The Republic of Indonesia is one of the most populated nations worldwide and among the largest countries by total area. As a sovereign state archipelago in Southeast Asia and Oceania, Indonesia shares borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Malaysia. Located on the northwest coast of Java, Jakarta is Indonesia’s capital and largest city by far. Despite a slowly decreasing fertility rate and thus a declining population growth rate, Indonesia's total population is estimated to reach an astounding 321 million by 2050.
Indonesia is home to diverse ethnic and social groups, ranging from rural villagers to modern urban elites. There are over 300 local languages in Indonesia. Before the Dutch united the archipelago in around 1900, Indonesia was home to many sophisticated kingdoms. In 1945, after Japan’s wartime occupation ended, Indonesia proclaimed independence, and finally, following an armed struggle in 1949, the Dutch recognized Indonesian sovereignty.
Rich natural resources and political stability in recent years have led to an increase in investments and a more stable economy. There has been a rapid increase in gross domestic product and GDP per capita over the past decade. The inflation rate has also come down to a healthy level, projected to stabilize under 4 percent. Indonesia’s growing economy is further boosted by a trade surplus achieved in recent years, as well as decreasing unemployment.
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