Indonesia Population 2017
Indonesia is a sovereign archipelago in Southeast Asia and the fourth most populous country on earth after China, India, and the United States. Indonesia is made up of more than 17,000 islands with over 1.9 million square miles of land, which makes it the 15th largest country. Indonesia has a population estimated at 260 million in 2016, up from the 2015 estimate of 257 million. About 56.7% of Indonesia's population lives on Java, the most populous island.
Indonesia has more than 300 distinct ethnic and linguistic groups, although the largest and most dominant in terms of politics are the Javanese at over 40% of the population. Most Indonesians are descended from Austronesian-speaking people. Another major ethnic group are Melanesians who live on the eastern part of the country. Other major ethnic groups include: Sundanese (15.5%), Malay (2.27%), Madurese (3.03%), Batak (3.58%), Minankabau (2.73%), Betawi (2.88%), Bantenese (1.97%), Banjarese (1.74%), Balinese (1.67%), and Makasserese (1.13%)..
Chinese Indonesians account for about 3% of the population but they are influential, controlling most of the country's wealth and commerce.
In addition to this diverse population, Indonesia is also the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, as just over 87% of Indonesians declared Muslim on the 2010 census. 9.87% are Christian, 1.69% are Hindu, 0.72% are Buddhist and 0.56% practice other faiths. The Indonesian constitution grants religious freedom although the government only officially recognizes Islam, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism.
There are more than 700 languages spoken in Indonesia. Indonesian, a form of Malay, is the official language and used mostly in education, media, commerce, and administration. Most people in Indonesia speak other languages as a primary language.
Largest Cities in Indonesia
According to the 2010 official population data, Indonesia has 11 cities with a population over 1 million, although estimates from 2014 show that there are now 14 cities that have populations that exceed 1 million. The 10 largest cities in Indonesia, with populations as of 2014, are:
- Jakarta (Jakarta Province): 10.135 million
- Surabaya (East Java): 2.843 million
- Bandung (West Java): 2.575 million
- Medan (North Sumatra): 2.497 million
- Bekasi(West Java): 2.51 million
- Semerang (Central Java): 2.067 million
- Tangerang (Banten): 2.001 million
- Depok (West Java): 1.869 million
- Palembang (South Sumatra): 1.561 million
- South Tanerand (Banten): 1.436 million
Jakarta isn't just the most populous city in Indonesia; it's also the most populous in Southeast Asia and the 14th most populated city on earth. The official metropolitan area, known as Jabodetabek, is the third largest in the world, and the metropolis's suburbs extend even further. The entire area has a population of over 30 million, which makes it one of the largest conurbations on earth. It's also one of the fastest-growing cities on earth, growing faster than Beijing and Bangkok, with a population density in the city proper of 15,342 people per square kilometer (39,740/square mile).
Indonesia Population Growth
Another interesting statistic involves the ages of the Indonesian population and although these figures date from the previous national census of 2000, they still tell an interesting story. Of the total 2000 population, 27.3% were aged between 0 and 14 years, 66.5% between 15 and 64, while just 6.1% of the population of Indonesia were aged over 65.
Birth rate was healthy compared to the death rate too and based on a 2012 estimate, it’s believed that there are 17.76 births per 1,000 people compared to just 6.28 deaths. Add in a loss of 1.08 people to net migration and you have a total annual growth rate of 1.04%.
That final figure of 1.04% may not seem like a lot but on a population of over 250 million, it leads to some significant increases. As the Jakarta Post reported in 2013, Indonesia's population has doubled within just 40 years from 119 million in 1971 to almost 240 million in 2010, based on figures from the Central Statistics Agency. In another 40 years, the country's population is expected to climb much higher.
According to the Jakarta Post author, the high Muslim population in Indonesia is leading to a very high birth rate, which cannot be sustained. The article points out that Jakarta, Indonesia's largest city, is in a naturally flood-prone area, and the depth and extend of floods only increases as the population density increases.
Unfortunately, Indonesia's attempts at family planning education and population control have not been very successful, and it's hard to say how sustainable the country's growth will be.
Source: Gunawan Kartapranata