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Indonesia Hotels Comparison & Online Booking

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What's important: you can compare and book not only Indonesia hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels in Indonesia. If you're going to Indonesia save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel in Indonesia online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to Indonesia, and rent a car in Indonesia right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the Indonesia related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.

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In order to book an accommodation in Indonesia enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Indonesia hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Indonesia map to estimate the distance from the main Indonesia attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Indonesia hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search in Indonesia is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Indonesia is waiting for you!

Hotels of Indonesia

A hotel in Indonesia is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Indonesia hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Indonesia are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Indonesia hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Indonesia hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Indonesia have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Indonesia
An upscale full service hotel facility in Indonesia that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Indonesia hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Indonesia
Full service Indonesia hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Indonesia
Boutique hotels of Indonesia are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Indonesia boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Indonesia may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Indonesia
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Indonesia travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Indonesia focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Indonesia
Small to medium-sized Indonesia hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Indonesia traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Indonesia hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Indonesia
A bed and breakfast in Indonesia is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Indonesia bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Indonesia B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Indonesia
Indonesia hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Indonesia hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Indonesia
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Indonesia hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Indonesia lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Indonesia
Indonesia timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Indonesia often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Indonesia on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Indonesia
A Indonesia motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Indonesia for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Indonesia motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Indonesia

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Republic of Indonesia
Republik Indonesia (Indonesian)
Flag of Indonesia
National emblem of Indonesia
Flag National emblem
Motto: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Old Javanese)
"Unity in Diversity"
National ideology: Pancasila
Anthem: Indonesia Raya
"Great Indonesia"

Location of Indonesia
Capital
and largest city
Jakarta
 / -6.1750; 106.8283
Official languages Indonesian
Spoken languages
  • Indonesian
  • Javanese
  • Malay
  • Slang
  • English
  • 700 others
Religion
  • 87.2% Islam
  • 9.9% Christianity
  • 1.7% Hinduism
  • 0.7% Buddhism
  • 0.2% Confucianism
    and others
Demonym Indonesian
Government Unitary presidential constitutional republic
• President
Joko Widodo
• Vice-President
Jusuf Kalla
• Speaker of the Regional Representative Council
Oesman Sapta Odang
• Speaker of the People's Representative Council
Setya Novanto
• Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Muhammad Hatta Ali
• Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court
Arief Hidayat
Legislature People's Consultative Assembly
• Upper house
Regional Representative Council
• Lower house
People's Representative Council
Formation
• Early Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms
2nd century
• Islamic sultanates
12th century
• Christian kingdom (id)
16th century
• Dutch East India Company
20 March 1602
• Dutch East Indies
1 January 1800
• Japanese occupation
9 March 1942
• Independence declared from the Netherlands
17 August 1945
• United States of Indonesia (USI)
27 December 1949
• USI dissolved
17 August 1950
Area
• Land
1,904,569 km (735,358 sq mi) (14th)
• Water (%)
4.85
Population
• 2017 estimate
263.51 million
• 2010 census
237.42 million (4th)
• Density
124.66/km (322.9/sq mi) (84th)
GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate
• Total
$3.257 trillion (7th)
• Per capita
$12,432 (96th)
GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate
• Total
$1.020 trillion (16th)
• Per capita
$3,895 (114th)
Gini (2016) 39.0
medium
HDI (2015) Increase 0.689
medium · 113th
Currency Indonesian rupiah (Rp) (IDR)
Time zone various (UTC+7 to +9)
Date format DD/MM/YYYY
Drives on the left
Calling code +62
ISO 3166 code ID
Internet TLD .id
Website
indonesia.go.id

Indonesia (Listen/ˌɪndəˈnʒə/ IN-də-NEE-zhə or /ˌɪndˈnziə/ IN-doh-NEE-zee-ə; Indonesian: [ɪndonesia]), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia [rɛpublik ɪndonesia]), is a unitary sovereign state and transcontinental country located mainly in Southeast Asia with some territories in Oceania. Situated between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is the world's largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands. At 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles), Indonesia is the world's 14th-largest country in terms of land area and world's 7th-largest country in terms of combined sea and land area. It has an estimated population of over 260 million people and is the world's fourth most populous country, the most populous Austronesian nation, as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. The world's most populous island, Java, contains more than half of the country's population.

Indonesia's republican form of government includes an elected legislature and president. Indonesia has 34 provinces, of which five have Special Administrative status. Its capital and country's most populous city is Jakarta, which is also the most populous city in Southeast Asia and the second in Asia. 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 the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's second highest level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources like oil and natural gas, tin, copper and gold. Agriculture mainly produces rice, palm oil, tea, coffee, cacao, medicinal plants, spices and rubber. Indonesia's major trading partners are Japan, United States, China and the surrounding countries of Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

The Indonesian archipelago has been an important region for trade since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders and Sufi scholars brought the now-dominant Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolise trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism starting from Amboina and Batavia, and eventually all of the archipelago including Timor and Western New Guinea, at times interrupted by Portuguese, French and British rule, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II.

Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups, with the largest-and politically dominant-ethnic group being the Javanese. The population is unevenly spread throughout the islands within a variety of habitats and levels of development, ranging from the megalopolis of Jakarta to uncontacted tribes in the east. A shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Indonesia's economy is the world's 16th largest by nominal GDP and the 7th largest by GDP at PPP, the largest in Southeast Asia, and is considered an emerging market and newly industrialised country. Indonesia has been a member of the United Nations since 1950. Indonesia was an organizer of the Bandung Conference and was the founder of Non-Aligned Movement; and also the founding member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, East Asia Summit, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Indonesia is a member of the G20 major economies and World Trade Organization.

Indonesia: Etymology

The name Indonesia derives from the Greek name of the Indós (Ἰνδός) and the word nèsos (νῆσος), meaning "Indian islands". The name dates to the 18th century, far predating the formation of independent Indonesia. 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". In the same publication, one of his students, James Richardson Logan, used Indonesia as a synonym for Indian Archipelago. However, Dutch academics writing in East Indies publications were reluctant to use Indonesia; they preferred Malay Archipelago (Maleische Archipel); the Netherlands East Indies (Nederlandsch Oost Indië), popularly Indië; the East (de Oost); and Insulinde.

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

Indonesia: History

Indonesia: Early history

A Borobudur ship carved on Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist temple, c. 800 CE. Indonesian outrigger boats may have made trade voyages to the east coast of Africa as early as the 1st century CE.

Fossils and the remains of tools show that the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited by Homo erectus, known as "Java Man", between 1.5 million years ago and 35,000 years ago. Homo sapiens reached the region by around 45,000 years ago. Austronesian peoples, who form the majority of the modern population, migrated to Southeast Asia from Taiwan. They arrived in Indonesia around 2000 BCE, and as they spread through the archipelago, confined the indigenous Melanesian peoples to the far eastern regions.

Ideal agricultural conditions and the mastering of wet-field rice cultivation as early as the 8th century BCE, allowed villages, towns, and small kingdoms to flourish by the 1st century CE. Indonesia's strategic sea-lane position fostered inter-island and international trade, including links with Indian kingdoms and China, which were established several centuries BCE. Trade has since fundamentally shaped Indonesian history.

From the 7th century CE, the powerful Srivijaya naval kingdom flourished as a result of trade and the influences of Hinduism and Buddhism that were imported with it. Between the eighth and 10th centuries CE, the agricultural Buddhist Sailendra and Hindu Mataram dynasties thrived and declined in inland Java, leaving grand religious monuments such as Borobudur, Sewu and Prambanan. This period marked a renaissance of Hindu-Buddhist art in ancient Java.

Around the first quarter of the 10th century, the centre of the kingdom was shifted from Mataram area in Central Java to Brantas River valley in East Java by Mpu Sindok, who established the Isyana Dynasty. Subsequently, series of Javanese Hindu-Buddhist polities rise and fall, from Kahuripan kingdom ruled by Airlangga to Kadiri and Singhasari. In West Java, Sunda Kingdom was re-established circa 1030 according to Sanghyang Tapak inscription. In Bali, the Warmadewas established their rule on the Kingdom of Bali in the 10th century. The Hindu Majapahit kingdom was founded in eastern Java in the late 13th century, and under Gajah Mada, its influence stretched over much of Indonesia.

Indonesia: Colonial era

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

Although Muslim traders first travelled through Southeast Asia early in the Islamic era, the earliest evidence of Islamised populations in Indonesia dates to the 13th century in northern Sumatra. Other Indonesian areas 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.

The first regular contact between Europeans and the peoples of Indonesia began in 1512, when Portuguese traders, led by Francisco Serrão, sought to monopolise the sources of nutmeg, cloves, and cubeb pepper in Maluku. Dutch and British traders followed. In 1602, the Dutch established the Dutch East India Company (VOC), and in following decades, the Dutch gained foothold in Batavia and Amboina. Throughout 17th and 18th centuries, the company became the dominant European power in the archipelago.

Following bankruptcy, the VOC was formally dissolved in 1800, and the government of the Netherlands established the Dutch East Indies as a nationalised colony. For most of the colonial period, Dutch control over the archipelago was tenuous outside of coastal strongholds; only in the early 20th century did Dutch dominance extend to what was to become Indonesia's current boundaries. Japanese occupation during World War II ended Dutch rule, and encouraged the previously suppressed Indonesian independence movement. Despite major internal political, social and sectarian divisions during the National Revolution, Indonesians, on the whole, found unity in their fight for independence.

Indonesia: Modern era

Sukarno, the founding father and first President of Indonesia

A UN report stated that four million people died in Indonesia as a result of famine and forced labour during the Japanese occupation. Two days after the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Sukarno, an influential nationalist leader, declared independence and was appointed president. The Netherlands tried to reestablish their rule, and an armed and diplomatic struggle ended in December 1949, when in the face of international pressure, the Dutch formally recognised Indonesian independence (with the exception of the Dutch territory of West New Guinea, which was incorporated into Indonesia following the 1962 New York Agreement, and the UN-mandated Act of Free Choice of 1969).

Sukarno moved Indonesia from democracy towards authoritarianism, and maintained his power base by balancing the opposing forces of the military and the Communist Party of Indonesia (Partai Komunis Indonesia, PKI). An attempted coup on 30 September 1965 was countered by the army, which led a violent anti-communist purge, during which the PKI was blamed for the coup and effectively destroyed. Large-scale killings took place which targeted communists, ethnic Chinese and alleged leftists. The most widely accepted estimates are that between 500,000 and one million people were killed, with some estimates as high as two to three million.

The head of the military, General Suharto, outmaneuvered the politically weakened Sukarno and was formally appointed president in March 1968. His New Order administration was supported by the US government, and encouraged foreign direct investment in Indonesia, which was a major factor in the subsequent three decades of substantial economic growth. However, the authoritarian "New Order" was widely accused of corruption and suppression of political opposition.

Indonesia was the country hardest hit by the late 1990s Asian financial crisis. This increased popular discontent with the New Order and led to popular protest across the country. Suharto resigned on 21 May 1998. In 1999, East Timor voted to secede from Indonesia, after a twenty-five-year military occupation that was marked by international condemnation of repression of the East Timorese.

Since Suharto's resignation, a strengthening of democratic processes has included a regional autonomy program, and the first direct presidential election in 2004, which was won by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who went on to win a second term in 2009. Political and economic instability, social unrest, corruption, and terrorism slowed progress; however, in the last five years the economy has performed strongly. Although relations among different religious and ethnic groups are largely harmonious, sectarian discontent and violence have persisted. A political settlement to an armed separatist conflict in Aceh was achieved in 2005.

Indonesia: Geography

Puncak Jaya in Papua, the highest summit in Indonesia and Oceania.

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. According to a geospatial survey conducted between 2007 and 2010 by National Coordinating Agency for Survey and Mapping (Bakosurtanal), Indonesia has 13,466 islands, about 6,000 of which are inhabited. These are scattered over both sides of the equator. The largest are Java, Sumatra, Borneo (shared with Brunei and Malaysia), New Guinea (shared with Papua New Guinea), and Sulawesi. 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. Indonesia shares maritime borders across narrow straits with Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Palau to the north, and with Australia to the south. The capital, Jakarta, is on Java and is the nation's largest city, followed by Surabaya, Bandung, Medan, and Semarang.

Indonesia average population density is 134 people per square kilometre (347 per sq mi), 79th in the world, although Java, the world's most populous island, has a population density of 940 people per square kilometre (2,435 per sq mi).

Mount Semeru and Mount Bromo in East Java. Indonesia contains the most volcanoes in the world.

At 4,884 metres (16,024 ft), Puncak Jaya in Papua is Indonesia's highest peak, and Lake Toba in Sumatra its largest lake, with an area of 1,145 km2 (442 sq mi). Indonesia's largest rivers are in Kalimantan, and include the Mahakam and Barito; such rivers are communication and transport links between the island's river settlements.

Indonesia's location on the edges of the Pacific, Eurasian, and Australian tectonic plates makes it the site of numerous volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. Indonesia has at least 150 active volcanoes, including Krakatoa and Tambora, both famous for their devastating eruptions in the 19th century. The eruption of the Toba supervolcano, approximately 70,000 years ago, was one of the largest eruptions ever, and a global catastrophe. Recent disasters due to seismic activity include the 2004 tsunami that killed an estimated 167,736 in northern Sumatra, and the Yogyakarta earthquake in 2006. However, volcanic ash is a major contributor to the high agricultural fertility that has historically sustained the high population densities of Java and Bali.

Indonesia: Climate

Typical Indonesian rainforest, mostly found in Kalimantan and Sumatra.

Lying along the equator, Indonesia's climate tends to be relatively even year-round. Indonesia has two seasons-a wet season and a dry season-with no extremes of summer or winter. For most of Indonesia, the dry season falls between April and October with the wet season between November and March. Indonesia's climate is almost entirely tropical, dominated by the Tropical rainforest climate found in every major island of Indonesia, followed by the Tropical monsoon climate that predominantly lies along Java's coastal north, Sulawesi's coastal south and east, and Bali, and finally the tropical Savanna climate, found in isolated locations of Central Java, lowland East Java, coastal southern Papua and smaller islands to the east of Lombok. However, cooler climate types do exist in mountainous regions of Indonesia 1,300 to 1,500 metres (4,300 to 4,900 feet) above sea level. The oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb) prevail in highland areas with fairly uniform precipitation year-round, adjacent to rainforest climates, while the subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cwb) exist in highland areas with a more pronounced dry season, adjacent to tropical monsoon and savanna climates.

Rinca, Lesser Sunda Islands. The islands closest to Australia, including Nusa Tenggara and the eastern tip of Java tend to be dry.

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 in Indonesia is plentiful, particularly in West Sumatra, West Kalimantan, West Java, and Papua. Parts of Sulawesi and some islands closer to Australia, such as Sumba is drier. The almost uniformly warm waters that make up 81% of Indonesia's area ensure that temperatures on land remain fairly constant. The coastal plains averaging 28 °C (82.4 °F), the inland and mountain areas averaging 26 °C (78.8 °F), and the higher mountain regions, 23 °C (73.4 °F). The area's relative humidity ranges 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 in Indonesia waters; the major danger comes from swift currents in channels, such as the Lombok and Sape straits.

Indonesia: Geology

A chart with the heading "Major Volcanoes of Indonesia (with eruptions since 1900 A.D.)". Depicted below the heading is an overhead view of a cluster of islands.
Major volcanoes in Indonesia. Indonesia is in the Pacific Ring of Fire area.

Tectonically, Indonesia is highly unstable. 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 stretches from Sumatra to the Banda Sea. While the volcanic ash has resulted in fertile soils, it makes agricultural conditions unpredictable in some areas. The string of volcanoes runs through Sumatra, Java, Bali and Nusa Tenggara, and then to the Banda Islands of Maluku to northeastern Sulawesi. Of the 400 volcanoes, approximately 150 are active.

The most massive supervolcano eruption was the Toba eruption that took place at the present location of Lake Toba, about 75000 years Before Present. The supervolcano eruption is believed to have caused volcanic winter and cooling of the climate, and subsequently led to a genetic bottleneck in human evolution about 50,000 years ago.

Between 1972 and 1991, 29 volcanic eruptions were recorded, mostly on Java. The two most violent volcanic eruptions in modern times occurred in Indonesia; in 1815 Mount Tambora in Sumbawa erupted killing 92,000 people. Tambora produced the largest eruption known on the planet during the past 10,000 years. Also the eruption created an umbrella of volcanic ash which spread and blanketed Southeast Asia, plunging it into darkness for a week, and made a whole world without a summer in 1815. The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa was one of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic events in recorded history. Nearly 40,000 deaths are attributed to the eruption itself and the tsunamis it created. Significant additional effects were also felt around the world in the days and weeks after the volcano's destruction.

Indonesia: Biodiversity

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 the world's second highest level of biodiversity after Brazil. Its flora and fauna is a mixture of Asian and Australasian species. The islands of the Sunda Shelf (Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and Bali) were once linked to the Asian mainland, and have a wealth of Asian fauna. Large species such as the tiger, rhinoceros, orangutan, elephant, and leopard, were once abundant as far east as Bali, but numbers and distribution have dwindled drastically. Forests cover approximately 60% of the country. In Sumatra and Kalimantan, these are predominantly of Asian species. However, the forests of the smaller, and more densely populated Java, have largely been removed for human habitation and agriculture. Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, and Maluku – having been long separated from the continental landmasses-have developed their own unique flora and fauna. 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.

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. Indonesia's 80,000 kilometres (50,000 miles) of coastline are surrounded by tropical seas that contribute to the country's high level of biodiversity. Indonesia has a range of sea and coastal ecosystems, including beaches, sand dunes, estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds, coastal mudflats, tidal flats, algal beds, and small island ecosystems. Indonesia is one of Coral Triangle countries with the world's greatest diversity of coral reef fish with more than 1,650 species in eastern Indonesia only.

The British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace described a dividing line between the distribution of Indonesia's Asian and Australasian species. Known as the Wallace Line, 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. West of the line the flora and fauna are more Asian – moving east from Lombok they are increasingly Australian. In his 1869 book, The Malay Archipelago, Wallace described numerous species unique to the area. The region of islands between his line and New Guinea is now termed Wallacea.

Indonesia:

Indonesia's high population and rapid industrialisation present serious environmental issues, which are often given a lower priority due to high poverty levels and weak, under-resourced governance. Issues include large-scale deforestation (much of it illegal) and related wildfires causing heavy smog over parts of western Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore; over-exploitation of marine resources; and environmental problems associated with rapid urbanisation and economic development, including air pollution, traffic congestion, garbage management, and reliable water and waste water services.

Deforestation and the destruction of peatlands make Indonesia the world's third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Habitat destruction threatens the survival of indigenous and endemic species, including 140 species of mammals identified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as threatened, and 15 identified as critically endangered, including the Bali starling, Sumatran orangutan, and Javan rhinoceros.

Much of Indonesia's deforestation is caused by forest clearing for the palm oil industry, which has cleared 18 million hectares of forest for palm oil expansion. Palm oil expansion requires land reallocation as well as changes to the local and natural ecosystems. Palm oil expansion can generate wealth for local communities, but it can also degrade ecosystems and cause social problems.

Indonesia has a below average but slightly improving performance in the global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) with an overall ranking of 107 out of 180 countries in 2016. This is also below average in the Asia Pacific region, behind Thailand but slightly ahead of China.

Indonesia: Politics

Indonesia: Government

An inauguration of the Indonesian President by the People's Consultative Assembly in the Parliament Complex Jakarta, 2014.

Indonesia is a republic with a presidential system. As a unitary state, power is concentrated in the central government. Following the resignation of President Suharto in 1998, Indonesian political and governmental structures have undergone major reforms. Four amendments to the 1945 Constitution of Indonesia have revamped the executive, judicial, and legislative branches.

The president of Indonesia is the head of state and head of government, commander-in-chief of Tentara Nasional Indonesia (Indonesian National Armed Forces), and the director of domestic governance, policy-making, and foreign affairs. The president appoints a council of ministers, who are not required to be elected members of the legislature. The 2004 presidential election was the first in which the people directly elected the president and vice-president. The president may serve a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms.

The highest representative body at national level is Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat (People's Consultative Assembly) or MPR. Its main functions are supporting and amending the constitution, inaugurating the president, and formalising broad outlines of state policy. It has the power to impeach the president. The MPR comprises two houses; Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (People's Representative Council) or DPR, with 560 members, and Dewan Perwakilan Daerah (Regional Representative Council) or DPD, with 132 members. The DPR passes legislation and monitors the executive branch; party-aligned members are elected for five-year terms by proportional representation. Reforms since 1998 have markedly increased the DPR's role in national governance. The DPD is a new chamber for matters of regional management.

Most civil disputes appear before Pengadilan Negeri (State Court); appeals are heard before Pengadilan Tinggi (High Court). Mahkamah Agung is the country's highest court, and hears final cessation appeals and conducts case reviews. Other courts include the Commercial Court, which handles bankruptcy and insolvency; Pengadilan Tata Negara (State Administrative Court) to hear administrative law cases against the government; Mahkamah Konstitusi (Constitutional Court) to hear disputes concerning legality of law, general elections, dissolution of political parties, and the scope of authority of state institutions; and Pengadilan Agama (Religious Court) to deal with codified Sharia Law cases.

Indonesia: Parties and elections

Since 1999 Indonesia has had a multi-party system. In the two legislative elections since the fall of the New Order regime, no political party has managed to win an overall majority of seats, resulting in coalition governments. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan) is the party of Joko Widodo, the Indonesian President. The Great Indonesia Movement Party (Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya) is the third largest political party. Other notable parties such as Party of the Functional Groups (Golongan Karya), Democratic Party (Partai Demokrat), and National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa).

Indonesia's first general election elected members of the People's Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, DPR) and the Constitutional Assembly of Indonesia (Konstituante) was in 1955. At a national level, Indonesian people did not elect a head of state – the president – until 2004. Since then, the president is elected for a five-year term, as are the 560-member People's Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, DPR) and the 128-seat Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah). Starting from the 2015 unified local elections, Indonesia start to elect governors and mayors simultaneously on the same date.

Indonesia: Administrative divisions

Administratively, Indonesia consists of 34 provinces, five of which have special status. Each province has its own legislature and governor. The provinces are subdivided into regencies (kabupaten) and cities (kota), which are further subdivided into districts (kecamatan or distrik in Papua and West Papua), and again into administrative villages (either desa, kelurahan, kampung, nagari in West Sumatra, or gampong in Aceh).

The village is the lowest level of government administration in Indonesia. Furthermore, a village is divided into several community groups (rukun warga (RW)) which are further divided into neighbourhood groups (rukun tetangga (RT)). In Java the desa (village) is divided further into smaller units called dusun or dukuh (hamlets), these units are the same as rukun warga. Following the implementation of regional autonomy measures in 2001, the regencies and cities have become the key administrative units, responsible for providing most government services. The village administration level is the most influential on a citizen's daily life and handles matters of a village or neighbourhood through an elected lurah or kepala desa (village chief).

The provinces of Aceh, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Papua, and West Papua have greater legislative privileges and a higher degree of autonomy from the central government than the other provinces. The Acehnese government, for example, has the right to create certain elements of an independent legal system. In 2003, it instituted a form of sharia (Islamic law).

Yogyakarta was granted the status of Special Region in recognition of its pivotal role in supporting Indonesian Republicans during the Indonesian Revolution and its willingness to join Indonesia as a republic. Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya, was granted special autonomy status in 2001 and was split into Papua and West Papua in February 2003. Jakarta is the country's special capital region.

Indonesian name is in parentheses if different from English.
* indicates provinces with special status

Indonesia: Foreign relations

Former President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono with former US President Barack Obama, in ceremony at the Merdeka Palace in 2010.

Since independence, Indonesian foreign relations have adhered to a "free and active" foreign policy, seeking to play a role in regional affairs commensurate with its size and location but avoiding involvement in conflicts among other countries. In contrast to Sukarno's anti-imperialistic antipathy to Western powers and tensions with Malaysia, Indonesia's foreign relations since the New Order era have been based on economic and political co-operation with the Western world. Indonesia maintains close relationships with its neighbours in Asia, and is a founding member of ASEAN and the East Asia Summit. The country restored relations with the People's Republic of China in 1990 following a freeze in place since anti-communist purges early in the Suharto era. Indonesia also developed a close relationship with the Soviet Union in the period of 1961–1965.

Indonesia has been a member of the United Nations since 1950, and was a founder of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Indonesia is signatory to the ASEAN Free Trade Area agreement, the Cairns Group, and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and an occasional member of OPEC. Indonesia has received humanitarian and development aid since 1966, in particular from the United States, western Europe, Australia, and Japan.

The Indonesian government has worked with other countries to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators of major bombings linked to militant Islamism and Al-Qaeda. The deadliest bombing killed 202 people (including 164 international tourists) in the Bali resort town of Kuta in 2002. The attacks, and subsequent travel warnings issued by other countries, severely damaged Indonesia's tourism industry and foreign investment prospects.

Indonesia: Military

Indonesian Armed Forces. Clockwise from top: Indonesian Army during training session, Sukhoi Su-30, Leopard 2 tank, and Indonesian Naval vessels.

Indonesia's Armed Forces (TNI) include the Army (TNI–AD), Navy (TNI–AL, which includes Marine Corps), and Air Force (TNI–AU). The army has about 400,000 active-duty personnel. Defense spending in the national budget was 4% of GDP in 2006, and is controversially supplemented by revenue from military commercial interests and foundations.

The Indonesian Armed Forces was formed during the Indonesian National Revolution, when it undertook a guerrilla warfare along with informal militia. As a result of this, and the need to maintain internal security, the Armed forces including the Army, Navy, and Air Force has been organised along territorial lines, aimed at defeating internal enemies of the state and potential external invaders. From the 1950s to 1960s, the country struggled to maintain its unity against local insurgencies and separatist movements in some of its provinces. Separatist movements in the provinces of Aceh and Papua have led to armed conflict, and subsequent allegations of human rights abuses and brutality from all sides. Following a sporadic thirty-year guerrilla war between the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and the Indonesian military, a ceasefire agreement was reached in 2005. From 1961 to 1963, the TNI was involved in the military campaign to incorporate Western New Guinea into Indonesia, which pitted the TNI against Netherlands New Guinea. From 1962 to 1965, the TNI fought in a confrontation against Malaysia. The armed forces under Suharto was directly involved in the mass killings fighting against the Communist Party of Indonesia in 1965. One of the reforms following the 1998 resignation of Suharto was the removal of formal TNI representation in parliament; nevertheless, its political influence remains extensive. There has been a significant, albeit imperfect, implementation of regional autonomy laws, and a reported decline in the levels of violence and human rights abuses, since the presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Papua.

Indonesia: Economy

Jakarta, the capital city and the nation's commercial centre.

Indonesia has a mixed economy in which both the private sector and government play significant roles. The country is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and a member of the G20 major economies. Indonesia's estimated gross domestic product (nominal), as of 2017, is US$1.020 trillion while GDP in PPP terms is US$$3.257 trillion. It is the fifteenth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and is the seven largest in terms of GDP (PPP). As of 2017, per capita GDP in PPP is US$12,432 (international dollars) while Nominal per capita GDP is US$3,895.

The debt ratio to GDP is 26%. The services is the economy's largest and accounts for 43.3% of GDP (2016), this is followed by manufacturing sector (42.9%) and agriculture (13.7%). Since 2012, the service sector has employed more people than other sectors. In 2014 accounting for 44.8% of the total labour force was employed on service sector, this has been followed by agriculture (34.3%) and industry (20.9%). Agriculture, however, had been the country's largest employer for centuries.

On May 19, 2017, Standard & Poors raised Indonesia's credit rating to investment grade. Before it, two other top rating agencies, Moody's Investor Service and Fitch Ratings have also give Indonesia credit rating as investment grade. Furthermore in June 2017, UNCTAD announced that Indonesia is on the fourth place behind the United States, China and India as a prospective investment destination for 2017-2019, jumps from 8th position of announcement last year.

Indonesia: History

Over time, the structure of the Indonesian economy has changed considerably. Historically, the economy has been heavily weighted towards the agricultural sector, reflecting both its stage of economic development and government policies in the 1950s and 1960s to promote agricultural self-sufficiency. A gradual process of industrialisation and urbanisation began in the late 1960s, and accelerated in the 1980s as falling oil prices saw the government focus on diversifying away from oil exports and towards manufactured exports. This development continued throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s despite the oil counter-shocks. During these periods, GDP level rose at an average rate of 7.1%. Indonesia saw consistent growth, with the official poverty rate falling from 60% to 15%. From the mid 1980s, trade barriers were reduced and the Indonesian economy became more globally integrated. The Asian financial crisis that began to affect Indonesia in mid-1997 became an economic and political crisis. Indonesia's initial response was to float the rupiah, raise key domestic interest rates, and tighten fiscal policy. The effects of the financial and economic crisis were severe. By November 1997, rapid currency depreciation had seen public debt reach US$60 bn, imposing severe strains on the government's budget. In 1998, real GDP contracted by 13.1%. The economy reached its low point in mid-1999 and real GDP growth for the year was 0.8%. Inflation reached 72% in 1998 but slowed to 2% in 1999.

Indonesia's recent strong economic growth has also been accompanied by relatively steady inflation. Since an inflation target was introduced in Indonesia in 2000, the GDP deflator and the CPI have grown at an average annual pace of 10¾ per cent and 9 per cent, respectively, similar to the pace recorded in the two decades prior to the Asian crisis, but well below the pace in the 1960s and 1970s. Inflation has also generally trended lower through the 2000s, with some of the fluctuations in inflation reflecting government policy initiatives such as the changes in fiscal subsidies in 2005 and 2008 which caused large temporary spikes in CPI growth. Since 2007, however, with the improvement in banking sector and domestic consumption, national economic growth has accelerated to over 6% annually and this helped Indonesia weather the 2008–2009 Great Recession. The Indonesian economy performed strongly during the financial crisis of 2007–08 and in 2012, its GDP grew by over 6%. Indonesia regained its investment grade rating in late 2011 after losing it in 1997. As of 2014, 11% of the population lived below the poverty line and the official open unemployment rate was 5.9%.

Vast palm oil plantation in Indonesia. Currently, Indonesia is the world's largest producer of palm oil.

Indonesia has extensive natural resources, including crude oil, natural gas, tin, copper, and gold. Indonesia's major imports include machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, and foodstuffs, and the country's major export commodities include oil and gas, electrical appliances, plywood, rubber, and textiles. In an attempt to boost the domestic mineral processing industry and encourage exports of higher value-added mineral products, the Indonesian government implemented a ban on exports of unprocessed mineral ores in 2014.

Palm oil production is important to the economy of Indonesia as the country is the world's biggest producer and consumer of the commodity, providing about half the world supply. Oil palm plantations stretch across 6 million hectares (roughly twice the size of Belgium). Indonesia plans by 2015 to add 4 million additional hectares towards oil palm biofuel production. As of 2012, Indonesia produces 35 percent of the world's certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO).

The tourism sector contributes to around US$10.1 billion of foreign exchange in 2013, and ranked as the 4th largest among goods and services export sectors. China, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, and Japan are the top five source of visitors to Indonesia.

Indonesia has a sizeable automotive industry, which produced almost 1.18 million motor vehicles in 2016, ranking as the 17th largest producer in the world. Nowadays, Indonesian automotive companies are able to produce cars with high ratio of local content (80% – 90%). With production peaking at 14.5 billion packs in 2011, Indonesia is the second largest producer of instant noodle after China which produces 42.5 billion packs a year. Indofood is the largest instant noodle producer in the world. Indomie brand by Indofood is one of the Indonesia's best known global brand.

Of the world's 500 largest companies measured by revenue in 2014, the Fortune Global 500, two are headquartered in Indonesia i.e. Pertamina and Perusahaan Listrik Negara.

Indonesia: Exports

A proportional representation of Indonesia's exports.

Indonesia was the 25th biggest exporting country in the world in 2014, moving up fifth places from the previous five years. In the 2009–2014 period, the exports of Indonesia have increased at an annualised rate of 7.3%, from US$138 billion in 2009 to US$197 billion in 2014. The most recent exports are led by coal briquettes which represent 10.1% of the total exports, followed by palm oil (8.85%), petroleum gas (8.63%), crude petroleum (4.92%) and rubber (2.75%). Indonesia's main export markets (2014) are Japan (12.64%), China (10.56%), the United States (9.54%), Singapore (9.49%) and India (6.9%). The major suppliers of imports to Indonesia are China (18.26%), Singapore (14.38%), Japan (8.65%), South Korea (6.52%) and Malaysia (5.96%). In 2014, Indonesia ran a trade surplus with export revenues of US$197 billion and import expenditure of US$178 billion.

Indonesia: Imports

In 2014 Indonesia imported $178B, making it the 27th largest importer in the world. During the last five years the imports of Indonesia have increased at an annualised rate of 12.5%, from $98.7B in 2009 to $178B in 2014. The most recent imports are led by Refined Petroleum which represent 14.6% of the total imports of Indonesia, followed by Crude Petroleum, which account for 6.78%. The top import origins of Indonesia are China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia.

Indonesia: Infrastructure

Indonesia: Transportation

Traditional wooden pinisi ship used in inter-Indonesian islands freight service.
The Jagorawi Toll Road is the first toll road in Indonesia connecting Jakarta and Bogor.

The road transport system is predominant, with a total length of 437,759 kilometres (272,011 miles) as of 2008. Many cities and towns have some form of transportation for hire available as well such as taxis. There are usually bus services such as the Kopaja buses and the more sophisticated TransJakarta bus rapid transit system in Jakarta. The TransJakarta is the largest and longest bus rapid transit system in the world, boasts some 210.31 kilometres (130.68 miles) and carriers more than 300,000 passengers daily. In addition, BRT systems exist in Yogyakarta, Palembang, Bandung, Denpasar, Pekanbaru, Semarang, Makassar, and Padang without segregated lane. Many cities have motorised auto rickshaws (bajaj). Cycle rickshaws, called becak in Indonesia, are a regular sight on city roads and provide inexpensive transportation.

Trains in Gambir railway station in Jakarta.

The rail transport system has four unconnected networks in Java and Sumatra primarily dedicated to transport bulk commodities and long-distance passenger traffic. The inter-city rail network on Java is complemented by local commuter rail services in the Jakarta metropolitan area (KA Commuter Jabodetabek), Surabaya, Medan, and Bandung. In Jakarta, suburban rail services carry 885,000 passengers a day. In addition, mass rapid transit and light rail transit systems are under construction in Jakarta and Palembang. The government's plan to build a High-Speed Rail was announced by Indonesian Government in July 2015. Indonesia's and Southeast Asia's first high-speed rail project was expected to connect the national capital Jakarta with Bandung in neighbouring West Java province, covering a distance of around 140 kilometres (87 miles). Plans were mentioned for a possible extension of the HSR to Indonesia's second largest city, Surabaya in East Java; construction will begin in early 2017.

Sea transport is extremely important for economic integration and for domestic and foreign trade. It is well developed, with each of the major islands having at least one significant port city. Because Indonesia encompasses a sprawling archipelago, maritime shipping provides essential links between parts of the country. Boats in common use include large container ships, a variety of ferries, passenger ships, sailing ships, and smaller motorised vessels. Traditional wooden vessel pinisi are widely used as the inter-island freight service in Indonesian archipelago.

Port of Tanjung Priok is Indonesia's busiest port, and the 26th busiest port in the world in 2015, handling over 5.15 million TEUs. To boost port capacity, a two-phase "New Tanjung Priok" extension project is ongoing. When fully operational in 2023, it will triple existing annual capacity. In 2015 ground breaking of North Sumatra's Kuala Tanjung Port has been done. The port is an extremely strategic development that can accommodate 400.000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) per year, overtaking Johor's Tanjung Pelepas Port and could even compete with Singapore's port.

Garuda Indonesia was ranked one as World's Best Cabin Crew and World's Top Ten Best Airlines in 2016.

Frequent ferry services cross the straits between nearby islands, especially in the chain of islands stretching from Sumatra through Java to the Lesser Sunda Islands. On the busy crossings between Sumatra, Java, and Bali, car ferries run frequently 24 hours per day. There are international ferry services between across the Strait of Malacca between Sumatra and Malaysia, and between Singapore and nearby Indonesian islands, such as Batam. A network of passenger ships makes longer connections to more remote islands, especially in the eastern part of the archipelago. The national shipping line, Pelni, provides passenger service to ports throughout the country on a two- to four-week schedule. These ships generally provide the least expensive way to cover long distances between islands. Smaller privately run boats provide service between islands.

As of 2014, there were 237 airports in Indonesia, including 17 international airports. Soekarno–Hatta International Airport is the 18th busiest airport in the world, serving 54,053,905 passengers, according to Airports Council International. Today the airport is running over capacity. After T3 Soekarno-Hatta Airport expansion was finished in August 2016, the total capacity of three terminals become 43 million passengers a year. T1 and T2 will be revitalised, so all the terminals finally will accommodate 67 million passengers a year. When finished, Soekarno-Hatta airport will be an aerotropolis. Ngurah Rai in Bali and Juanda Airport in Surabaya are the country's 2nd and 3rd busiest airport. Airports Council International considers Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport the world's third-best airport in the category "airports with an annual passenger capacity of 15-25 million people" in 2016.

Garuda Indonesia, flag carrier of Indonesia since 1949, was selected by Skytrax as "The World's Best Economy Class" in 2013. In December 2014, Garuda Indonesia was awarded as a "5-Star Airline" by Skytrax and the eight best airlines in the world. In 2016, it was awarded number one as "The World's Best Cabin Crew".

Indonesia: Energy and water supply

According to IEA Indonesia was the 10th top natural gas producer in 2009: 76 billion cubics (bcm) 2.5% of world production of which 36 bcm was exported. In 2009 Indonesia was the 5th top coal producer: 263 million tonnes hard coal and 38 million tonnes brown. The majority of this, 230 Mt of hard coal, was exported. Indonesia has significant energy resources, starting with oil – it has 22 billion barrels of conventional oil and gas reserves, of which about 4 billion are recoverable. That's the equivalent of about10 years of oil production and 50 years of gas. It has about 8 billion barrels of oil-equivalent of coal-based methane (CBM) resources. It has 28 billion tonnes of recoverable coal. It has 28 gigawatts (GW) of geothermal potential. 1 Includes recoverable resources of oil and gas yet to be discovered. It has even more in the form of solar, wind, biomass and biofuel potential. Indonesia's domestic oil consumption has grown from 1.2 million barrels per day in 2003 to 1.6 million barrels per day in 2013.

Jatiluhur Dam, the country's largest dam which serves several purposes including the provision of hydroelectric power generation, water supply, flood control, irrigation and aquaculture. The power station has an installed capacity of 186.5 MW which feeds into the Java grid managed by the state-owned electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara. The Jatiluhur reservoir helps irrigate 240,000 ha (593,053 acres) of rice fields. The earth-fill dam is 105 m (344 ft) high and withholds a reservoir of 3,000,000,000 m (2,432,140 acre·ft).

Indonesia: Demographics

According to the 2010 national census, the population of Indonesia is 237.6 million, with high population growth at 1.9%. 58% of the population lives in Java, the world's most populous island. In 1961, the first post-colonial census gave a total population of 97 million.

Indonesia currently possess a relatively young population, with a median age of 28.2 years (2011 estimate).

The population is expected to grow to around 269 million by 2020 and 321 million by 2050. An additional 8 million Indonesian live overseas, comprising one of the world's largest diasporas. Most of them settled in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Netherlands, United States, and Australia.

Indonesia: Ethnic groups

A map of major ethnic groups in Indonesia

Indonesia is a very ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with around 300 distinct native ethnic groups, and 742 different languages and dialects. Most Indonesians are descended from Austronesian-speaking peoples whose languages can be traced to Proto-Austronesian, which possibly originated in Taiwan. Another major grouping are the Melanesians, who inhabit eastern Indonesia.

The largest ethnic group are the Javanese, who comprise 42% of the population, and are politically and culturally dominant. The Sundanese, ethnic Malays, and Madurese are the largest non-Javanese groups. A sense of Indonesian nationhood exists alongside strong regional identities.

Indonesia: Languages

A manuscript from the early 1800s from central Sumatra, in Batak Toba language, one of many languages from Indonesia.

More than 700 regional languages are spoken in Indonesia's numerous islands. Some belong to the Austronesian language family, while many Papuan languages are spoken in Western New Guinea. The official language is Indonesian (also known as Bahasa Indonesia), a variant of Malay, which was used in the archipelago. It borrows heavily from local languages such as Javanese, Sundanese, Minangkabau, etc. Indonesian is primarily used in commerce, administration, education and the media, but most Indonesians speak other languages, such as Javanese, as their first language.

Indonesian is based on the prestige dialect of Malay, which for centuries had been the lingua franca of the archipelago. It is also the official language of Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. The Minangkabau language is a variety of Malay language and modern Malay that these school teachers and authors helped to create has been known as Balai Pustaka Malay, the basis of the future of Indonesian language. Indonesian is universally taught in schools and consequently is spoken by nearly every Indonesian. It is the language of business, politics, national media, education, and academia.

Indonesian was promoted by Indonesian nationalists in the 1920s, and declared the official language under the name Bahasa Indonesia in the proclamation of independence in 1945. Most Indonesians speak at least one of several hundred local languages and dialects, often as their first language. In comparison, Papua has over 270 indigenous Papuan and Austronesian languages, in a region of about 2.7 million people. Javanese is the most widely spoken local language, as it is the language of the largest ethnic group.

Indonesia: Urban centres

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