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Population density of Indonesia 2009-2018

In 2018, the population density in Indonesia was at about 147.75 people per square kilometer. Despite being the fourth largest country in the world in terms of population, Indonesia’s population density is mitigated by its abundance of land – Indonesia is an archipelago of more than 17 thousand islands sprawled across more than five thousand kilometers from east to west.

Java as the heart of Indonesia

Despite the many thousands of islands, Indonesia’s population, politics, and economy are mostly centered on the island of Java. This is where its capital, Jakarta, is located. With a population of around 36.3 million in 2015, Jakarta is not only Indonesia’s biggest city, it is also one of the world’s most-populated urban areas. The number of inhabitants in Jakarta increased three-fold since 1975, reflecting a trend of rural-urban migration in Indonesia.

Urban-rural dichotomy

Indonesia’s rural population had been steadily decreasing in the last ten years; inversely, its urban population saw a steady increase. As of 2018, more than 55 percent of the Indonesian population were living in urban areas. In Indonesia, the economic opportunities are mostly concentrated in the larger and more densely populated islands such as Java and Bali, and smaller, rural, and more far-flung islands such as the Malukkus tend to suffer from a lack of easy connectivity to these economic centers. It comes as no surprise that these rural areas had the highest share of the rural population living below the poverty line. With their lack of economic prospects, rural populations in Indonesia also had a significantly higher share of those living below the poverty line than urban populations.

Population density of Indonesia from 2009 to 2018

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Release date

July 2020


Asia, Indonesia

Survey time period

2009 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Note: Figures have been rounded.

Population density is the midyear population divided by land area in square kilometers.
Population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship - except for refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum, who are generally considered part of the population of their country of origin.
Land area is a country's total area, excluding area under inland water bodies, national claims to continental shelf, and exclusive economic zones. In most cases the definition of inland water bodies includes major rivers and lakes.

Date provided is date of last update.

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