Republic of Indonesia
Republik Indonesia
Flag National Emblem
Motto: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika  (Old Javanese)
Unity in Diversity

National ideology: Pancasila
Anthem: 
Indonesia Raya
"Great Indonesia"
Capital
and largest city
Jakarta
Official languages Indonesian
Ethnic groups (2000) 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%
Demonym Indonesian
Government Unitary presidential constitutional republic
 -  President Joko Widodo
 -  Vice President Jusuf Kalla
Legislature People's Consultative Assembly
 -  Upper house Regional Representative Council
 -  Lower house People's Representative Council
Independence from the Netherlands
 -  Declared 17 August 1945 
 -  Acknowledged 27 December 1949 
Area
 -  Land 1,919,440 km2 (15th)
735,355 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 4.85
Population
 -  2011 estimate 237,424,363 (4th)
 -  2011 census 237,424,363
 -  Density 123.76/km2 (84th)
323.05/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $1.126 trillion (15th)
 -  Per capita $4,744 (122nd)
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $834.331 billion (17th)
 -  Per capita $3,514 (107th)
Gini (2011) 36.8
medium
HDI (2011) Increase 0.617
medium · 124th
Currency Rupiah (IDR)
Time zone various (UTC+7 to +9)
Drives on the left
Calling code +62
Internet TLD .id

Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia and Australasia/Oceania. It is part of the Malay Archipelago. It has 18,108 islands. 6,000 of these islands are inhabited. The most important islands of Indonesia are Java, Bali, Borneo, Sulawesi, and Sumatra. The capital of Indonesia is Jakarta, on Java. The current president is Joko Widodo. Modern Indonesia began on the 17th of August 1945. At 10 o'clock on that Friday morning, Ir. Soekarno read Indonesia's Declaration of Independence. Indonesia's Independence Day is a national holiday.

Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world with a population of 238,452,952 (2004 est.) Half of the population lives in Java, There are 111 inhabitants per km² and the population of man and women is roughly equal. The land area is 1.904 million sq. km, or slightly smaller than Mexico. The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, but a total of 737 languages are spoken throughout Indonesia mostly confined to remote tribal groups. Other languages widely spoken in Indonesia include Javanese, Balinese and Sundanese. The closest countries are Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, and East Timor which share land borders with Indonesia. Other neighbouring countries are Australia to the south, Singapore to the Northwest, and Philippines to the Northeast.

Indonesia has the most active volcanoes out of any country in the world, and its closeness to the fault lines make it vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis.

The religion that most people in Indonesia follow is Islam, although formally it is not an Islamic country. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population on earth. Other religions include Christianity (Protestant, and Roman Catholic), Hinduism, and Buddhism.

History

LocationIndonesia
Indonesia

Pre World War II

Indonesia has a written history as far back as the 7th century. Before the colonial Dutch came in the 1596, Indonesia was made up of many kingdoms in constant warfare. Indonesia was ruled by the Netherlands from the 17th century until World War II. The country was then called the Dutch East Indies.

Modern Indonesia

During World War II, the Japanese drove out the Dutch and took control of Indonesia. After Japan surrendered in the war, Indonesia claimed its independence on the 17th of August 1945. The proclamation was read by Ir. Soekarno in Jakarta. Soekarno later became Indonesia's first President.

British troops came into Indonesia to restore peace and to rescue Europeans who had been prisoners of the Japanese. The British troops also had the job of shipping home 300,000 Japanese troops. The Indonesian Republicans fought the British troops, because it was expected that the British would give Indonesia back to the Dutch. The Indonesian Republicans killed many of the Japanese prisoners, before they could be sent home. They also began killing people from minority groups who might be against the new Republic. Many European and Indonesian European people were killed. Many Chinese business people and other minority groups were killed or made homeless. In Java there were many thousands of homeless people.

In 1946, the Dutch came back. When the British left in 1947, there were 55,000 Dutch soldiers in Indonesia. The Dutch action was called "Operatie Product" or "Politionele Acties". The Indonesian Republicans fought the Dutch until 1949. But the Indonesian Republicans were badly organised and often fought among themselves. As the Dutch forced the Republican soldiers out of different areas, they moved in more troops until there was 100,000 Dutch troops. The Dutch refused to obey the United Nations who said they should stop the fighting in Indonesia. The United States of America organised for meetings between Dutch and Indonesian leaders. The Dutch finally agreed to recognise Indonesia's independence in November 1949.

Because of the fighting and the bad organisation, it took a long time for the country to become peaceful, and for the economy to get better. Many Indonesian soldiers had died, between 45,000 and 100,000. Also, a very large number of civilian (people not in the army), Indonesians, Europeans and Chinese, had died; perhaps as many as 200,000.

Provinces

Indonesia, administrative divisions - en - monochrome
Provinces of Indonesia

Administratively, Indonesia has 34 provinces, five of which have special status. Each province has its own political legislature and governor. The provinces are divided into regencies (kabupaten) and cities (kota). These are further divided into districts (kecamatan), and again into village groupings (either desa or kelurahan).

Indonesian provinces and their capitals – listed by region
(Indonesian name in parentheses if different from English)

* are provinces with Special Status

Sumatra

  • Aceh* – Banda Aceh
  • North Sumatra (Sumatera Utara) – Medan
  • West Sumatra (Sumatera Barat) – Padang
  • Riau – Pekanbaru
  • Riau Islands (Kepulauan Riau) – Tanjung Pinang
  • Jambi – Jambi (city)
  • South Sumatra (Sumatera Selatan) – Palembang
  • Bangka-Belitung (Kepulauan Bangka-Belitung) – Pangkal Pinang
  • Bengkulu – Bengkulu (city)
  • Lampung – Bandar Lampung

Java

  • Special Capital Territory of Jakarta* (Daerah Khusus Ibu Kota Jakarta)  – Jakarta
  • Banten – Serang
  • West Java (Jawa Barat) – Bandung
  • Central Java (Jawa Tengah) – Semarang
  • Yogyakarta Special Region* (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta) – Yogyakarta (city)
  • East Java (Jawa Timur) – Surabaya

Lesser Sunda Islands

  • Bali – Denpasar
  • West Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Barat) – Mataram
  • East Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Timur) – Kupang

Kalimantan

  • West Kalimantan (Kalimantan Barat) – Pontianak
  • Central Kalimantan (Kalimantan Tengah) – Palangkaraya
  • South Kalimantan (Kalimantan Selatan) – Banjarmasin
  • East Kalimantan (Kalimantan Timur) – Tenggarong Seberang
  • North Kalimantan ("Kalimantan Utara") –Tanjung Selor

Sulawesi

  • North Sulawesi (Sulawesi Utara) – Manado
  • Gorontalo – Gorontalo (city)
  • Central Sulawesi (Sulawesi Tengah) – Palu
  • West Sulawesi (Sulawesi Barat) – Mamuju
  • South Sulawesi (Sulawesi Selatan) – Makassar
  • South East Sulawesi (Sulawesi Tenggara) – Kendari

Maluku Islands

  • Maluku – Ambon
  • North Maluku (Maluku Utara) – Sofifi

Western New Guinea

  • West Papua* (Papua Barat) – Manokwari
  • Papua* – Jayapura

People and culture

There are people of many different cultural groups living in Indonesia, has more than 700 ethnic groups. It is affected by Indians, Chinese people, Arabs, Malays and Europeans. The Javan hawk-eagle is the national bird.

Album

Images


Indonesia for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.