The Republic of Indonesia encompasses an area of 2 million sq. km. (736,000 sq. mi.), about three times the size of the state of Texas. Its capital city, Jakarta (on the island of Java), has an estimated population of about 8.8 million; other major cities are: Surabaya, Medan, and Bandung. The estimated population of Indonesia, as of July 2006, is 245.5 million. The major religions in Indonesia are: Muslim 88 %, Protestant 5%, Catholic 3%, Hindu 2%, and Buddhist and other 1%.
The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century. From 1942-1945, Japan occupied most of Indonesia. Independence from the Netherlands was declared on August, 17, 1945. Following the implementation of decentralization (beginning 1 January, 2001), the 440 districts or regencies have become the key administrative units responsible for providing most government services.
Natural hazards facing the world's largest archipelagic state include: occasional floods, severe droughts, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, and forest fires. The country continues the work of rebuilding from the devastating December 2004 tsunami and from an earthquake in central Java in May 2006 that caused over $3 billion in damage and losses. Significant progress has been made in rebuilding Aceh after the devastating December 2004 tsunami, and the province now shows more economic activity than before the disaster. Unfortunately, Indonesia suffered new disasters in 2006 and early 2007 including: a major earthquake near Yogyakarta, an industrial accident in Sidoarjo, East Java that created a "mud volcano," a tsunami in South Java, and major flooding in Jakarta, all of which caused additional damages in the billions of dollars.
CIA World Factbook; U.S. State Department Background Notes, 2007/12; 2007/08
This map has also been used:
- Indonesia, March, 2005