The Republic of Indonesia (pronounced /ˌɪndoʊˈniːziə/ or /ˌɪndəˈniːʒə/) (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia), is a transcontinental country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. The name Indonesia has its roots in two Greek words: "Indos" meaning Indian and "Nesos" which means islands. It is an appropriate description of the archipelago as there are estimated to be a total of 17,508 islands, of which only about 6,000 are inhabited, stretching for 5,150 km between the Australian and Asian continental mainlands and dividing the Pacific and Indian Oceans at the Equator.Comprising 17,508 islands, it is the world's largest archipelagic state.
The nation's capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.Indonesia shares Irian Jaya with Papua New Guinea, two thirds of the island of Kalimantan with Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, and also Timor Leste in Timor Island.
Five main islands and 30 smaller archipelagos are home to the majority of the population. The main islands are Sumatra (473,606 sq.km), Kalimantan (1539,400 sq.km), Sulawesi (189,216 sq. km), Irian Jaya (421,981 sq. km), and last but not least Java (132,187 sq.km), home to about 70% of the country's population.
According to the latest Intercensal Population Surveys (SUPAS) of 2005, Indonesian total population is 218,868,791. Currently, West Java is the most populous province in Indonesia covering about 17,8 % of total population in Indonesia. Population rate growth predicted about 1.30 annually.
There are over 700 ethnic groups, 500 local languages, and 60 dialects in Indonesia. Although Indonesian language sets as an official language but people sometimes still use local language in daily conversation. Many ethnic groups, particularly in Kalimantan and Papua, have only hundreds of members. Most of the local languages belong to Austronesian linguistic family, although a significant number, particularly in Papua, speak Papuan languages. According to official estimates, there are nearly 2 million ethnic Chinese in Indonesia. Some estimates, however, put the number of ethnic Chinese at roughly 8 million, claiming a large undercount due to widespread reluctance to self-identify as Chinese}. Some of these Indonesians of Chinese descent speak various Chinese dialects, most notably Hokkian and Hakka. The Chinese Indonesian population makes up about 3 % of the total Indonesian population.
The regions of Indonesia and some of their indigenous ethnic groups are as follows. Note however that due to migration within Indonesia (as part of government transmigration programs or otherwise), there are significant populations of ethic groups who reside outside of their traditional regions.
- Java : Javanese, Sundanese, Bantenese, Betawi, Tengger, Osing, Badui
- Madura : Madurese
- Sumatra : Malays, Batak, Minangkabau, Acehnese, Lampung, Kubu
- Kalimantan: Dayak, Banjar
- Sulawesi : Makassarese, Buginese, Mandar, Minahasa, Gorontalo, Toraja, Bajau
- Lesser Sunda Islands: Balinese, Sasak
- Moluccas : Nuaulu, Manusela
- Papua : Dani, Bauzi, Asmat
Additionally, there are other smaller groups reminiscent of Indonesian demographic dynamics from colonial era, such as Arab Indonesian, Indian Indonesian, and Eurasian Indonesian. The latter presumably has literally diminished as an ethnic group since major emigration from Indonesia after the World War II.
Although it is not an Islamic state, Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation, with almost 86.1% of Indonesians declared Muslim according to the 2000 census. Another religion is as follow : 8.7% is Christians, 3% is Hindu, and the rest of about 1.8% is Buddhist or the other religions. Most Indonesian Hindus are Balinese meanwhile Bhuddist dominated by Chinese ethnic.
Education is one of the main concern in Indoenesia. Indonesian government still fighta to provide good education for all population especially in the school age. Although it is not free, formal education is compulsory for children through to grade 9.