01.01.02. Key geographical and demographic characteristics | Indonesia

01.01.02. Key geographical and demographic characteristics | Indonesia

11 Apr 2022

According to Indonesia’s National Coordinating Agency for Survey and Mapping, the Republic of Indonesia stretches over an archipelago of 13,466 islands out of which 922 are permanently inhabited. However, there is some debate regarding the exact number of islands (Hidayat, 2017). The five largest islands are Papua, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi (Adam et al., 2019; Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia Washington DC, 2017). The country has a tropical climate, with hot and humid weather all year long (CIA World Factbook, 2019).

The majority of the population is concentrated on the islands of Java and Sumatra (CIA World Factbook, 2019). Java, one of the world’s most densely populated island, houses the majority of the Indonesian population, despite only covering 7% of the total land territory of the country (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2017). Just over half of the Indonesian population (55.3% in 2018) is estimated to live in urban areas. The largest urban areas are the capital Jakarta (10.517 million, 2018) Bekasi (3.2 million), Surabaya (2.9 million), Bandung (2.5 million), Medan (2.3 million), and Tangerang (2.22 million) (CIA World Factbook, 2019).


Adam, A. W., Wolters, O. W., Mohamad, G. S., Legge, J. D., McDivitt, J. F., & Leinbach, T. R. (2019). Indonesia. https://www.britannica.com/place/Indonesia

CIA World Factbook. (2019). Indonesia. https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/indonesia/

Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia Washington DC. (2017). Facts & Figures. https://www.embassyofindonesia.org/index.php/basic-facts/

Hidayat, R. (2017, June 7). Indonesia counts its islands to protect territory and resources. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40168981

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2017). Java. Encyclopædia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/place/Java-island-Indonesia