Indonesia Facts for Kids
Indonesia Facts: Borobudur - Bali - Jakarta
Here are fun and interesting Indonesia Facts which were chosen and researched by children especially for children.
Indonesia Facts | Country Facts
Flag of Indonesia
- Population: 280 million inhabitants (2023)
- Capital city: Jakarta - about 11 million inhabitants
- Official Name: Republic of Indonesia
- Government: Presidential constitutional republic
- Language: Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
- Religion: mainly Islam (87%), Christians (10%), Hindus (1.7%)
- Currency: 1 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR): 1 USD equals about 14,000 IDR (January 2021)
- National Symbols: Garuda pancasila (mythical golden bird with a shield gripping a white ribbon)
- National Motto: Bhinekka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity)
- National Day: Independence Day: 17 August
- National Anthem: Indonesia Raya (Great Indonesia)
- History: Indonesia used to be a collection of kingdoms located on the Indonesian Archipelago before they were united under the rule of the Majapahit Empire. This was a Hindu-Buddhis kingdom and ruled for a good few hundred years until the 13th century when Muslim traders came to the empire. Seeing their kindness and honesty in business, the locals began accepting Islam. This is why Indonesia is a Muslim majority country, but still retains a lot of old Hindu-Buddhist monuments and buildings. Indonesia was colonised by four countries, but most notably the Dutch and the Japanese. The Dutch had control for well over 300 years, while the Japanese a mere three years. Indonesia gained its independence on 17 August 1945.
Indonesia Facts for Kids
Indonesia is an archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and the largest island country in the world.
The country is referred to as transcontinental as it is located on the two continents of Asia and Oceania.
The Indonesian archipelago borders three other nations: Malaysia (on the island of Borneo), Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste.
Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country and the world's most populous Muslim nation.
Busy road in Surabaya - image by Lano Lan
Indonesia is slightly less than three times the size of Texas/USA or about three times the size of France.
It takes a 16-hour flight from London/UK to reach Jakarta/Indonesia, 22 hours from New York/USA and 7.5 hours from Sydney/Australia.
Indonesia Geography Superlatives
- Indonesia is also the world’s largest archipelago with 17,508 islands.
Raja Ampat Islands in West Papua
- Indonesia has the second longest coastline in the world, measuring 54,716 km/ 33,999 miles long.
- Jogjakarta is the place of the largest Buddhist temple in the world: Candi Borobudur. This is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Indonesia.
- As much as 80% of Indonesia was covered in rainforest up until the 1960s. Alongside Brazil with the Amazon, the Indonesian archipelago is nicknamed 'Lungs of the Earth'.
- The largest city of Indonesia is Jakarta with about 10 million inhabitants. Jakarta is the main business hub of the country.
Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia
- The highest mountain peak of Indonesia is Puncak Jaya in the Jayawijaya mountains. The mountain summit is at 4,884 m/ 16,024 ft. Here you can experience snow in a tropical country! The mountain is located on the island of Papua.
- The longest river of Indonesia is the Kapuas River with 1,143 km/ 710 miles.
Landmarks and Attractions
Komodo National Park
Pura Ulan Danu Beratan on Bali island
Mount Bromo in East Java
Gili Kedis Island off southwestern Lombok
Indonesia Facts | Animals in Indonesia
Indonesia is one of the 17 so-called megadiverse countries in the world. The largest archipelago in the world houses two of the world's top "biodiversity hotspots". Only about a quarter of all mangroves in the country are in good condition and about half of the coral reefs in this country are damaged. Deforestation and habitat loss due to pollution, fires and mining are the main threats to biodiversity.
About 12% of mammal species live in Indonesia, making the country in this category the second most biodiverse in the world - after Brazil. The country houses also about 16% of the world's reptile species.
Komodo dragon on Padar Island
The Komodo Dragon, a huge dinosaur-like lizard which is sadly endangered is endemic to Indonesia. It roams the islands of East Nusa Tenggara. It even has its own island, simply named Komodo Island.
Most of the people in Indonesia live in Java and Sumatra.
About 56% of the Indonesians live in urban areas. The largest cities are Jakarta, Bekasi, Surabaya and Bandung.
Balinese traditional dancer
Indonesia is the country with the greatest number of Muslims. About 87% of the Indonesian population are Muslims, which means about 239 million Muslims reside in Indonesia.
Indonesians are known for being very warm and welcoming, especially to foreigners. People here love foreign tourists! Everywhere you go, you can expect a smile on people’s faces.
Indonesian pupils in school uniform - image by Casa Nayafana
Indonesia's motto is put into practice here. "Bhinekka Tunggal Ika" means "Unity in Diversity". Everyone can live side by side, no matter your background, skin color, language, anything.
Although there is only one official language, Indonesian, over 700 living languages are spoken all across the country. This means Indonesia is only second to Papua New Guinea, with over 800 living languages.
Indonesia Facts for Kids
Indonesia's cuisine is known for its steamed and fried rice dishes. Fish, meet and vegetables are common side dishes. Soft white cooked rice is called 'nasi' in Indonesian. Cooked noodles are called 'mee'
Coconut milk and peanuts are used in many dishes such as in the delicious peanut sauce that is commonly served with sate (satay).
Typical Indonesian Food:
- Sate Ayam: Grilled chicken satays on skewers, usually served with a spicy peanut sauce.
- Rendang Sapi: This beef rendang is a special caramelised dry beef curry made with slow braised beef meet and lots of spices and aromatic herbs.
- Nasi goreng is one of the most popular Indonesian dishes. It is a fried rice dish and usually served with satay, peanut sauce, prawn crackers and sambal which is a hot and spicy sauce.
- Mie goreng is very similar to nasi goring but is made with noodles instead of rice. Mie goreng means 'fried noodles'.
- Lapis legit: also often called a 'Thousand Layer' cake. This cake is made with lots of eggs, butter, flour and lots of spices such as anise, cinnamon and cloves.
- Lapis singkong is another popular layered cake, usually made with tapioca flour and in three multicoloured layers. Coconut shredding is sprinkled on top for decoration.
Indonesian Lapis Singsong - Colourful cassava cake
Rice fields in Indonesia
Indonesia is rich in petroleum and natural gas. The main agricultural products are palm oil, coconut, sugarcane, rice, maize and cassava.
The main trading partners are China, USA, Japan and Singapore.
Indonesia's national airline is called "Garuda Indonesia". The garuda is the national (mythical) bird-like creature.
Garuda airlines - image by Cesc Assawin
Indonesia Facts for Kids
This article was researched and composed mainly by Matin Hanafi Wirasena. - A Huge 'Thank You' for your excellent work! Matin was a winner in the senior category of our 2020 essay competition and offered to share more information about his home country Indonesia with us. Read his award winning essay here.
Further Resources used:
- Central Intelligence Agency. "Indonesia". CIA World Fact Book. Updated 18 January 2023. Accessed 26 January 2023
- UN Environment Programme. "Indonesia-Main Details." CBD.int. Accessed 26 January 2023
- Ethnologue. "Which countries have the most living languages." Ethnologue. Last accessed 26 January 2023
- Indonesia Tourism. "Wonderful Indonesia". IndonesiaTravel. Accessed 26 January 2023
Images on Indonesia Facts for Kids: Singapore by Sean Hsu/shutterstock.com, Malaysia by Andrej Paltsev/shutterstock.com, Balinese dancer by Magicinfoto/shutterstock.com, others from shutter stock.com, sxc.hu and own images.
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