OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Indonesia
CAPITAL: Jakarta
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Unitary Multiparty Republic
AREA: 1,906,230 Sq Km (736,000 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION 211,732,000


Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Indonesia is located in South East Asia and is the largest archipelago nation in the world. It is bound by Malaysia and the South China Sea to the northwest, Papua New Guinea to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the northeast and the Indian Ocean to the southwest. The country consists of five main islands, Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan (60% of Borneo) and Irian Jaya as well as 13,667 other small islands and islets. The five main islands account for 90% of the total land area and each island has its own coastal and mountain regions. The islands of Sumatra, Java and Kalimantan are densely forested while most of the rivers are short and principally used for irrigation. Major Cities (pop. est.); Jakarta 8,259,300, Surabaya 2,421,000, Bandung 2,026,900, Medan 1,686,000, Semarang 1,005,300 (1990). Land Use; forested 62%, pastures 6%, agricultural-cultivated 17%, other 15% (1993).


CLIMATE: Indonesia has an equatorial climate with two seasons that are influenced by the surrounding seas and determined by the monsoons. The dry season is from June to September and the wet season is from November to March. Relative humidity averages 80% all year round and thunderstorms are frequent. Average annual temperature ranges in Jakarta are from 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit) to 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit) all year.


PEOPLE: The population consists of over 300 ethnic groups largely of Malay origin. These include the Javanese who account for 45% of the population while the Sundanese account for 14%, the Madurese for 8% and the Malay for 8%. The principal ethnic minority group is the Chinese.


DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 93 persons per sq km (241 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 30.9% urban, 69.1% rural (1990). Sex Distribution; 49.9% male, 50.1% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth; 55.6 years male, 58.9 years female (1991). Age Breakdown; 37% under 15, 28% 15 to 29, 18% 30 to 44, 11% 45 to 59, 5% 60 to 74, 1% 75 and over (1990). Birth Rate; 32.2 per 1,000 (1991). Death Rate; 11.7 per 1,000 (1991). Increase Rate; 20.5 per 1,000 (1991). Infant Mortality Rate; 90.0 per 1,000 live births (1991).


RELIGIONS: The official religion is Monotheism, however, 87% of the population are Muslims, 10% are Christians and 2% are Hindus. The remainder are Buddhists, Taoists and Confucianists.


LANGUAGES: The official language is Bahasa Indonesian, although there are over 250 languages spoken throughout the territory. Javanese is spoken by 40% of the population, Sundanese by 15%, Madurese and Malay by 5 to 10% each. English is also widely understood.


EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling 30.3%, incomplete primary 32.3%, primary 22.8%, incomplete secondary 6.4%, secondary 7.1%, higher 1.2% (1985). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 80,233,132 or 77.6% (1987).


MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: During World War II Japanese forces occupied Indonesia and after the Japanese surrendered, Indonesia declared its independence on Aug. 17, 1945. The Dutch returned to Indonesia but faced a guerrilla war and after negotiations in Dec. 1949 the Dutch recognized Indonesia's independence as a federative republic. In Aug. 1950 Indonesia declared the country a unitary republic while Pres. Sukarno gained greater power and began his program of "Guided Democracy" in 1956. Due to the unrest of some military officers on the outer islands Pres. Sukarno declared the country under Martial Law in Mar. 1957 and in July 1959 Sukarno reinstated the 1945 constitution, dissolving the Parliament and giving himself broader presidential power. In 1963 West Guinea (Irian Jaya) came under the control of Indonesia. In 1965 a revolt by army officers thought to be part of a communist plot was countered by Gen. Suharto, commander of the army's Strategic Reserve and by the close of the year as many as 500,000 alleged communist sympathizers were killed in violent clashes. In 1967 Gen. Suharto took over much of Pres. Sukarno's power and began to reorganize the government. In Mar. 1968 Gen. Suharto became President and the first Indonesian parliamentary elections since 1955 were held in 1971. In Sept. 1984 Muslim protesters clashed with troops and at least 30 people were killed. In 1985 an anti-Muslim Societies Law was adopted that required all organizations to adopt the state ideology. In 1989 conflict with the Ceh Merdeka guerrillas intensified. In Dec. 1989 Indonesia and Australia signed the Timor Gap Agreement which allowed for the sharing of oil and gas reserves. In Nov. 1991 the East Timorese Fretlin's claims for independence reached a climax resulted in troops opening fire on mourners of a pro-independence militant's funeral in which an estimated 180 civilians were killed. The massacre brought worldwide condemnation of Indonesia and the East Timor-Indonesia issue, which was first raised when the Fretlin declared Timor's independence in Nov. 1975. Additionally, during 1991 the military continued its offensive against Islamic rebels, in the northwestern Aceh district of Sumatra, who have been fighting for a number of years to establish an independent republic. In June 1992 two academics addressing the Parliament argued that the military should no longer have 100 appointed seats as its involvement was not necessary to maintain stability, although the military disagreed. In the same month, elections resulted in Golkar winning 68% of the vote and 282 of the available 400 seats while the Indonesian Democratic Party gained 56 seats and the United Development Party the remainder. In July 1992 the government introduced further economic liberalization measures including the sweeping reduction of trade tariffs and rules enabling foreigners to wholly own industrial businesses. In Nov. 1992 government forces captured Jose Alexandre Gusmano, leader of the Fretlin independence movement, and sentenced him to life imprisonment. On Dec. 12, 1992 an earthquake on the island of Flores killing some 2,500 people and destroyed nearly 80% of the city, Maumere. In 1992 as a result of a government investigation into the Indonesian massacre on East Timor six senior military officers were disciplined and eight others were court-martialled for using "excessive force" on the peaceful funeral crowd while several international publications were also released detailing government monopolies, contracts and loans to Pres. Suharto's children. Also during the year, foreign relations with The Netherlands and Portugal soured over Indonesia's human rights violations with The Netherlands getting the World Bank to form a new group of aid donors, formerly headed by it, while Portugal blocked a proposed economic pact between the EU and ASEAN, of which Indonesia is a member. In Feb. 1993 the head of the military representatives in the Parliament announced they would be nominating Try Sutrisno, a retired military commander, as Vice President. In Mar. 1993 Pres. Suharto was re-elected as President for another five year term with Sutrisno as Vice President. Following Pres. Suharto's re-election he instigated a Cabinet reshuffle as a counter measure to the military's backing of Sutrisno. In June 1993 an anonymous report listed millions of dollars in bad loans held by state banks, some of which were allegedly linked to the Suharto family. In July 1993 in the face of continuing international criticism Pres. Suharto established a national council for human rights. In Aug. 1993 Pres. Suharto reduced Fretlin leader Gusmano's life sentence to 20 years with the possibility of parole in 2005 and in the same month the US vetoed Jordan's planned sale of F5 fighter jets to Indonesia over human rights concerns.


CURRENCY: The official currency is the Rupiah (Rp) divided into 100 Sen.


ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $136,620,000,000 (1993). Public Debt; USD $52,451,000,000 (1993). Imports; USD $28,327,800,000 (1993). Exports; USD $36,823,000,000 (1993). Tourism Receipts; USD $3,988,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; USD $11,496,000,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 82,038,109 or 57.3% of total population (1994). Unemployed; 2.8% (1993).


MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are Japan, the USA, Singapore, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Bananas, Bauxite, Cassava, Coal, Copra, Coffee, Copper, Fish, Ground Nut, Maize, Nickel, Oil and Natural Gas, Palm Oil, Rice, Rubber, Soya Beans, Sugar, Sweet Potatoes, Tea, Timber, Tin, Tobacco.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Fishing, Food Processing, Forestry, Mining, Oil and Gas Production and Refining, Textiles, Transport Equipment.

MAIN EXPORTS: Crude Oil, Coffee, Fish Products, Natural Gas, Refined Petroleum Products, Rubber, Tea, Timber, Tin and other Metal Ores, Tobacco.


TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 6,583 km (4,090 mi) (1990), passenger-km 7,860,000,000 (4,884,000,000 passenger-mi) (1988), cargo ton-km 2,364,000,000 (1,619,000,000 short ton-mi) (1988). Roads; length 250,314 km (155,538 mi) (1988). Vehicles; cars 1,228,180 (1990), trucks and buses 1,424,189 (1990). Merchant Marine; vessels 1,884 (1990), deadweight tonnage 2,910,123 (1990). Air Transport; passenger-km 13,381,714,000 (8,315,009,000 passenger-mi) (1990), cargo ton-km 473,132,000 (324,048,000 short ton-mi) (1990).


COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 68 with a total circulation of 4,591,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 26,000,000 (1994). Television; receivers 11,000,000 (1994). Telephones; units 1,713,000 (1993).


MILITARY: 276,000 (1994) total active duty personnel with 77.5% army, 15.2% navy and 7.3% air force while military expenditure accounts for 1.5% (1993) of the Gross National Product (GNP).


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