. Indonesia's ocean boundaries embrace an area almost as large as Europe west of the Soviet Union (9.5 million square kilometres, of which almost 80 per cent is ocean). Its land area is 1.9 million square kilometres.
. The archipelago, with about 13,000 islands (300 or so inhabited), is the largest in the world and is home to many peoples and cultures. Eighty-five per cent of all Indonesians are Moslem, making their country the most populous Islamic state in the world. Ten per cent of Indonesians are Christian, two per cent Hindu and three per cent of animist and other beliefs. Though eclipsed as major religions, the influence of Hinduism and Buddhism is still clearly manifested in the Ramayana and Mahabarata dramas, particularly on Java.
. Malays predominate in the Indonesian racial mix which also includes negrito, melanesian, australoid, papuan and mongoloid types.
. Indonesians speak well over 100 distinct languages, which, in turn break down into many different dialects. The national language Bahasa (meaning language) Indonesia is closely related to Melay.
. In more than 400 years of European domination, ethnic groups throughout the archipelago waged sporadic wars of liberation. Dissent did not end with independence in 1949. Secessionist movements continue, particularly in northern Sumatra, West Irian and East Timor.
* Indonesia, with nearly 1 50 million people counted in the 1 981 census, is the fifth most heavily-populated nation.
* The combined mid-1980 population of its five neighbours — Australia (14.5 million), Malaysia (13.9 million), Papua New Guinea (3 million), Philippines (49 million) and Singapore (2.4 million) — was 82.8 million.
* 1981 census projections indicate an Indonesian population of 212 million by the year 2000 and 300 million by 2015.
* In 1981, 64 per cent of the population (95 million) lived on Java and Bali which comprise only seven per cent of Indonesia’s total land area.
* Population... [continues]
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