Indonesia Population, Politics and Economy
Population in Indonesia
Fossil finds of the Java man show that the area of what is now Indonesia was settled by early humans 1.8 million years ago. Today’s Indonesian population originally comes from Austronesian peoples who came to the country in several waves of immigration before the beginning of our era.
In the past few decades, Indonesia’s population has grown from 70 million at the end of the Dutch colonial era to over 260 million (2018). Although the population growth has slowed, the Indonesian population is still growing at 1% annually. The population density of the Indonesian islands is very different and amounts to a total of approx. 125 residents per km². Java is the most densely populated due to the fertile soil and the capital, which alone has over 10 million residents, with over 1,000 residents per km².
According to directoryaah, there are almost 360 different peoples in Indonesia, most of whom are of Malay origin. It was not until the end of the Dutch colonial period that the general term Indonesian was introduced, compared to the traditional tribal names that had been used up until then. The people with the most members are the Javanese with over 41% of the population, followed by the Sundanese with over 15% and the Malays, Maduresen and Batak with more than 3% of the population. The proportions of the other ethnic groups are less than 3% of the total Indonesian population.
With approximately 200 million Muslims, Indonesia has the highest percentage of Muslim population in the world. 87% of the Indonesian population are Muslims, only 10% belong to Christianity and only about 1-2% are Hindus and Buddhists. In addition to the official language Bahasa Indonesia, around 742 different regional languages are spoken. The young people in particular also speak fluent English and, especially in the larger cities, it is easy to communicate in English.
Politics and Economy in Indonesia
Indonesia is a presidential republic, the president is directly elected by the people for a period of 5 years, re-election is only possible once. He is head of state, head of government and commander in chief of the armed forces. He also appoints the cabinet.
The legislature is made up of a bicameral parliament with 550 members and 128 regional representatives as the 2nd chamber, who only have the right to hear and make suggestions in the legislative process. Indonesia has a multi-party system with a diverse party landscape. Since the 2004 elections, Indonesia has been recognized as a democratic state by the world, but is considered an incomplete democracy. Due to the strong regional autonomy and secession efforts caused by the multiethnic state, all national governments have so far been confronted with the challenge of forging a common nation out of ethnic diversity, which is a leitmotif of Indonesian politics to this day.
Indonesia is the economic heavyweight of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), one of whose initiators is the emerging country. The ASEAN community, like the EU, should go beyond an economic community and also see itself as a socio-cultural association and a security community, which is why the promotion of regional integration within ASEAN is a top priority for Indonesia. Indonesia has a strong service and agricultural economy with a relatively small proportion of industrial production. Indonesia is one of the main exporters of coal, tin, nickel, copper, bauxite and gold worldwide. There are also large amounts of wood and agricultural products such as palm oil, rubber, cocoa, tea, coffee and tobacco are exported.
According to ebizdir, the unemployment rate was recently around 6%, around 11.5% of the population live below the national poverty line. Compared to the global financial crisis of 2008/2009, the Indonesian economy proved to be robust. Annual growth is currently around 5%.
Transportation network in Indonesia
Indonesia has an approx. 500,000 km long road network, of which only 280,000 km are asphalted. Many roads are in poor condition despite considerable investments, which means that the risk of accidents on Indonesian roads is very high. Although the proportion of automobiles in Indonesian road traffic is constantly increasing, motorcycles and scooters are the most important means of transport everywhere.
Although the first railway line was put into operation in Indonesia as early as 1867, rail traffic across the entire island kingdom is now rather insignificant and out of date on the slightly more than 8,000 km long route network. There is not enough money for modernization and so many lines, trains and locomotives as well as station buildings date from the Dutch colonial times. The best train connections are on the main island of Java. Passenger trains run regularly here between the big cities and also to tourist places, so that Java can be traveled relatively easily by train.
As an island state with economically important, international sea trading and transshipment centers, Indonesia has over 2000 seaports. The most important ports are in Jakarta and Surabaya. In addition, the ports of Makassar (Sulawesi) and Belawan (Sumatra) are important passenger and transshipment ports. The national shipping company Pelni operates a large number of passenger and ferry connections to around 100 ports throughout the island, which are served both according to fixed timetables and in charter operations.
Due to its size and nature, many points in the island kingdom of Indonesia can only be reached by plane. After the market was liberalized in 1999, there was therefore strong growth in air traffic throughout Indonesia. However, many of the Indonesian airlines save on safety, which has resulted in several accidents.
International airports are located in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Surakarta on Java, Denpasar on Bali, Makassar and Manado on Sulawesi, Medan, Banda Aceh and Pekan Baru on Sumatra, Pontianak on Borneo.