Indonesia country profile


Country overview

Indonesia spans 5000km and is spread across an archipelago of more than 17,500 islands. It is home to over 240 million people, making it the world's fourth largest country by population. It also has a huge diversity of ethnic peoples, speaking more than 300 different local languages.

Country profile

Indonesia remains vulnerable to natural disasters, internal conflict and economic crises. Indonesia has been severely affected by unprecedented turmoil in recent years with events such as the Boxing Day Tsunami, the Asian economic crisis in 1997 which brought high unemployment and a dramatic drop in living standards including homelessness, the bombings in Bali and the SARS virus.

Indonesia sustained the worst human losses and physical damage of all the countries affected by the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004. Almost 130,000 people died and more than half a million people were left homeless. Much of the fishing and agricultural sectors in Aceh were severely damaged and it is estimated that about 44 percent of people lost their means of livelihood.

People living in poverty are always hardest hit by disasters and conflict. Currently, more than half the population of Indonesia live in poverty, with agriculture providing the main source of income for many of these people. More than 2 million children under the age of 5 are malnourished.

Stats and facts

  • Capital: Jakarta
  • Population: 241,973,879
  • Language: Bahasa Indonesian, 300 regional languages
  • Religion: Major religion Islam
  • Adult literacy: 88 percent
  • Life expectancy: 67 years
  • Government: Republic
  • Access to safe water: 78 percent
  • Population living on less than NZ$3/day: 52 percent

Reference: Statistics from the UNDP Human Development Report and The World Factbook.

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