Indonesia Demographics 2000

Indonesia Demographics 2000


Island state of Southeast Asia. The economic and financial crisis that affected many Asian countries in 1997-98, the simultaneous worsening of the effects of climate from tropical current El Niño , the terrorist attacks in Bali and Jakarta later in 2002, the overwhelming tidal wave ( tsunami ) of 2004 (v. History) and the earthquake in Java in May 2006 produced very serious disruptions in the Indonesian economy, highlighting the weaknesses – for a long time hidden by the rapid economic growth – of a country characterized by the persistence of serious problems, ranging from the fragility of the productive system to ethnic and religious conflicts. The period 1997-1999 was marked by a very low increase in real income and high inflation, resulting from the fluctuation of the Indonesian currency on international markets: imports suffered a sharp decrease, as did domestic demand and employment. Financial flows from abroad have almost completely stopped. In the early 2000s, however, the crisis was in the process of being resolved, also thanks to the interventions of the International Monetary Fund, which on several occasions obtained from the Indonesian government the initiation of important structural reforms in exchange for the granting of further loans (the so-called Extended Found Facilities). However, it is not yet possible to accurately assess the 2004, whose damages were estimated at at least 5 billion dollars. For Indonesia 2017, please check

At the 2000 census the population was 206,264,595 residents, (Rising to 222,781,000 according to 2005 estimates). The average density was 109 residents per km 2, however, the distribution continued to be very uneven. The 2000 census confirmed the demographic importance of Java, an island where about 60 % of the population of the entire country resides and where the density reaches 951 residents per km 2. The rate of demographic increase is progressively decreasing, even if the indices are different among the various ethnic groups. Infant mortality remains high, but it too is steadily albeit slowly declining. The urbanization rate has exceeded 42 %; according to some estimates, the urban district of Jakarta had reached 11.4 million residents in 2001. Despite the good economic performance , serious territorial imbalances and marked social gaps persist in the country: it is estimated that about a quarter of the population lives on less than 2 dollars a day.

Economic conditions

In 2004, GDP growth returned to 5 %, and official per capita income also exceeded pre-crisis levels. The agricultural sector maintains a very high level of employment (44 % of the workforce), and even if the participation of the same in the formation of the GDP has slightly increased, the sector presents widespread phenomena of backwardness and serious structural difficulties. The production of non-food agricultural goods (rubber and palm oil) is on the rise, especially after the abolition of export restrictions. In order to protect forest resources, in 2000 the state has imposed a block on exports of raw wood: the effort was partly thwarted by the increase in the smuggling of precious wood and the resumption of mineral exploration within the forest areas (banned in 1999). The manufacturing sector suffered greatly from the 1997-98 crisis, and has lost numerous jobs. The phenomenon mainly involved small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the production of semi-finished products for export. These difficulties have led the government to adopt privatization policies for public enterprises, as well as to reduce the state’s shares in joint ventures. The process also involved state-owned banks, whose capital was allowed access to foreign investors. The mining sector, in particular the oil sector, maintains a driving function for the entire economy. In 2002, a 96-year-old pipeline was inaugurated that connects the new oil fields of Natuna with Malaysia. With this country the Indonesia has entered into a twenty-year contract for the supply of crude oil. The decline in demand and the increase in foreign competition led, after 2000, to a strong downsizing of propane (LPG) production, which until then had been one of the main activities linked to oil processing. The trade balance has a solid surplus, and exports of mineral products, particularly oil, play a decisive role. Exports of palm oil, clothing products, consumer electronics are on the rise. The trade balance, however, tends to decrease, as a result of the gradual improvement in the standard of living of some social groups. The middle class is expanding rapidly, resulting in an increase in domestic demand for consumer goods and an increase in imports. The balance of payments is negatively affected by interest on foreign debt and the strong dependence on foreign companies for transport.

Tourism, which has been growing throughout the 1990s, has suffered a drastic decline due to political instability, terrorist attacks and the destruction inflicted by the tsunami . Despite the favorable economic outlook, the abundance of resources and cheap labor, and a growing internal demand, the Indonesia fails to attract substantial flows of foreign capital. Among the main factors that hinder international investors to be counted the low level of internal security, the persistence of an inefficient bureaucracy and cumbersome (especially for the ‘ process approval of foreign investments), the lack of transparency in administrative procedures as well as in tax and labor legislation, the scarce competitiveness of the financial sectors. The most important international rating agencies consider Indonesia a high-risk country.

The new government, which took office after the 2004 elections,appears willing to continue with privatization policies, in reducing state control over the economy, in opening up to foreign capital, also through a streamlining of bureaucratic procedures and the fight against corruption. Indonesia also suffers from a serious backwardness of the territorial infrastructures, the road and motorway network, public transport, ports and airports, telecommunications. Oil is extracted but the country needs electricity; the network of oil and gas pipelines is totally inadequate. From an environmental point of view, the situation is very delicate and significant investments are required. The construction of sewer networks and waste water treatment plants is one of the most urgent health and environmental priorities; In the period 1997-98 a large fire developed in the equatorial forests of Borneo due to excessive deforestation and drought associated with el Niño ; in three months an area of ​​many thousands of square kilometers was destroyed. The improvement in Indonesian economic prospects is due to a strong consolidation of the confidence of international investors. Internally, investments for the liberation from poverty, for the reduction of economic-territorial imbalances, for the improvement of the social conditions of a large part of the country’s population, have become unpostponable: in 2004 Indonesia was well over one hundredth place in the UN Human Development Index ranking, down from the position at the turn of the century.

Indonesia Demographics 2000