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About Indonesia


The Republic of Indonesia comprises the world's largest archipelago, spanning 3,200 miles from east to west along the Equator-roughly equivalent to the expanse of United State from coast to coast-and 1,100 miles from north to south. Indonesia's 13,667 islands are nestled between two continents, Asia and Australia, and two oceans, the Indian and the Pacific.

Main Islands: Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Bali, Kalimantan, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, and Irian Jaya (the western part of New Guinea).

Area: Indonesia's land are totals 782,665 square-miles and its sea territory 1,222,466 square-miles. Indonesia shares land border with Malaysia, Brunei Darusalam and Papua New Guinea and sea border with Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia.

Major Cities: Jakarta (the capital; 1990 Census population: 8.2 million), Surabaya (2.5 million), Bandung (2.0 million), Medan (1.7 million), Semarang (1.2 million).

Climate: Equatorial, but cooler in the highlands. Temperatures generally range from 68 to 89 degrees. Humidity ranges from 60 to 90 percent. Indonesia's "wet season" lasts from November through April and its "dry season" from May through October, with slight variations in its regional sub-climatic zones.


Population: With 179 million inhabitants in 1990, Indonesia is ranked the world's fourth most populous nation after China, India and Pakistan.

Annual Growth Rate: 1.97 percent from 1980 to 1990.

Language and Ethnicity: While largely of Malay stock, the inhabitants of the Indonesia archipelago constitute a rich array of some 300 distinct cultures, each with its own individual language or dialect. Virtually all Indonesians are united by a common national language, Bahasa Indonesia.

Religion: A full 85 percent of Indonesians subscribe to the Islamic faith, ten percent to Christianity, two percent to Hinduism, and three percent to either Buddhism or animism.

Education: Ninety percent of Indonesians attend primary schools, and 86.3 percent are literate. There are 49 state universities and over 200 private universities.

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Last updated, March 10, 2000

Transfered to hypertext by Liono Setiowijoso.

Portland, Oregon. August 1994.