Welcome to the IndonesiaGenWeb Project. This website
was designed to assist
researchers in their quest for their ancestry in the Republic of Indonesia.
General information about Indonesia
Indonesia is a huge archipelagic country extending 5,120 kilometers from east to west and 1,760 kilometers from north to south. It encompasses 13,667 islands (some sources say as many as 18,000), only 6,000 of which are inhabited. There are five main islands (Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Irian Jaya), two major archipelagos (Nusa Tenggara and the Maluku Islands), and sixty smaller archipelagos. Two of the islands are shared with other nations; Kalimantan (known in the colonial period as Borneo, the world's third largest island) is shared with Malaysia and Brunei, and Irian Jaya shares the island of New Guinea with Papua New Guinea.
Indonesia is made up of a diverse number of ethnic groups. The largest group were the Javanese at 45 percent of the total population. Sundanese made up 14 percent, followed by Madurese, 7.5 percent, and coastal Malays, 7.5 percent. As a sign of its diverse population, fully 26 percent of the population in 1992 consisted of numerous small ethnic groups or minorities such as the following groups on the island of Sumatra: Bataks, who cluster around Lake Toba; the Minangkabau, from the western highlands; the Acehnese, from the far north; and the Lampungese, who live in the south. On the island of Sulawesi, the Minahasans live in the north, the Bugis and Makassarese cluster around the coasts in the south, and the Toraja inhabit much of the interior. The island of Kalimantan is populated by more than 200 groups; most of these are tribes of the Dyak ethnic group in the interior or are ethnic Malay living on the coast. The people of Irian Jaya are of Melanesian descent, as are some residents from smaller eastern islands. Several million Indonesians of Chinese descent are concentrated in urban areas. Smaller numbers of Indians, Arabs, and Europeans are scattered around the archipelago.
The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia and is the most widely spoken tongue. However there are approximately 669 languages and dialects spoken.
The government of Indonesia is a constitutional Republic with a president, a House of Representatives and a Judicial branch.
Indonesia is divided into 2 special regions (Aceh and Yogyakarta), 1 special capital city district (Jakarta Raya), and 24 provinces, Bali, Bengkulu, Irian Jaya, Jambi, Jawa Barat, Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur, Kalimantan Barat, Kalimantan Selatan, Kalimantan Tengah, Kalimantan Timur, Lampung, Maluku, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Riau, Sulawesi Selatan, Sulawesi Tengah, Sulawesi Tenggara, Sulawesi Utara, Sumatera Barat, Sumatera Selatan, Sumatera Utara, Timor Timur, Yogyakarta.
Indonesia was controlled by the Netherlands until it declared independence in 1945.
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