With 17,000 islands and islets in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is the biggest archipelago in the world. The largest islands include Sumatra, Java (the most populous), and Bali.

  • Population: 246,864,200
  • Life Expectancy: 71 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 84%
  • School Enrollment: 99%
  • Land Mass: 735,358 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 93%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 31/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 3,420

Facts about Indonesia

Economic Development

More than 6 percent of Indonesia’s population is unemployed. Around 11 percent of the population still lives in poverty.


According to UNICEF, around 50 percent of children who come from poor families drop out of school after primary-level education.

Disaster Response

Indonesia is a disaster-prone area of the world. Earthquakes, landslides, floods, and volcano eruptions are very common in the country.

Indonesia flag


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Progress in Indonesia

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2014.

  • Demonstrating Christ’s love through our actions, we worked among the children and families of the community to promote peace and justice and encourage understanding.

  • Through our children's groups, boys and girls had opportunities to learn about child rights and protection and to become leaders in their communities.

  • We trained community members, including government leaders, church leaders, parents, and children, on how to make their communities safer and more child-friendly.

  • In partnership with local credit unions, we offered financial training for parents and helped them start savings accounts to set aside money for their children's health and education needs.

  • Parents and young people were equipped with skills in beekeeping, fishing, and other income-generating activities and provided with career guidance to help them earn a living.

  • In partnership with the Ministry of Education, we offered professional development courses for teachers to strengthen the quality of education. Subjects included early childhood development, Harmony Education curriculum, child-centered teaching methods, and classroom management.

  • To reduce malnutrition, health center staff, community health volunteers, and caregivers were trained in proper feeding practices for babies and young children.

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    World Vision in Indonesia Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Indonesia to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 9,500 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Indonesia. Highlights include:

    • Responding to natural disasters and assisting communities with rebuilding homes.
    • Enhancing children’s access to education by introducing easy teaching methods and establishing children’s study groups.
    • Helping local governments issue regulations on child protection.

    World Vision History in Indonesia

    World Vision assistance in Indonesia dates back to 1957. Child sponsorship began in 1961. Since then, some major accomplishments have included:

    • Providing food to reduce malnutrition and assisting the survivors of the Bali volcanic eruption with food, clothing, and medical supplies during the 1960s.
    • Constructing schools for literacy programs and improving healthcare and agricultural development during the 1970s.
    • Offering education and vocational training in sewing, carpentry, and typing, as well as opening health clinics in the 1980s.
    • Addressing the needs of the urban poor, as well as providing food, health education, food-for-work opportunities, schooling, and training for entrepreneurs since the 1990s.
    • Helping survivors of the 2004 tsunami and other recent disasters with food, clothing, medical supplies, access to clean water, and other necessities.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    With 17,000 islands and islets in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is the biggest archipelago in the world. The largest islands include Sumatra, Java (the most populous), and Bali.

    Indonesia has 100 active volcanoes, as well as interior mountains, lush forests, and numerous rivers. The lava’s residual ash contributes to soil fertility and plant growth. Natural resources include petroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, coal, gold, silver, and fertile soil.

    Nearly half of the country’s workforce is engaged in agriculture and fishing. Products include rice, cassava, peanuts, rubber, cocoa, and coffee.

    Indonesia’s national motto is “unity in diversity.” The people are proud that despite hundreds of ethnic groups, they are united as one nation. Javanese, Sundanese, and Madurese represent majority ethnic groups. Although the official language is Bahasa Indonesia, Indonesians speak more than 580 other languages and dialects.

    Indonesia’s many different cultures have their own customs; however, most rural people do not celebrate birthdays. Also, many children have arranged marriages. The minimum legal age to marry is 18 for girls and 21 for boys; women in rural areas usually marry by age 20.


    The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century. From 1942 to the end of World War II, Japan occupied the country. Indonesia declared its independence from the Dutch in 1945, but did not gain autonomy until 1949 after four years of negotiation with the Netherlands.

    After decades under an oppressive government, Indonesia held free elections in 1999. The country is the third-largest democracy in the world today.

    On December 26, 2004, a magnitude-9.0 earthquake centered off Sumatra’s west coast caused a powerful tsunami in the Indian Ocean that affected 12 countries. In Indonesia, hundreds of thousands of people died and more than 500,000 were displaced.

    In 2005, the government reached a peace agreement with separatists in Aceh, an area on the northern edge of Sumatra. Today, another group of separatists — the Free Papua Movement — continue to resist the government’s control.

    Two massive earthquakes in 2009 killed about 100 people in West Java and 1,000 in Western Sumatra. Another earthquake and tsunami killed over 100 people in October 2010, and a volcanic eruption that same month killed nearly 150 people and displaced over 107,000 people.

    Prayer Requests for Indonesia

    • Please pray for children who are forced out of their homes and unable to attend school due to natural disasters.
    • Pray also for better sanitation to prevent the spread of disease. Despite recent progress, only 68 percent of Indonesians have access to improved sanitation facilities.