+62 is the dialing code for Indonesia.
The Indonesian island world spans nearly 500 miles between mainland Southeast Asia and Australia. Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous state and has the largest Muslim population in the world. Since the fall of President Suharto in 1998, the country has developed in a democratic direction. In Papua, an armed struggle for independence is waged. The 2004 tsunami hit Indonesia severely, with around 170,000 dead.
- Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of Indonesia, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Indonesia is a vast island world spreading between Southeast Asian mainland and Australia. About 6,000 of the islands are inhabited. The Archipelago Act extends nearly 500 kilometers in an east-west direction and 200 kilometers from north to south. Straight through the country, the equator cuts. The Indonesian island world encompasses a surface slightly larger than mainland Australia, but four-fifths are oceans. To the west and south, the country is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and to the northeast the Pacific Ocean is rising.
Sumatra (482,393 square kilometers) is the largest entirely Indonesian island and is part of the archipelago of the Greater Sunda Islands. This includes Java and Madura (together 127,499 square kilometers) and Sulawesi (191,800 square kilometers). The even larger island of Borneo shares Indonesia with Malaysia and Brunei. The Indonesian part of Borneo is called Kalimantan (547,891 square kilometers). Farther east is the island of New Guinea. Its western half, Papua (421,981 square kilometers), belongs to Indonesia.
Two other significant island groups are Maluku (the Moluccas) in the northeast and Nusa Tenggara (Small Sunda Islands), which stretches as a pearl band of smaller islands from Bali to Timor. The western part of the island of Timor is Indonesian, while the eastern is the independent nation of East Timor.
|Cultivated land||31.2 %|
|Land area||1904569 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||0.92 ‰|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||53.7 %|
|Death rate||6.37 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||75.17 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||69.85 years|
|Birth rate||16.72 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||24.29 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||185300 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per inhabitant||861.1 kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||70400 million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||40 million tons|
|Internet users||16.7 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||126 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||60 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||5.5% of the workforce|
|GDP||11100 per resident|
|Primary occupations||38.3 %|
|Secondary profession||12.8 %|
|Tertiary professions||48.9 %|
Most of Indonesia rests on volcanic soil. Only in Java are there about 30 volcanoes, of which Merapi is among the most active. In total, Indonesia has about 400 volcanoes, of which about 100 are active. An eruption in Gunung Tambora claimed 92,000 lives in the early 19th century, and in 1883 the Krakatau volcano blasted an entire island between Java and Sumatra. A large number of earthquakes are recorded annually. In December 2004, the province of Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra was hit by the most powerful earthquake recorded in the world in over 40 years (9.3 on the Richter scale). At least 170,000 Acehs were killed in the giant tsunami wave that followed the quake.
Many of the Indonesian islands are characterized by high mountain ranges, such as Java, Papua and Sumatra. The most widespread lowlands, often marshes, are found on the east coast of Sumatra and along the southern coasts of Kalimantan and Papua. Despite extensive deforestation, much rain forest remains. It contains, among other things, orangutan (Sumatra, Kalimantan), elephant, nose monkey, Malay bear and rhino. In Papua, paradise birds and marsupials live, on Komodo and another island is the Komodo Waran, the world’s largest lizard that can grow three meters long. From central Java to Timor, savannahs dominate with eucalyptus trees, among others.
Indonesia has a tropical sea climate with high humidity. The warm sea water around the islands means that the daytime temperature is 24-31 degrees; however, it is cooler up in the mountains.
The rainfall varies considerably with the monsoon and local winds. Broadly speaking, it is the rainy season December – March and the dry season June – September. Normally, western and northern Indonesia get the most rain, around 2,000 mm per year. The city of Bogor in Java is said to hold the gloomy world record of 322 major storms a year. The islands closest to Australia tend to be drier than the other islands, with about 1,000 mm of rainfall per year.
FACTS – GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
1 904 569 km2 (2018) 1
Swedish + 6-8 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor
Capital with number of residents
Jakarta 10,500,000 (Sources: Allcitypopulation.com)
Other major cities
Surabaya 2 900 000, Bandung 2 500 000, Medan
2,300,000, Semarang 1,800,000, Palembang 1,700,000, Ujung Pandang (Makassar) 1,500,000 (UN estimate 2018)
Puncak Jaya (Papua, 5,030 m asl)
Kapuas and Mahakam (Kalimantan), Batang Hari and Musi (Sumatra), Mamberamo and Digul (Papua)
Danau Toba (Sumatra)
Average Precipitation / year
in the west and north about 2000 mm, eastern Java and Nusa Tenggara about 1,000 mm
Average / day
Jakarta about 27 °C all year
- The task applies to land area
2. In August 2019, the government proposed moving the capital to eastern Kalimantan on Borneo.Sources
Some 50 companies are punished for the smoke and fires
The government is punishing more than 50 Indonesian companies for their role in forest fires and smoke development during the summer and autumn. This applies mainly to companies that clear new land by burning woods and bush land and then growing palm trees or fast-growing forests for the production of palm oil and pulp, respectively. Companies get their licenses revoked. It is forbidden to clear more than two hectares of land in this way in Indonesia.
The President in bribe
Parliament Speaker Setya Novanto is forced to resign after it was revealed that he was trying to blackmail US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan on shares in the company. On a sound recording, Nivanto is heard saying that the mining company will continue to have the right to exploit the mines in Papua if President Widodo and Vice President Kalla receive shares in the company. Both Widodo and Kalla vigorously deny any involvement. Nivanto remains as a Member of Parliament.
Large costs for fires and smoke
After the monsoon rains began to fall, the costs of the summer and autumn forest fires and the extensive smoke development they brought are calculated. According to the World Bank, environmental and health effects have cost Indonesia $ 16 billion. This is more than twice the cost of rebuilding the Aceh province after the 2004 tsunami (it cost $ 7 billion). The fires destroyed 2.6 million hectares of forest and agricultural land between June and October. The cost corresponds to almost 2 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) for 2015.
The execution of death sentences is temporarily halted
The government is putting a temporary stop to executions of the sentenced. How long the so-called moratorium will last is not determined. The rationale is that Indonesia must concentrate on boosting economic growth. However, recent executions have received sharp criticism from Western countries and have affected Indonesia’s relations with them. The decision comes after trade negotiations with Australia.
Separatist leaders in Papua are released
Separatist leader Filep Karma is released after sitting in prison since 2004, when he was convicted of treason for raising the banned Papuan flag Morning Star.
The monsoon rain is delayed
The monsoon rains that usually start in October and that usually extinguish forest fires are delayed. The fires have been raging for months at this time.
A third stimulus package is presented
The third economic stimulus package is presented by the government. It is aimed more at the Indonesian population than previous packages. Price reductions on a number of fuels are included, as is government assistance to insure farmers against losses. The package also includes a startup grant for entrepreneurs.
High-speed trains are planned in Java
China and Indonesia enter into a $ 5.5 billion agreement to build a high-speed rail link between Jakarta and Bandung. The agreement is concluded between Chinese and Indonesian state companies. State-owned China Development Bank is responsible for 75 percent of the costs, while the Indonesian state does not have to pay anything. The railway line is part of President Widodo’s plans to carry out a total overhaul of the country’s infrastructure in order to attract more investors.
Reporters Without Borders criticizes Widodo
The Press Freedom Organization Reporters Without Borders reports in a report that Widodo’s first year as president is disappointing as he did not live up to the expectations of increased media and information freedom. Although the special permit previously required for journalists to visit Papua has been removed, media workers visiting the area are being monitored and they may also be harassed by the military and security forces.
Widodo visits the United States
President Widodo visits his colleague Barack Obama at the White House in the United States. He announces during the visit that Indonesia will sign the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) Free Trade Agreement. Other topics discussed are climate change, investment and security. Widodo is forced to shorten its US visit due to the severe smoke development from forest fires in Indonesia.
Widodo asks for help in fighting the smoke
Defense representatives hold crisis meeting with Singaporean colleagues to resolve the crisis with the huge smoke trend in the region. The US Space Agency Nasa warns that smoke development this time seems to be the worst so far. Air traffic is disrupted, schools are closed and tens of thousands of people in the region seek medical attention for respiratory problems. In the middle of the month, President Widodo is asking for international help to put out the fires. Singapore, Russia, Malaysia and Japan assist in the extinguishing work.
Severe consequences of the smoke from forest fires
Extensive forest fires on Sumatra and Kalimantan are again causing huge smoke development across several neighboring countries, creating environmental and health problems in the region. About 20 people in Indonesia are killed because of the smoke. An estimated 40 million people in six countries in Southeast Asia are at risk of health problems from smoking, which also accounts for 60 percent of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
A new stimulus package is presented
The second financial stimulus package is presented by the government at the end of the month. Among the measures can be mentioned that the time for a company to get a clear sign for an investment must be reduced significantly and that further tax cuts are made for investors.
Financial package of measures is presented
The Widodo government presents the first of three packages of economic measures aimed at reversing the country’s downward economic development. Growth has slowed down and the value of the rupiah is the lowest relative to the US dollar since the financial crisis of 1998. The package includes, among other things, reduced regulations for industry, such as reduced import duties, reduced bureaucracy and tax cuts for companies.
Application for re-entry into Opec
Indonesia formally applies for re-entry into the oil-producing countries’ organization Opec. The reason is that the country wants to buy oil cheaper as oil imports increase and own production decreases.
Continued conflicts within the government
Despite the government transformation, new reports of personal contradictions are coming within the government. Critics warn that Widodo’s promised economic recovery is at risk because of the political reasons.
The government is reformed after criticism
President Widodo reforms his government. Six ministers are replaced. The background to the government reform is growing criticism of Widodo’s way of managing the country’s stagnant economy, which has not been weaker since 2009. The president also receives criticism for the government’s work being disorganized and filled with internal contradictions. The transformation comes less than a year after Widodo’s entry into the presidential post.
Trade in focus when Cameron visits Indonesia
UK Prime Minister David Cameron visits Indonesia with a large trade delegation. He agrees with President Widodo to increase bilateral cooperation against the militant extremist group Islamic State (IS). Among other things, 50 Indonesian police officers will receive specialized training in the United Kingdom, and the British will help strengthen security at the international airports in Bali and Jakarta.
A doomed Frenchman may not seek mercy again
The Frenchman sentenced to death for serious drug crimes within the Bali Nine League and whose execution has been postponed for legal reasons (see April 2015) cannot be re-examined by President Widodo.
Foreign fishing boats are blown up
Indonesian authorities seize and detonate more than 40 foreign boats fishing illegally in Indonesian waters. The boats must have come from China, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. The blasts are part of Indonesia’s escalated fight against illegal fishing (see April 2015).
Regional meeting on the refugee crisis
Following international pressure from, among others, the UN, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand’s foreign ministers meet in Kuala Lumpur to try to do something about the refugee crisis in the region. Indonesia and Malaysia promise to provide 7,000 refugees with temporary protection, but demand that the international community take responsibility for the refugees being returned to their home countries within a year. Thailand refuses to sign the agreement. Myanmar (formerly Burma) has previously reluctantly agreed to try to help resolve the crisis.
The stream of boat refugees is increasing
The flow of boat refugees from Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Bangladesh via Thailand to Malaysia and Indonesia is increasing significantly after Thai authorities launched an offensive against human smugglers in the south. From a single boat, nearly 600 Rohingyos (Muslim minority mainly Myanmar and Bangladesh) are rescued on Aceh’s beaches and a further at least 400 Rohingyes arrive a day later in the Indonesian province. On one occasion, the Indonesian Navy chases away a boat with hundreds of refugees after providing the distressed with food and drink.
Requirements for entry permits to Papua are waived
President Widodo abolishes the entry permit requirement for journalists who want to visit Papua in the service. At the same time, he is freeing five Papuan political prisoners. Critics say the decisions are an attempt to alleviate criticism of the Jakarta government for the recent executions of eight recently convicted prisoners (see April 2015).
Eight death sentences are enforced
Eight of the ten convicted drug smugglers in the so-called Bali Nine League are being arched in a security prison on the island of Nusakambangan. Seven of the executed are foreigners, whose governments react sharply to the executions. Australia calls home its ambassador to Indonesia for consultations. Brazil says the executions will have consequences for bilateral relations. Nigeria, like UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, expresses deep disappointment that Indonesia executed the executions. A Filipino woman gets her execution postponed. A Frenchman gets his execution postponed for legal reasons.
Prohibition on alcohol sales in small shops
A new law is passed that prohibits the sale of alcohol in some 70,000 small shops around the country. The government justifies the decision that young people’s health must be protected. The tourism industry, especially in Bali, protests against the ban. Alcohol can still be sold in larger stores, in hotels and in restaurants. Two Islamic parties want to go even further and completely ban alcohol sales in the country.
Suspected slavery in the fishing industry is investigated
The government sets up a committee to investigate allegations of slavery in the fishing industry. Several fishermen have turned to the Ministry of Fisheries with information that the domestic company Pusaka Benjina Resources is engaged in human trafficking with more than 1,000 fishermen from other Southeast Asian countries and that these fishermen have been tortured and forced to work under slave-like conditions. The victims come from Myanmar (formerly Burma), Thailand, Laos and Cambodia and will be assisted to return home. The International Organization for Migration estimates that up to 4,000 fishermen have been stranded in eastern Indonesia after illegal fishing companies dumped them there. Pusaka Benjina Resources is suspected of acting as a shell company for Thai fishing companies.
Widodo visiting China
President Widodo travels to China’s capital Beijing, where he seeks to strengthen economic and trade contacts with China and tries to attract Chinese investment to Indonesia.
Widodo visits Japan
President Widodo visits Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. The two countries decide to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation, especially in the Navy. Japan promises to increase its financial support for the expansion of Indonesian ports and the country’s coastguard. Widodo says Indonesia is determined to continue its role as mediator in the conflict over the South China Sea.
Indonesia is firm in deciding executions
Despite protests from a number of countries, Indonesia refuses to change its decision to execute ten convicted prisoners, two of whom are Australians, one Filipino, one Frenchman, one Ghanaian, three Nigerians, one Brazilian and one Indonesian.
Direct mayoral elections are reintroduced
The new parliament votes to reinstate the direct elections of mayors and provincial governors abolished a few months earlier (see October 2014). The decision is seen as a success for PDI struggle and President Widodo.
Six prisoners are executed
Indonesia executes six convicted prisoners, including a Dutchman and a Brazilian, who have been convicted of drug smuggling and membership in the smuggler league Bali Nine. The Netherlands and Brazil call home their ambassadors in protest. Despite the appeals and condemnations from the prisoners’ homelands and relatives, President Widodo says that several executions of members of Bali Nine are waiting.