Indonesia Population 2015
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 kilometers of land, which makes it the 19th largest country. Indonesia has a population estimated at 257 million in 2015, up from the 2013 estimate of 250 million. About 58% 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 42% 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%), Matay (3.5%), Madurese (3%), Batak (3%), Minankabau (2.7%), Betawi (2.5%), Bantenese (2%), Banjarese (1.7%), Balinese (1.5%), Makasserese (1%), and Crebonede (1%).
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 86% of Indonesians declared Muslim on the 2000 census. 8.7% are Christian, 3% are Hindu, 1.8% are Buddhist or other. 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 Bogor, the 12th most populous city in the country, is quickly approaching this mark as well. The 10 largest cities in Indonesia, with populations as of 2010, are:
- Jakarta (Jakarta Province): 10.187 million in 2013
- Surabaya (East Java): 2.765 million
- Bandung (West Java): 2.394 million
- Bekasi (West Java): 2.334 million
- Medan (North Sumatra): 2.097 million
- Tangerang (Banten): 1.798 million
- Depok (West Java): 1.738 million
- Semarang (Central Java): 1.555 million
- Palembang (South Sumatra): 1.455 million
- Makassar (South Sulawesi): 1.338 million
Jakarta isn't just the most populous city in Indonesia; it's also the most populous in Southeast Asia and the 13th most populated city on earth. The official metropolitan area, known as Jabodetabek, is the second largest in the world, and the metropolis's suburbs extend even further. The entire area has a population well past 28 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 per cent were aged between 0 and 14 years, 66.5 per cent 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.