Indonesia, with over 18,000 counted islands, is by far the largest and most varied archipelago on Earth. It spans almost 2 million square kilometres between Asia and Australia.
Positioned on the Equator across a region of immense volcanic activity, Indonesia has some 400 volcanoes within its borders, with at least 90 still active in some way.
Many of the islands here are still uninhabited, with the larger islands of Java, Kalimantan (Borneo), Irian Jaya (Papua), Sumatra and Sulawesi home to most of the population base.
Once dominated by the military, recent democratic reforms included two highly successful national elections to Parliament, and the direct election of the current President.
Some citizens in the outer-reaches of the country still demand more freedom, and that struggle continues today within the democratic process, and not on the battlefields of the past. Note that the East Timor cry for independence was one of the positive results of reform.
This tropical country and its many islands are one of the most stunning destinations on our planet, but recent (though isolated) terrorism attacks in Bali and other areas of the country have certainly stifled some of the country’s tourism.
In addition, the major Tsunami of December, 2004, severely damaged most of the northern reaches of Sumatra, and there’s still an apprehensive feeling in the air for both residents and visitors alike.
Facts and Figures
(long form) Republic of Indonesia
Population & Density (all countries) here
Capital City Jakarta (8.9 mil) metro (18.1 mil)
Currency Indonesian Rupee (IDR)
Currency Converter here
National Day August 17
Religions Muslim (88%), Protestant, others
Latitude/Longitude (Capital City)
06� 08′ S, 106� 45′ E
Relative Location Indonesia, located on both sides of the Equator, is therefore in both the northern and southern hemispheres, as well as the eastern hemisphere. It’s positioned just to the north of Australia in far Southeast Asia, and bordered by the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, over a dozen regional seas, and the countries of Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and East Timor.
Coastline 33,999 miles (54,716 km)
(land) 705,192 sq miles (1,826,440 sq km)
(water) 35,907 sq miles ( 93,000 sq km)
(TOTAL)741,099 sq miles (1,919,440 sq km)
Land Area (all countries) here
Landforms This archipelagic nation contains over 18,000 islands. Of those, the larger islands of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Irian Jaya are quite mountainous, with some peaks reaching 12,000 ft. The highest elevations (over 16,000 ft) are found on Irian Jaya in the east.
Located along the Ring of Fire, Indonesia has some 400 volcanoes within its borders, with at least 90 still active in some way.
Significant rivers include the Barito, Digul, Hari, Kampar, Kapuas, Kayan and Musi. There are also scattered inland lakes, small in size.
Highest Point Puncak Jaya – 16,502 ft. (5,030 m)
Lowest Point Indian Ocean – 0 ft. (0 m)
Land Divisions 30 provinces, including: Bali, Banten, Bengkulu, Gorontalo, Irian Jaya Barat, Jambi, Jawa Barat, Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur, Kalimantan Barat, Kalimantan Selatan, Kalimantan Tengah, Kalimantan Timur, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung, Kepulauan Riau, Lampung, Maluku, Maluku Utara, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Papua, Riau, Sulawesi Barat, Sulawesi Selatan, Sulawesi Tengah, Sulawesi Tenggara, Sulawesi Utara, Sumatera Barat, Sumatera Selatan and Sumatera Utara.
In addition, there are two special regions; Aceh and Yogyakarta, and the capital city district of Jakarta Raya.