Population Indonesia

Indonesia has a population of 235 million. 9.3 million live in the capital city of Jakarta. The range of peoples, languages, cultures and customs found in this archipelago is unbelievable. There are 365 different ethnic groups and 300 different languages. Indonesia could almost be the Tower of Babel of the modern world. The language predominantly spoken is Bahasa Indonesian. The Javanese form the largest ethnic group, with 60 million people, followed by the Sundanese on West Java. The Balinese number 2.5 million. 2.4 million live on Lombok, 80% of which are Sasak. These people follow Islam, although they have a culture that is unique to the island. The Lesser Sunda Islands are more sparsely populated than Java or Bali, and the villages and cultures there are metaphorically and literally far away from each other. There are enormous physical differences between the people of the different islands in the country, differing in pigmentation, hair types, physiques and facial features. Many on the island still live isolated existences. The feeling of ‘Indonesian identity’ is the strongest in the more developed region, while the more isolated (and therefore more traditional) communities identify more with their own ethnic identity and their ‘adat’ (traditional laws and customs of one ethnic group or community).

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