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Flag of Indonesia
National Emblem of Indonesia
National Emblem
Motto: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika  
Unity in Diversity

National ideology: Pancasila[1][2]:117
Indonesia (orthographic projection).svg
and largest city
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Official languagesIndonesian (national and official language)
Recognized languagesOver 700 native languages and international languages (English, Arabic, etc.)
Ethnic groups
Javanese 40.6%
Sundanese 15%
Madurese 3.3%
Minangkabau 2.7%
Betawi 2.4%
Bugis 2.4%
Banten 2%
Banjar 1.7%
other 29.9%
GovernmentUnitary presidential constitutional republic
• President
Joko Widodo
Ma'ruf Amin
Puan Maharani
Muhammad Syarifuddin
LegislaturePeople's Consultative Assembly
Regional Representative Council
People's Representative Council
from the Netherlands
• Land
1,919,440 km2 (741,100 sq mi) (15th)
• 2011 estimate
237,424,363 (4th)
• 2011 census
• Density
123.76/km2 (320.5/sq mi) (84th)
GDP (PPP)2011 estimate
• Total
$1.126 trillion[3] (15th)
• Per capita
$4,744[3] (122nd)
GDP (nominal)2011 estimate
• Total
$834.331 billion[3] (17th)
• Per capita
$3,514[3] (107th)
Gini (1999)36.8
HDI (2011)Increase 0.617[4]
medium · 124th
CurrencyRupiah (IDR)
Time zoneUTC+7 to +9 (various)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+62
ISO 3166 codeID

Indonesia, (/ˌɪndəˈnʒə, -ziə, -ʃə/)[5][6] officially the Republic of Indonesia, (Template:Lang-id; Republik Indonesia; Nusantara) is a nation in Southeast Asia and Oceania. As the biggest archipelago country in the world, Indonesia has 18,108 islands. The most important islands of Indonesia are Java, Bali, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Sumatra. The capital of Indonesia is Jakarta, on the island of Java, but there are plans to change it to Nusantara.[7] The current president is Joko Widodo. Modern Indonesia began on the 17th of August 1945. At 10 o'clock on that Friday morning, Sukarno read Indonesia's Declaration of Independence. Indonesia's Independence Day is a national holiday.

Indonesia is the fourth most populated country in the world with 238,452,952 people (2004 est.).[8] Half of the population lives in Java, There are 111 people per km2. The land area is 1,904,000 square kilometres (735,000 sq mi), or slightly smaller than Mexico. The official national language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, but 749 native languages are also spoken in different parts of Indonesia, and widely native languages spoken in Indonesia include Javanese, Balinese, and Sundanese. Indonesia's neighbors are Australia to the south, Singapore to the northwest, and Philippines to the northeast. Other nearby countries are Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, and East Timor which share land borders with Indonesia.

Indonesia has the most active volcanoes of any country in the world. It is also close to fault lines so there are many earthquakes and tsunamis.

Most people in Indonesia follow Islam, but Indonesia is not an Islamic country by law. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population on earth. Other religions Indonesians follow include Christianity (Protestanism and Catholicism), Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.


Pre World War II

Indonesia has a written history as far back as the 7th century and a much longer oral history. Before the colonial Dutch came in the 1596, much of what is now Indonesia was many different kingdoms. Often they were fighting each other.

Indonesia was colonized by the Netherlands in the 17th century and renamed the Dutch East Indies. During this time, the Dutch captured thousands of Malagasy people from Madagascar and forced them to work on pepper plantations in their colonies as slaves.[9] The Dutch treated the islands like their property until World War II.

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 Sukarno in Jakarta. Sukarno 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 were 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 civilians, Indonesians, Europeans and Chinese, had died; perhaps as many as 200,000.


Provinces of Indonesia

Indonesia has 34 provinces. Five of them have special status. Each province has its own 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

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.



  1. "Pancasila". Indonesia (Country Studies ed.). US Library of Congress.
  2. Vickers, Adrian (2005). A History of Modern Indonesia. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-54262-6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Indonesia". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  4. "Human Development Report 2011". 2011. Archived from the original on 5 November 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  6. Template:MerriamWebsterDictionary
  7. "Indonesia names new capital Nusantara, replacing sinking Jakarta". The Guardian. 2022-01-17. Retrieved 2022-01-17.
  8. "Total population in Indonesia 2010-2030 based on study of BPS". Statista website. Retrieved 25 Feb 2022.
  9. Wilson-Fall, Wendy. Memories of Madagascar (Speech). HU Palaver Series. Washington, D.C.