Return to Main Page
Return to Country Files


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
total: 1,919,440 sq km
land: 1,826,440 sq km
water: 93,000 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly less than three times the size of Texas

Coastline: 54,716 km

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands

Terrain: mostly coastal lowlands; larger islands have interior mountains

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

Environment—current issues: deforestation; water pollution from industrial wastes, sewage; air pollution in urban areas

Population: 212,941,810 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 31% (male 33,311,867; female 32,361,468)
15-64 years: 65% (male 69,215,722; female 69,578,527)
65 years and over: 4% (male 3,744,314; female 4,729,912) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.49% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 23.1 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 8.22 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 59.23 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 62.49 years
male: 60.28 years
female: 64.81 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.61 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Ethnic groups: Javanese 45%, Sundanese 14%, Madurese 7.5%, coastal Malays 7.5%, other 26%

Religions: Muslim 87%, Protestant 6%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 2%, Buddhist 1%, other 1% (1985)

Languages: 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: 83.8%
male: 89.6%
female: 78% (1995 est.)

National capital: Jakarta

Independence: 17 August 1945 (proclaimed independence; on 27 December 1949, Indonesia became legally independent from the Netherlands)

National holiday: Independence Day, 17 August (1945)

Constitution: August 1945, abrogated by Federal Constitution of 1949 and Provisional Constitution of 1950, restored 5 July 1959

Suffrage: 17 years of age; universal and married persons regardless of age

Political parties and leaders: Golkar (de facto ruling political party based on functional groups), HARMOKO, general chairman; Indonesia Democracy Party (PDI, federation of former Nationalist and Christian Parties), SOERJADI, chairman; Development Unity Party (PPP, federation of former Islamic parties), Ismail Hasan METAREUM, chairman

Economy—overview: While Indonesia was long touted for its sound macroeconomic management and spectacular growth, the Asian financial crisis in 1997/98 revealed the weak underpinnings of the economy: an unhealthy banking sector, untenable levels of private foreign debt, and uncompetitive practices that favored the financial interests of former President SOEHARTO's family and friends. Indonesia sought IMF assistance early in the crisis and eventually brokered a $42 billion bailout package; but Jakarta jeopardized the program by resisting strict IMF reforms, partly in response to the rupiah's collapse, which lost as much as 80% of its value at one point. Economic prospects look bleak for 1998: the economy probably will shrink between 4% to 10%, unemployment top historic highs—in excess of 15%—and inflation move toward hyper levels.

GDP—real growth rate: 4% (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 16%
industry: 43%
services: 41% (1996)

Agriculture—products: rice, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, rubber, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, copra, other tropical products; poultry, beef, pork, eggs

total value: $53.4 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
commodities: textiles/garments 20.6%, wood products 15.7%, electronics 9.9%, footwear 6.1%
partners: Japan 27.1%, US 13.9%, Singapore 8.3%, South Korea 6.4%, Taiwan 3.9%, China 3.8%, Hong Kong 3.6% (1995)

total value: $41.6 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
commodities: manufactures 75.3%, raw materials 9.0%, foodstuffs 7.8%, fuels 7.7%
partners: Japan 22.7%, US 11.7%, Germany 6.9%, South Korea 6.0%, Singapore 5.8%, Australia 5.0%, Taiwan 4.5% (1995)

Debt—external: $136 billion (yearend 1997 est.)

Currency: Indonesian rupiah (Rp)

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 59,862,854 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 35,148,486 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $3.3 billion (FY97/98)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 1.3% (FY97/98)

Return to Main Page
Return to Country Files