Indonesia (GPS: 5 00 S, 120 00 E) located in Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The country’s area measurements are total: 1,904,569 sq km; land: 1,811,569 sq km, water: 93,000 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly less than three times the size of Texas. The total irrigated land is 67,220 sq km (2012).
One of Indonesia’s essential features: According to Indonesia’s National Coordinating Agency for Survey and Mapping, the total number of islands in the archipelago is 13,466, of which 922 are permanently inhabited (Indonesia is the world’s largest country comprised solely of islands). The country straddles the equator and occupies a strategic location astride or along major sea lanes from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Indonesia is one of the countries along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean. Up to 90% of the world’s earthquakes and some 75% of the world’s volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire. Despite having the fourth largest population in the world, Indonesia is the most heavily forested region on earth after the Amazon.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Jakarta’s GPS coordinates are 6 10 S 106 49 E. Jakarta’s local time is 12 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+7, note; Indonesia has three time zones.
The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; Japan occupied the islands from 1942 to 1945. Indonesia declared its independence shortly before Japan’s surrender, but it required four years of sometimes brutal fighting, intermittent negotiations, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to transfer sovereignty in 1949. A period of sometimes unruly parliamentary democracy ended in 1957 when President SOEKARNO declared martial law and instituted “Guided Democracy.” After an abortive coup in 1965 by alleged communist sympathizers, SOEKARNO was gradually eased from power. From 1967 until 1998, President SUHARTO ruled Indonesia with his “New Order” government.
After street protests toppled SUHARTO in 1998, free and fair legislative elections took place in 1999. Indonesia is now the world’s third most populous democracy, the world’s largest archipelagic state, and the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation. Current issues include: alleviating poverty, improving education, preventing terrorism, consolidating democracy after four decades of authoritarianism, implementing economic and financial reforms, stemming corruption, reforming the criminal justice system, addressing climate change, and controlling infectious diseases, particularly those of global and regional importance. In 2005, Indonesia reached a historic peace agreement with armed separatists in Aceh, which led to democratic elections in Aceh in December 2006. Indonesia continues to face low-intensity armed resistance in Papua by the separatist Free Papua Movement.
Indonesia’s names conventional long form: Republic of Indonesia, traditional short form: Indonesia, local long form: Republik Indonesia, local short form: Indonesia, former: Netherlands East Indies, Dutch East Indies, etymology: the name is an 18th-century construct of two Greek words, “Indos” (India) and “nesoi” (islands), meaning “Indian islands.” The name is an 18th-century construct of two Greek words, “Indos” (India) and “nesoi” (islands), meaning “Indian islands.”
Indonesia’s terrain is typically mostly coastal lowlands; larger islands have interior mountains. The country’s mean elevation: 367 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m, highest point: Puncak Jaya 4,884 m.
The general climate in the country; tropical: hot, humid: more moderate in highlands.
The total number of border countries is 3, Timor-Leste 253 km, Malaysia 1,881 km, Papua New Guinea 824 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Indonesia’s coastline is 54,716 km, while its marital claims are: measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles. Waterways: 21,579 km (2011). Land use: agricultural land: 31.2%; arable land 13%; permanent crops 12.1%; permanent pasture 6.1%; forest: 51.7%; other: 17.1% (2011 estimate).
The population in Indonesia 262,787,403 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 53.7% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: JAKARTA (capital) 10.323 million; Surabaya 2.853 million; Bandung 2.544 million; Medan 2.204 million; Semarang 1.63 million; Makassar 1.489 million (2015), while Indonesia has N/A. Their spoken languages are Bahasa Indonesia (official language, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects (of which the most widely spoken is Javanese). Note: more than 700 languages are used in Indonesia. Main religions in Indonesia are Muslim 87.2%, Christian 7%, Roman Catholic 2.9%, Hindu 1.7%, other 0.9% (includes Buddhist and Confucian), unspecified 0.4% (2010 estimate). The nation uses civil law system based on the Roman-Dutch model and influenced by customary law. It is a(n) presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 17 August (1945).
Economic overview for the country: Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, has seen a slowdown in growth since 2012, mostly due to the commodities export boom. During the global financial crisis, Indonesia outperformed its regional neighbors and joined China and India as the only G20 members posting growth. Indonesia’s annual budget deficit is capped at 3% of GDP, and the Government of Indonesia lowered its debt-to-GDP ratio from a peak of 100% shortly after the Asian financial crisis in 1999 to 34% today. In May 2017, Standard & Poor’s became the last major rating agency to upgrade Indonesia’s sovereign credit rating to investment grade.
Poverty and unemployment, inadequate infrastructure, corruption, a complex regulatory environment, and unequal resource distribution among its regions are still part of Indonesia’s economic landscape. President Joko WIDODO – elected in July 2014, seeks to develop Indonesia’s marine resources and pursue other infrastructure development, including significantly increasing its electrical power generation capacity. Fuel subsidies were significantly reduced in early 2015, which has helped the government redirect its spending to development priorities. With the nine other ASEAN members, Indonesia will continue to move towards participation in the ASEAN Economic Community, though full implementation of economic integration has not yet materialized.
Natural resources of Indonesia: petroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, fertile soils, coal, gold, silver.
Main export partners for Indonesia, Southeast Asia are Japan 12%, US 10.8%, China 10%, Singapore 8.4%, India 7.8%, South Korea 5.1%, Malaysia 5.1% (2015) for mineral fuels, animal or vegetable fats (includes palm oil), electrical machinery, rubber, machinery, and mechanical appliance parts, while the main import partners for the country are: China 20.6%, Singapore 12.6%, Japan 9.3%, Malaysia 6%, South Korea 5.9%, Thailand 5.7%, US 5.3% (2015) for mineral fuels, boilers, machinery, and mechanical parts, electric machinery, iron and steel, foodstuffs.
When you visit this country in Southeast Asia, consider the natural hazards in Indonesia: Occasional floods, severe droughts, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, forest fires, volcanism: Indonesia contains the most volcanoes of any country in the world – some 76 are historically active, significant volcanic activity occurs on Java, Sumatra, the Sunda Islands, Halmahera Island, Sulawesi Island, Sangihe Island, and in the Banda Sea, Merapi (elevation 2,968 m), Indonesia’s most active volcano and in eruption since 2010, has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations, other notable historically active volcanoes include Agung, Awu, Karangetang, Krakatau (Krakatoa), Makian, Raung, and Tambora, while infectious diseases are degree of risk: very high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2016). Also, note that Indonesia faces the following environmental issues: Large-scale deforestation (much of it illegal) and related wildfires cause heavy smog, Over-exploitation of marine resources, environmental problems associated with rapid urbanization and economic development, including air pollution, traffic congestion, garbage management, and reliable water and wastewater services, water pollution from industrial wastes, sewage.
You may also be interested in Indonesia’s surrounding countries around its total 2,958 km border, like Timor-Leste, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea.