Indonesia Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Indonesia Country Overview

Where is Indonesia located? The Republic of Indonesia, located in Southeast Asia, is the largest island country in the world and also has an above-average population. The chain of islands is close to the equator and mainly spreads out. Therefore, the island state is also divided into several world time zones. On the time zone map, the countries along the lines of longitude are assigned to different time zones. The classification provides information about how big the time difference between the respective country and the world time (also called UTC) is. There are three such time zones in Indonesia. One is called “West Indonesian Time” and the time difference to the world clock is 7 hours, ie the time there is 7 hours ahead of the world time (UTC+7).

Indonesia National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Indonesia is 267,026,366, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 267,026,366
Population growth rate 0.79%
Birth rate 16.20 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 71.90 years
Men life expectancy 69.33 years
Women life expectancy 74.59 years
Age structure
0-14 years 24.63%
15-64 years 68.11%
65 years and above 7.26%
Median age 29.60 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 1.00
Population density 140.20 residents per km²
Urbanization 45.60%
Indonesians – last census 2010: 237,641,326 residents – 42% Javanese, 15% Sundanese, 3% Malay, 3% Madurese, 3% Bataker, 3% Minangkabau, 3% Betawi; Balinese, Papuans and others; Minorities of Chinese, Indian, Arab and Melanesian descent
Muslims 88%; Protestants 5%; Catholics (Roman Catholic) 3%; Hindus 2%; Buddhists 1%; Other 1%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.707
HDI ranking 111st out of 194

People in Indonesia

In Indonesia there is great wealth in the big cities and there is still great poverty in the countryside. There are the ancient cultures of the Papua and a west-oriented life in Java. In some regions people still live almost like the prehistoric people in the Stone Age and there are people who feed their families almost entirely from fishing.

Which ethnic groups live in Indonesia?

The largest ethnic group in Indonesia are the Javanese. Around 45 out of 100 Indonesians are Javanese. They live in central and east Java. The Sundanese live in West Java, 15 out of 100 Indonesians are Sundanese. Although their culture is similar to the Javanese culture, it differs in a number of ways. By the way, 60 out of 100 Indonesians (people with Indonesian citizenship, regardless of their origin) live on Java. That’s a lot when you consider that Indonesia is a country with more than 17,000 islands. The island of Java takes up about 7 percent of the total area of ​​the country. The Javanese language is just one of many languages, but since it is spoken by more than 70 million people, it is one of the most widely spoken languages ​​in all of Southeast Asia.

Where do the smallest people in the world live?

In addition to the large ethnic groups mentioned, there are also smaller groups that maintain their own culture and way of life and often live on an island isolated from others. A very special ethnic group is that of the so-called dwarf people. The Kimyal tribe dwarf people who live in New Guinea are the smallest people in the world. Women are about 130 centimeters and men 140 centimeters tall. Their population is growing and there are still 1000 people living, mostly in villages with 40 to 150 residents. Men and women live separately in women’s and men’s huts, whereby women are not allowed to enter the men’s huts. Then there are the family huts in which the families or married women live. If they are sick or have a baby, they have to go back to the women’s huts.

They lead isolated lives and have preserved many of their traditions. The pig festival is one of their festivals. Pigs are valuable animals to the Kimyal. Only a man who owns a pig is allowed to get married. It is still not possible to explain exactly why the people here are so short. Some believe that at some point they were driven out of their villages and looked for a new home. Others believe that protein deficiency is the cause.

Languages in Indonesia

More than 250 different languages ​​and dialects are spoken in Indonesia. Indonesians who live far apart from each other often do not understand the dialects of their compatriots. Indonesia is a multi-ethnic state precisely because many peoples live there. This is Indonesia’s state motto “Unity in Diversity”. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is called in Indonesian. The official language – the official language that is also spoken in the administration – is Bahasa Indonesian. Because Indonesia is a colonywho was Dutch, they also speak English or Dutch. Foreign languages ​​are compulsory in schools. Arabic is also taught, so that some of the Indonesians speak Arabic or at least can communicate in this language. On the islands of Bali and Java, which tourists from abroad particularly like to visit, people speak a special language again, namely Balinese.

Religions in Indonesia

No other country on earth has as many Muslims as Indonesia. All other world religions also practice their faith and are recognized by the state. 88 out of 100 people are Muslims, five out of 100 Protestants (Indonesia was a Dutch colony and most of the Dutch were Protestants), three out of 100 are Catholics and two out of 100 Hindus. Most of the Hindus live in Bali and East Java. So many different ethnic groups, religions and cultures exist in Indonesia, largely peacefully with one another. Indonesia is known for its religious freedom and tolerance.