60 Interesting Facts About Indonesia

Last updated on May 12th, 2021

32. Japan occupied Indonesia between 1942 and 1945 essentially to obtain its natural resources. It was revealed through a UN report that at least four million people died in Indonesia during this period. The cause of death, however, was famine and forced labor.

33. General Suharto, the second president of Indonesia, is believed to have amassed up to $45 billion corruptly. He was the acting president between March 12, 1967 and May 21, 1998. If the assessment about his wealth is correct, it might make him the world’s most corrupt politician of all time.

34. Indonesia is essentially known for: Komodo dragons, beaches, tigers, music and traditional puppetry.

35. The country’s people are very young despite the extensive history of the country. In Indonesia, at least 165 million people are under the age of 30.

About language diversity, life quality & palm oil production

36. More than 700 different dialects and languages are spoken in Indonesia, which makes it a highly diverse country.

37. Indonesia contains hotels where there are “ladies-only floors.” Ladies can book a room on such floors where all the caretakers and staff are women.

38. The traffic conditions in Indonesia are also difficult for a newbie to get comfortable with. Almost any space that is available on the busy roads will be taken up by motorcyclists.

39. More than 35% of the species of birds and mammals in Indonesia are endemic, making it the second country in the world after Australia to have such a fleet of native species.

40. Take a note of this fact: presently, Indonesia is also the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Palm fruits.
Palm fruits.

41. Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil, contributing about half the world’s supply.

Facts about Indonesian culture, traditions, and religion

42. The nature of Indonesian national culture is somewhat similar to that of India.

43. An Indonesian engineer, Tjokorda Raka Sukawati, is credited with inventing a road-construction technique–Sosrobahu–that is now used by many countries across the world.

44. Indonesian cuisine has been influenced by Indian, Chinese, European and Middle Eastern cuisines.

45. According to an old Indonesian tradition, girls between the ages of 12 and 16 are isolated from the outside world and are virtually imprisoned.

Did you know?

46. In 1976, Indonesia became the first developing country to operate its own satellite system by launching Palapa satellite.

47. Indonesia is the world’s largest island country, followed by Madagascar and Papua New Guinea.

Panorama Lake Toba, North Sumatra Indonesia.
Panorama Lake Toba, North Sumatra Indonesia.

48. Indonesia also takes credit for being home to the world’s largest volcanic lake – Lake Toba. In length, it is over 100 km and it spans 30 km in width. It is also the largest lake in Indonesia. The lake also houses a newly formed island – Pulao Samosir.

49. Earthquakes are quite frequent in Indonesia. The country experiences between one and three earthquakes every day. However, not everyone is disastrous; most are quite mild.

50. Indonesia sees at least one volcanic eruption every year.

51. After Brazil, Indonesia has the world’s second-largest number of tropical forests.

52. After China, Indonesia is the world’s second-largest producer of instant noodles. The country is also home to the world’s largest instant noodle producer – Indofood.

Indonesian Transjakarta Bus (Public Tranportation Busway) on Sudirman Street.
Indonesian Transjakarta Bus (Public Tranportation Busway) on Sudirman Street.

53. Serving more than 300,000 passengers daily, the TransJakarta is the world’s largest bus rapid transit system.

54. In 2004, the world’s second-largest earthquake struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The result was a Tsunami that caused an estimated 300,000 deaths and displaced several millions more people. The force was so intense that surrounding land masses have shifted by up to 12 m.

Indonesia facts for kids

55. According to data collected by the World Bank in 2009, almost half of the country’s population earns less than $2 per day.

56. At 4,884 meters, Puncak Jaya in Papua is Indonesia’s highest peak.

57. Indonesia has a coastline of more than 54,716 km. Remember: Australia has the world’s longest coastline, while Monaco has the world’s shortest.

58. Indonesia lies between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

59. Tourism plays a significant role in the nation’s economy. The country models itself as “Wonderful Indonesia.”

60. Barack Obama, the U.S. President, also spent part of his childhood in Indonesia.

Related: Interesting facts about Thailand

Additional facts: 

You can see spiderweb rice fields at Cancar, Ruteng, Indonesia.

Spiderweb rice fields, Indonesia
Spiderweb rice fields, Indonesia

Indonesia – country at a glance

IndependenceFriday, 17 August 1945
Areatotal: 1,904,569 sq km
land: 1,811,569 sq km
water: 93,000 sq km
Capital CityJakarta
6°10′S 106°49′E
Largest CityJakarta
6°10′S 106°49′E
Population277,329,163 (2022 est.)
Official LanguageIndonesian
Government typepresidential republic
PresidentJoko Widodo
Vice-PresidentMa'ruf Amin
Climatetropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
Industriespetroleum and natural gas, textiles, automotive, electrical appliances, apparel, footwear, mining, cement, medical instruments and appliances, handicrafts, chemical fertilizers, plywood, rubber, processed food, jewelry, and tourism
BordersPapua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia (land borders).
Terrainmostly coastal lowlands; larger islands have interior mountains
Life expectancy at birth72.82 Years (2021)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Languages spokenJavanese, Sundanese, Madurese, Minangkabau and others
ReligionIslam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism
CurrencyIndonesian rupiah (Rp) (IDR)
Suffrage17 years of age; universal and married persons regardless of age
Natural resourcespetroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, fertile soils, coal, gold, silver
National AnthemIndonesia Raya
"Great Indonesia"
National colorsred, white
National symbolgaruda (mythical bird)
Highest pointPuncak Jaya 4,884 m
Lowest pointIndian Ocean 0 m
Mean elevation367 m
Exports$178.26 billion (2020 est.)
coal, palm oil, natural gas, cars, gold (2019)
Imports$159.64 billion (2020 est.)
refined petroleum, crude petroleum, vehicle parts, telephones, natural gas (2019)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$11,400 (2020 est.)
Agricultural land31.2%
Birth rate15.59 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate6.74 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Sex ratio1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Internet country code.id
Drives on theLeft
Calling Code+62
Time ZoneVarious (UTC+7 to +9)
Table last updatedJuly 25, 2022