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Indonesia Facts


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What is the capital of Indonesia?
Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, as well as the nation’s most populous city, and the world’s most populous island. Located on the island called Java, Jakarta has been an important city since the 4th century, though it has been known by various names. During Dutch colonization, the city was called Batavia, and was part of the Dutch East Indies. The city was renamed Jakarta during World War II.

What were the Dutch East Indies?
“Dutch East Indies” was the name for Indonesia under Dutch rule. The Portuguese had established spice trade in the Indonesian archipelago in 1498 after being the first Europeans to arrive on the islands, but Dutch explorers wanted direct access to Asian spices, and began establishing trade routes to the region in 1595. In 1603, they created the Dutch East India Company, fought for control of the entire region, and had soon colonized Indonesia. The Dutch East India Company held a monopoly over the spice trade, which proved profitable for them until 1800, when it went bankrupt. Indonesia became known as the Dutch East Indies (part of the Dutch Republic), which lasted until World War II, when Japan took the country to control access to its rich oil supplies.

Where is Indonesia located?
Indonesia is an archipelago located in the Southeast Asia / Oceania between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Indonesia stretches across both sides of the equator.

What countries border Indonesia?
Indonesia shares land borders with Timor-Leste (East Timor), Papua New Guinea, and Malaysia.

What is the population of Indonesia?
There are over 245 million people estimated to be living in Indonesia, making it the 4th most populous nation in the world.

What are the largest cities in Indonesia?
  1. Jakarta
  2. Surabaya
  3. Bandung
  4. Medan
  5. Semarang

How many islands make up Indonesia?
The nation of Indonesia is made up of over 17,500 islands, over 6,000 of which are inhabited, but around 1,000 are permanently settled.
The major islands of Indonesia are Java, Sumatra, Borneo and New Guinea.

Why does Indonesia have so much seismic activity?
Indonesia is located on the edge of three tectonic plates: Pacific, Eurasian, and Australian. When one of the plates moves, it causes earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis in the entire area, especially Indonesia. The seismic zone’s volcanoes are responsible for the creation of the many small islands that make up Indonesia.

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was caused by an earthquake on the ocean floor near Sumatra in Indonesia. It hit Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Maldives, and even Africa. It was one of the worst natural disasters the world has ever seen, with a death toll of over 230,000 people. The earthquake ranked between 9.1. and 9.3 on the Richter scale, making it the 3rd largest earthquake ever recorded.

How many volcanoes are in Indonesia?
Because of Indonesia’s location between the Pacific, Eurasian, and Australian tectonic plates, the region is a seismic zone with around 150 active volcanoes. The many volcanoes have created the ever-changing geography, and rich soils of the area. The most famous volcanoes are Krakatoa, Tambora, and Toba.

What languages are spoken in Indonesia?
Bahasa Indonesian is the official and most commonly spoken language in Indonesia, and is a modified version of Malay. Hundreds of local dialects are spoken, the most common of which is Javanese. Dutch and English are also widely spoken in Indonesia. What are the major religions of Indonesia?

Indonesia does not have an official religion, the government recognizes 6 religions. Even though it is not officially an Islamic country, Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population, at over 85% of its large population. Protestant Christianity comes in a distant second, followed by Catholicism and Hinduism. Indonesia also recognizes Buddhism and Confucianism.

When did Indonesia gain independence?
The Dutch had colonies in Indonesia from the 17th century, but Japan took control of Indonesia from 1942 to 1945. Japan surrendered Indonesia in 1945, and shortly afterwards, Indonesia declared its own independence on August 17, 1945. The Netherlands recognized Indonesian independence after several years of negotiations on December 27, 1949, though the Netherlands recently announced that they had actually recognized it immediately.

Who are the political leaders of Indonesia?
President: Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

Vice President: Boediono

What currency is used in Indonesia?
Indonesia uses the Rupiah (IDR).

What are Indonesia’s major industries?
Indonesia has the largest economy in the entire region of Southeast Asia. With rich soils and natural resources thanks to ash from the many active volcanoes across the country, Indonesia has a thriving agricultural industry. The regions of Java and Sumatra have helped Indonesia become the 4th largest coffee producer in the world. Indonesia’s other major industries are oil and textile production, and tourism is a rapidly growing sector, with visitors traveling to popular destinations such as Sumatra, Bali, and Jakarta.