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Sovereign state in Southeast Asia situated on more than 17,000 islands

Top 10 Indonesia related articles

Coordinates: 5°S 120°E / 5°S 120°E / -5; 120

Republic of Indonesia

Republik Indonesia  (Indonesian)
Motto: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Old Javanese)
(English: "Unity in Diversity")
National ideology: Pancasila[1][2]
Anthem: "Indonesia Raya"
(English: "Great Indonesia")
and largest city
6°10′S 106°49′E / 6.167°S 106.817°E / -6.167; 106.817
Official language
and national language
Regional languages
Over 700 languages[3]
Ethnic groups
Over 300 ethnic groups[4]
GovernmentUnitary presidential constitutional republic
• President
Joko Widodo
Ma'ruf Amin
Puan Maharani
Muhammad Syarifuddin
LegislaturePeople's Consultative Assembly (MPR)
Regional Representative Council (DPD)
People's Representative Council (DPR)
2nd century
13th century
20 March 1602
1 January 1800
9 March 1942
17 August 1945
27 December 1949
• Unitary republic
17 August 1950
• Land
1,904,569[6] km2 (735,358 sq mi) (14th)
• 2018 estimate
• 2010 census
237,641,326[9] (4th)
• Density
138/km2 (357.4/sq mi) (88th)
GDP (PPP)2019 estimate
• Total
$3.740 trillion[10] (7th)
• Per capita
$14,840[10] (89th)
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
• Total
$1.200 trillion[10] (16th)
• Per capita
$4,460[10] (106th)
Gini (2018)  39.0[11]
HDI (2018)  0.707[12]
high · 111th
CurrencyIndonesian rupiah (Rp) (IDR)
Time zoneUTC+7 to +9 (various)
Date formatDD/MM/YYYY
Driving sideleft
Calling code+62
ISO 3166 codeID

Indonesia (/ˌɪndəˈnʒə/ ( listen) IN-də-NEE-zhə), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia [reˈpublik ɪndoˈnesia] ( listen)),[a] is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It consists of more than seventeen thousand islands, including Sumatra, Java, Borneo (Kalimantan), Sulawesi, and New Guinea (Papua). Indonesia is the world's largest island country and the 14th largest country by land area, at 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles). With over 267 million people, it is the world's 4th most populous country as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world's most populous island, is home to more than half of the country's population.

The sovereign state is a presidential, constitutional republic with an elected legislature. It has 34 provinces, of which five have special status. The country's capital, Jakarta, is the second-most populous urban area in the world. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the eastern part of Malaysia. Other neighbouring countries include Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support one of the world's highest levels of biodiversity.

The Indonesian archipelago has been a valuable region for trade since at least the 7th century when Srivijaya and later Majapahit traded with entities from mainland China and the Indian subcontinent. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign influences from the early centuries and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Sunni traders and Sufi scholars brought Islam, while Europeans introduced Christianity through colonisation. Although sometimes interrupted by the Portuguese, French and British, the Dutch were the foremost colonial power for much of their 350-year presence in the archipelago. The concept of "Indonesia" as a nation-state emerged in the early 20th century[13] and the country proclaimed its independence in 1945. However, it was not until 1949 that the Dutch recognised Indonesia's sovereignty following an armed and diplomatic conflict between the two.

Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups, with the largest one being the Javanese. A shared identity has developed with the motto "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. The economy of Indonesia is the world's 16th largest by nominal GDP and 7th by GDP at PPP. The country is a member of several multilateral organisations, including the United Nations, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, G20, and a founding member of Non-Aligned Movement, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, East Asia Summit, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Indonesia Intro articles: 118


The name Indonesia derives from Greek Indos (Ἰνδός) and the word nesos (νῆσος), meaning "Indian islands".[14] The name dates to the 18th century, far predating the formation of independent Indonesia.[15] In 1850, George Windsor Earl, an English ethnologist, proposed the terms Indunesians—and, his preference, Malayunesians—for the inhabitants of the "Indian Archipelago or Malayan Archipelago".[16] In the same publication, one of his students, James Richardson Logan, used Indonesia as a synonym for Indian Archipelago.[17][18] However, Dutch academics writing in East Indies publications were reluctant to use Indonesia; they preferred Malay Archipelago (Dutch: Maleische Archipel); the Netherlands East Indies (Nederlandsch Oost Indië), popularly Indië; the East (de Oost); and Insulinde.[19]

After 1900, Indonesia became more common in academic circles outside the Netherlands, and native nationalist groups adopted it for political expression.[19] Adolf Bastian, of the University of Berlin, popularised the name through his book Indonesien oder die Inseln des Malayischen Archipels, 1884–1894. The first native scholar to use the name was Ki Hajar Dewantara when in 1913 he established a press bureau in the Netherlands, Indonesisch Pers-bureau.[15]

Indonesia Etymology articles: 9


Early history

A Borobudur ship carved on Borobudur temple, c. 800 CE. Outrigger boats from the archipelago may have made trade voyages to the east coast of Africa as early as the 1st century CE.[20]

Fossilised remains of Homo erectus, popularly known as the "Java Man", suggest the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited two million to 500,000 years ago.[21][22][23] Homo sapiens reached the region around 43,000 BCE.[24] Austronesian peoples, who form the majority of the modern population, migrated to Southeast Asia from what is now Taiwan. They arrived in the archipelago around 2,000 BCE and confined the native Melanesian peoples to the far eastern regions as they spread east.[25] Ideal agricultural conditions and the mastering of wet-field rice cultivation as early as the eighth century BCE[26] allowed villages, towns, and small kingdoms to flourish by the first century CE. The archipelago's strategic sea-lane position fostered inter-island and international trade, including with Indian kingdoms and Chinese dynasties, from several centuries BCE.[27] Trade has since fundamentally shaped Indonesian history.[28][29]

From the seventh century CE, the Srivijaya naval kingdom flourished as a result of trade and the influences of Hinduism and Buddhism.[30] Between the eighth and tenth centuries CE, the agricultural Buddhist Sailendra and Hindu Mataram dynasties thrived and declined in inland Java, leaving grand religious monuments such as Sailendra's Borobudur and Mataram's Prambanan. The Hindu Majapahit kingdom was founded in eastern Java in the late 13th century, and under Gajah Mada, its influence stretched over much of present-day Indonesia. This period is often referred to as a "Golden Age" in Indonesian history.[31]

The earliest evidence of Islamized populations in the archipelago dates to the 13th century in northern Sumatra.[32] Other parts of the archipelago gradually adopted Islam, and it was the dominant religion in Java and Sumatra by the end of the 16th century. For the most part, Islam overlaid and mixed with existing cultural and religious influences, which shaped the predominant form of Islam in Indonesia, particularly in Java.[33]

Colonial era

The submission of Prince Diponegoro to General De Kock at the end of the Java War in 1830

The first Europeans arrived in the archipelago in 1512, when Portuguese traders, led by Francisco Serrão, sought to monopolise the sources of nutmeg, cloves, and cubeb pepper in the Maluku Islands.[34] Dutch and British traders followed. In 1602, the Dutch established the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and became the dominant European power for almost 200 years. The VOC was dissolved in 1800 following bankruptcy, and the Netherlands established the Dutch East Indies as a nationalised colony.[35]

For most of the colonial period, Dutch control over the archipelago was tenuous. Dutch forces were engaged continuously in quelling rebellions both on and off Java. The influence of local leaders such as Prince Diponegoro in central Java, Imam Bonjol in central Sumatra, Pattimura in Maluku, and bloody 30-year war in Aceh weakened the Dutch and tied up the colonial military forces.[36][37][38] Only in the early 20th century did their dominance extend to what was to become Indonesia's current boundaries.[39][40][41][42]

The Japanese invasion and subsequent occupation during World War II ended Dutch rule[43][44] and encouraged the previously suppressed independence movement. Two days after the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta, influential nationalist leaders, proclaimed Indonesian independence and were appointed president and vice-president respectively.[45] The Netherlands attempted to re-establish their rule, and a bitter armed and diplomatic struggle ended in December 1949 when the Dutch formally recognised Indonesian independence in the face of international pressure.[46][47] Despite extraordinary political, social and sectarian divisions, Indonesians, on the whole, found unity in their fight for independence.[48][49]

Modern era

Sukarno (left) and Hatta (right), Indonesia's founding fathers and the first President and Vice President

As president, Sukarno moved Indonesia from democracy towards authoritarianism and maintained power by balancing the opposing forces of the military, political Islam, and the increasingly powerful Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI).[50] Tensions between the military and the PKI culminated in an attempted coup in 1965. The army, led by Major General Suharto, countered by instigating a violent anti-communist purge that killed between 500,000 and one million people.[51] The PKI was blamed for the coup and effectively destroyed.[52][53][54] Suharto capitalised on Sukarno's weakened position, and following a drawn-out power play with Sukarno, Suharto was appointed president in March 1968. His "New Order" administration,[55] supported by the United States,[56][57][58] encouraged foreign direct investment,[59][60] which was a crucial factor in the subsequent three decades of substantial economic growth.

Indonesia was the country hardest hit by the 1997 Asian financial crisis.[61] It brought out popular discontent with the New Order's corruption and suppression of political opposition and ultimately ended Suharto's presidency.[62][63][64][65] In 1999, East Timor seceded from Indonesia, following its 1975 invasion by Indonesia[66] and a 25-year occupation that was marked by international condemnation of human rights abuses.[67]

In the post-Suharto era, democratic processes have been strengthened by enhancing regional autonomy and instituting the country's first direct presidential election in 2004.[68] Political, economic and social instability, corruption, and terrorism remained problems in the 2000s; however, in recent years, the economy has performed strongly. Although relations among the diverse population are mostly harmonious, acute sectarian discontent and violence remain a problem in some areas.[69] A political settlement to an armed separatist conflict in Aceh was achieved in 2005 following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that killed 130,000 Indonesians.[70] In 2014, Joko Widodo became the first directly elected president from outside the military and political elite.[71]

Indonesia History articles: 48


Mount Semeru and Mount Bromo in East Java. Indonesia's seismic and volcanic activity is among the world's highest.

Indonesia lies between latitudes 11°S and 6°N, and longitudes 95°E and 141°E. It is the largest archipelagic country in the world, extending 5,120 kilometres (3,181 mi) from east to west and 1,760 kilometres (1,094 mi) from north to south.[72] According to the country's Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investments Affairs, Indonesia has 17,504 islands (16,056 of which are registered at the UN),[73] scattered over both sides of the equator, around 6,000 of which are inhabited.[74] The largest are Java, Sumatra, Borneo (shared with Brunei and Malaysia), Sulawesi, and New Guinea (shared with Papua New Guinea). Indonesia shares land borders with Malaysia on Borneo, Papua New Guinea on the island of New Guinea, and East Timor on the island of Timor, and maritime borders with Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Palau, and Australia.

At 4,884 metres (16,024 ft), Puncak Jaya is Indonesia's highest peak, and Lake Toba in Sumatra is the largest lake, with an area of 1,145 km2 (442 sq mi). Indonesia's largest rivers are in Kalimantan and New Guinea and include Kapuas, Barito, Mamberamo, Sepik and Mahakam. They serve as communication and transport links between the island's river settlements.[75]


Typical Indonesian rainforest, mostly found in Kalimantan and Sumatra

Indonesia lies along the equator, and its climate tends to be relatively even year-round.[76] Indonesia has two seasons—a wet season and a dry season—with no extremes of summer or winter.[77] For most of Indonesia, the dry season falls between May and October with the wet season between November and April.[77] Indonesia's climate is almost entirely tropical, dominated by the tropical rainforest climate found in every large island of Indonesia. More cooling climate types do exist in mountainous regions that are 1,300 to 1,500 metres (4,300 to 4,900 feet) above sea level. The oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb) prevails in highland areas adjacent to rainforest climates, with reasonably uniform precipitation year-round. In highland areas near the tropical monsoon and tropical savanna climates, the subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cwb) is prevalent with a more pronounced dry season.

Some regions, such as Kalimantan and Sumatra, experience only slight differences in rainfall and temperature between the seasons, whereas others, such as Nusa Tenggara, experience far more pronounced differences with droughts in the dry season, and floods in the wet. Rainfall varies across regions, with more in western Sumatra, Java, and the interiors of Kalimantan and Papua, and less in areas closer to Australia, such as Nusa Tenggara, which tend to be dry. The almost uniformly warm waters that constitute 81% of Indonesia's area ensure that temperatures on land remain relatively constant. Humidity is quite high, at between 70 and 90%. Winds are moderate and generally predictable, with monsoons usually blowing in from the south and east in June through October, and from the northwest in November through March. Typhoons and large-scale storms pose little hazard to mariners; significant dangers come from swift currents in channels, such as the Lombok and Sape straits.


Major volcanoes in Indonesia. Indonesia is in the Pacific Ring of Fire area.

Tectonically, Indonesia is highly unstable, making it a site of numerous volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.[79] It lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire where the Indo-Australian Plate and the Pacific Plate are pushed under the Eurasian plate where they melt at about 100 kilometres (62 miles) deep. A string of volcanoes runs through Sumatra, Java, Bali and Nusa Tenggara, and then to the Banda Islands of Maluku to northeastern Sulawesi.[80] Of the 400 volcanoes, around 130 are active.[79] Between 1972 and 1991, there were 29 volcanic eruptions, mostly on Java.[81] Volcanic ash has made agricultural conditions unpredictable in some areas.[82] However, it has also resulted in fertile soils, a factor in historically sustaining high population densities of Java and Bali.[83]

A massive supervolcano erupted at present-day Lake Toba around 70,000 BCE. It is believed to have caused a global volcanic winter and cooling of the climate, and subsequently led to a genetic bottleneck in human evolution, though this is still in debate.[84] The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora and the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa were among the largest in recorded history. The former caused 92,000 deaths and created an umbrella of volcanic ash which spread and blanketed parts of the archipelago, and made much of Northern Hemisphere without summer in 1816.[85] The latter produced the loudest sound in recorded history and caused 36,000 deaths due to the eruption itself and the resulting tsunamis, with significant additional effects around the world years after the event.[86] Recent catastrophic disasters due to seismic activity include the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake.


Species endemic to Indonesia. Clockwise from top: Rafflesia arnoldii, orangutan, greater bird-of-paradise, and Komodo dragon.

Indonesia's size, tropical climate, and archipelagic geography support one of the world's highest levels of biodiversity.[87] Its flora and fauna is a mixture of Asian and Australasian species.[88] The islands of the Sunda Shelf (Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and Bali) were once linked to mainland Asia, and have a wealth of Asian fauna. Large species such as the Sumatran tiger, rhinoceros, orangutan, Asian elephant, and leopard were once abundant as far east as Bali, but numbers and distribution have dwindled drastically. Having been long separated from the continental landmasses, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, and Maluku have developed their unique flora and fauna.[89] Papua was part of the Australian landmass and is home to a unique fauna and flora closely related to that of Australia, including over 600 bird species.[90] Forests cover approximately 70% of the country.[91] However, the forests of the smaller, and more densely populated Java, have largely been removed for human habitation and agriculture.

Indonesia is second only to Australia in terms of total endemic species, with 36% of its 1,531 species of bird and 39% of its 515 species of mammal being endemic.[92] Tropical seas surround Indonesia's 80,000 kilometres (50,000 miles) of coastline. The country has a range of sea and coastal ecosystems, including beaches, dunes, estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds, coastal mudflats, tidal flats, algal beds, and small island ecosystems.[14] Indonesia is one of Coral Triangle countries with the world's most enormous diversity of coral reef fish with more than 1,650 species in eastern Indonesia only.[93]

British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace described a dividing line (Wallace Line) between the distribution of Indonesia's Asian and Australasian species.[94] It runs roughly north–south along the edge of the Sunda Shelf, between Kalimantan and Sulawesi, and along the deep Lombok Strait, between Lombok and Bali. Flora and fauna on the west of the line are generally Asian, while east from Lombok they are increasingly Australian until the tipping point at the Weber Line. In his 1869 book, The Malay Archipelago, Wallace described numerous species unique to the area.[95] The region of islands between his line and New Guinea is now termed Wallacea.[94]


Deforestation in Riau, Sumatra, to make way for an oil palm plantation

Indonesia's large and growing population and rapid industrialisation present serious environmental issues. They are often given a lower priority due to high poverty levels and weak, under-resourced governance.[96] Problems include the destruction of peatlands, large-scale illegal deforestation—and the resulting Southeast Asian haze—over-exploitation of marine resources, air pollution, garbage management, and reliable water and wastewater services.[96] These issues contribute to Indonesia's poor ranking (number 116 out of 180 countries) in the 2020 Environmental Performance Index. The report also indicates that Indonesia's performance is generally below average in both regional and global context.[97]

Expansion of the palm oil industry requiring significant changes to the natural ecosystems is the one primary factor behind much of Indonesia's deforestation.[98] While it can generate wealth for local communities, it may degrade ecosystems and cause social problems.[99] This situation makes Indonesia the world's largest forest-based emitter of greenhouse gases.[100] It also threatens the survival of indigenous and endemic species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) identified 140 species of mammals as threatened, and 15 as critically endangered, including the Bali starling,[101] Sumatran orangutan,[102] and Javan rhinoceros.[103]

Several studies consider Indonesia to be at severe risk from the projected effects of climate change.[104] They predict that unreduced emissions would see an average temperature rise of around 1 °C (2 °F) by mid-century,[105][106] amounting to almost double the frequency of scorching days (above 35 °C or 95 °F) per year by 2030. That figure is predicted to rise further by the end of the century.[105] It would raise the frequency of drought and food shortages, having an impact on precipitation and the patterns of wet and dry seasons, the basis of Indonesia's agricultural system.[106] It would also encourage diseases and increases in wildfires, which threaten the country's enormous rainforest.[106] Rising sea levels, at current rates, would result in tens of millions of households being at risk of submersion by mid-century.[107] A majority of Indonesia's population lives in low-lying coastal areas,[106] including the capital Jakarta, the fastest-sinking city in the world.[108] Impoverished communities would likely be affected the most by climate change.[109]

Indonesia Geography articles: 79