet to be formally established.
Government type: republic
Capital: Jakarta
Currency: Indonesian rupiah (Rp) = 100 sen

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: 1,919,440 sq km
land: 1,826,440 sq km
water: 93,000 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 2,602 km
border countries: Malaysia 1,782 km, Papua New Guinea 820 km
Coastline: 54,716 km
Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 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: 10%
permanent crops: 7%
permanent pastures: 7%
forests and woodland: 62%
other: 14% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 45,970 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: occasional floods, severe droughts, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes
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 17,000 islands (6,000 inhabited); straddles Equator; strategic location astride or along major sea lanes from Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean.

People of Indonesia

Indonesia's 228 million people make it the world's fourth-most populous nation. The island of Java is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with more than 107 million people living in an area the size of New York State. Indonesia includes numerous related but distinct cultural and linguistic groups, many of which are ethnically Malay. Since independence, Bahasa Indonesia (the national language, a form of Malay) has spread throughout the archipelago and has become the language of most written communication, education, government, and business. Many local languages are still important in many areas, however. English is the most widely spoken foreign language. Education is free and compulsory for children through grade 9. Although about 92% of eligible children are enrolled in primary school, a much smaller percentage attend full time. About 44% of secondary school-age children attend junior high school, and some others of this age group attend vocational schools.

Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom apply to the five religions recognized by the state, namely Islam (88%), Protestantism (5%), Catholicism (3%), Hinduism (2%), and Buddhism (1%). In some remote areas, animism is still practiced.

Population: 241,973,879 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  30.26%
15-64 years:  65.11% 
65 years and over:  4.63%
Population growth rate: 1.45% 
Birth rate: 22.26 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 6.3 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 40.91deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  68.27 years
male:  65.9 years
female:  70.75 years 
Total fertility rate: 2.58 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Indonesian(s)
adjective: Indonesian
Ethnic groups: Javanese 45%, Sundanese 14%, Madurese 7.5%, coastal Malays 7.5%, other 26%
Religions: Muslim 88%, Protestant 5%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 2%, Buddhist 1%, other 1% (1998)
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: 83.8%
male: 89.6%
female: 78% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Indonesia > Map Economy History