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Demographics of Indonesia - statistics & facts

With over 270 million people living across the archipelago, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world. In 2018, the population density in Indonesia was at about 142.57 people per square kilometer and almost 60 percent of the Indonesian population resides on Java Island, making the island the world's most populous island. Javanese, Sundanese, and Malays are the three largest ethnic groups amongst Indonesia’s hundreds of ethnic groups. Other ethnicities like Batak, Madurese, Betawi, Minangkabau, Buginese, Dayak, Sasak, and Chinese, make up the remaining rest of the population. Indonesia also has the largest Islamic population in the world. Over 87% of Indonesia’s population identify themselves as Muslim. Despite being the largest Muslim-majority country, the archipelago is a multifaith country by the constitution and officially recognizes six religions – Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism.

Population structure in the Indonesian archipelago

Consisting of more than seventeen thousand islands, the Indonesian archipelago also includes some of the world’s biggest and famous islands such as Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, New Guinea, and Bali. However, for the past centuries, developments in Indonesia have focused more on Java Island, attracting people to move here, which leads to an unequal distribution of the population. Java Island has the highest number of people living below the poverty line in Indonesia. However, the share of its total population is still low in comparison to other Indonesian islands in Eastern Indonesia. Maluku, Papua, Bali, and Nusa Tenggara have the highest share of the population living below the poverty line in Indonesia. The unique geographical situation and unequal infrastructure development across Indonesia means that the population structure of the nation varies considerably by islands than provinces.

In the next decades, Indonesia’s overall rate of population growth will be steadily declining. However, it is also predicted to still experience substantial population growth by 2030, with an increase of 25 million from its current total population. Indonesia’s economy, health, and living situation have also been improving as Indonesia’s life expectancy has been increasing since the country has gained independence.

The gender gap in Indonesia

Unlike other Asian countries that have been trying to enhance their population growth, the Indonesian government is trying to convince Indonesians to have fewer children. From their effort in promoting later marriages and family planning, Indonesia has been profiting from these programs greatly. It allows a higher proportion of children to be enrolled in school in Indonesia. As of 2018, the primary school completion rate for males in Indonesia was only slightly higher than that of females. Indonesia’s decreasing adolescent fertility rates also imply that there is a rising age at marriage and increased educational and economic opportunities for young women in Indonesia.

Although the number of Indonesian women that attended school has been increasing, it is not uncommon that women in Indonesia are told to have a lower educational attainment than men in order to have a better chance at securing a husband. The traditional family unit and gender roles still form the basis of Indonesian society. Women having children is favorable over pursuing a career or personal development. However, despite having a relatively high index score on Global Gender Gap for educational attainment, the Gender Gap Index score for wage equality for similar work in Indonesia remains low.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 37 most important statistics relating to "Demographics of Indonesia".


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