Area and geographical features
Indonesia is a huge archipelago comprising of 17,000 islands
and covers 1.9m square kilometers (735,354 square miles).
From east to west, the country stretches for 3,200 miles
and from north to south 1,200 miles. It is a mountainous
country and is prone to earth tremors . It also has more
active volcanoes than any other country.
The Republic of Indonesia shares land frontiers with Malaysia
and Brunei on the island of Borneo and with Papua-New
Guinea. It has sea boundaries with East Timor, Malaysia,
Singapore, Vietnam, The Philippines and Australia.
Mangrove swamps line the coast and tropical rainforests
are the major vegetation on less populated islands, although
many larger islands have been cleared by logging and shifting
Indonesia is now the fourth most populous country in the
world with over 210 million inhabitants and is increasing
at approx. 2% per year. Three quarters of the area and
population of the country are included in five islands:
Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo)
and Irian Jaya. Over 50% of the population live on Java.
The lesser Sunda Islands Bali, Timor and Lombok.
Two thirds of the population are under the age of 30 with
35% under the age of 15.
The urban population is estimated to be 34% of the total
population and is rising by 4-5% annually.
The country is made up of about 350 ethnic groups each
with their own customs and cultures.
The indigenous population of Indonesia's major islands
are mainly of Malay stock.
The climate is tropical with the hottest months being
April and May 24-31 degrees centigrade. The coldest months
are January and February 23-29 degree centigrade. The
wettest months are also January and February with an average
rainfall of 300mm.