01.03.04. Poverty and inequality | Indonesia

01.03.04. Poverty and inequality | Indonesia

13 Apr 2022

The United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) of Indonesia has increased from 0.528 in 1990 to 0.694 in 2018 (Agustina et al., 2019, p.78; United Nations Development Programme, 2018). This leads to a ranking of Indonesia in place 116 out of 189 countries (United Nations Development Programme, 2018). As with other indicators, there was considerable regional variety reported for the HDI (Sukamdi & Mujahid, 2015, p.xi).

Inequality in Indonesia has widened considerably between the years 2000 (28.5) and 2013 (39.9), but slightly diminished since 2017 (Gini index:38.1) (World Bank, 2018b).

Agustina and colleagues (2019, p.78) further report that the proportion of people in Indonesia living on ‘less than $1.90 per day in PPP’ declined substantially between 1984 (70.3%) and 2017 (5.7%); however, ‘high variability across and within provinces and districts’ remains.

Due to the absence of comprehensive social protection, older people in Indonesia are extremely vulnerable. According to Kidd and colleagues (2018, p.1), the highest rate of extreme poverty can be found among people aged 65 and over, with approximately 80 per cent of this age group living ‘households with a per capita consumption below IDR 50,000’ per day (below US$4). The proportion among those aged 80 and older is considered to be even higher. Women and those without family support are particularly vulnerable (Kidd et al., 2018, p.1).


Agustina, R., Dartanto, T., Sitompul, R., Susiloretni, K. A., Suparmi, Achadi, E. L., Taher, A., Wirawan, F., Sungkar, S., Sudarmono, P., Shankar, A. H., Thabrany, H., Susiloretni, K. A., Soewondo, P., Ahmad, S. A., Kurniawan, M., Hidayat, B., Pardede, D., Mundiharno, … Khusun, H. (2019). Universal health coverage in Indonesia: concept, progress, and challenges. The Lancet, 393(10166), 75–102. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31647-7

Kidd, S., Gelders, B., & Rahayu, S. K. (2018). Implementing Social Protection for the Elderly in Indonesia. http://www.tnp2k.go.id/filemanager/files/Perlindungan Sosial Lansia/Elderly Brief – English Version.pdf

Sukamdi, & Mujahid, G. (2015). Internal Migration in Indonesia. UNFPA Indonesia Monograph Series No.3, xii, 90.

United Nations Development Programme. (2018). 2018 Statistical Update: Human Development Indices and Indicators. Human Development Reports. https://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-indices-indicators-2018-statistical-update

World Bank. (2018b). GINI index (World Bank estimate) – Indonesia. World Development Indicators. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.POV.GINI?locations=ID&view=chart