Indonesia (Listeni/ˌɪndəˈniːʒə/ IN-də-NEE-zhə or /ˌɪndoʊˈniːziə/ IN-doh-NEE-zee-ə), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia Indonesian pronunciation: [rɛpublik ɪndonesia]), is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 17,508 islands. It encompasses 34 provinces with over 238 million people, making it the world’s fourth most populous country. Indonesia’s republic form of government comprises an elected legislature and president. 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, Palau, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia is a founding member of ASEAN and a member of the G-20 major economies. The Indonesian economy is the world’s 16th largest by nominal GDP.
The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought the now-dominant Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. Indonesia’s history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change.
Indonesia consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups. The largest – and politically dominant – ethnic group are the Javanese. A shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesia’s national motto, “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” (“Unity in Diversity” literally, “many, yet one”), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world’s second highest level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources, yet poverty remains widespread.
Indonesian provinces and their capitals, listed by region
Indonesian name is in parentheses if different from English. * indicates provinces with Special Status
Aceh* – Banda Aceh North Sumatra (Sumatera Utara) – Medan West Sumatra (Sumatera Barat) – Padang Riau – Pekanbaru Riau Islands (Kepulauan Riau) – Tanjung Pinang Jambi – Jambi (city) South Sumatra (Sumatera Selatan) – Palembang Bangka-Belitung (Kepulauan Bangka-Belitung) – Pangkal Pinang Bengkulu – Bengkulu (city) Lampung – Bandar Lampung
Special Capital Region of Jakarta* (Daerah Khusus Ibu Kota Jakarta) – Jakarta Banten – Serang West Java (Jawa Barat) – Bandung Central Java (Jawa Tengah) – Semarang Yogyakarta Special Region* (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta) – Yogyakarta (city) East Java (Jawa Timur) – Surabaya
Lesser Sunda Islands
Bali – Denpasar West Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Barat) – Mataram East Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Timur) – Kupang
West Kalimantan (Kalimantan Barat) – Pontianak Central Kalimantan (Kalimantan Tengah) – Palangkaraya South Kalimantan (Kalimantan Selatan) – Banjarmasin East Kalimantan (Kalimantan Timur) – Samarinda North Kalimantan (Kalimantan Utara) – Tanjung Selor
North Sulawesi (Sulawesi Utara) – Manado Gorontalo – Gorontalo (city) Central Sulawesi (Sulawesi Tengah) – Palu West Sulawesi (Sulawesi Barat) – Mamuju South Sulawesi (Sulawesi Selatan) – Makassar South East Sulawesi (Sulawesi Tenggara) – Kendari
Maluku – Ambon North Maluku (Maluku Utara) – Sofifi
Western New Guinea
West Papua* (Papua Barat) – Manokwari Papua* – Jayapura
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