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Indonesia
Facts
Area: 1.9 million sq km
Population: 230 million
Languages: Indonesian, English, Dutch, ethnic languages
Religions: Muslim,Christianity, Hindu
GNI per capita: US$2,010
Currency: Rp (rupiah);1USD = 9,700 rupiah
 

Spread across a chain of thousands of islands between Asia and Australia, Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population. Ethnically it is highly diverse, with more than 300 local languages. The people range from rural hunter-gatherers to a modern urban elite. 

Indonesia has seen great turmoil in recent years, having faced the Asian financial crisis, the fall of President Suharto after 32 years in office, the first free elections since the 1960s, the loss of East Timor, independence demands from restive provinces, bloody ethnic and religious conflict and a devastating tsunami. 

Lying near the intersection of shifting tectonic plates, Indonesia is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. A powerful undersea quake in late 2004 sent massive waves crashing into coastal areas of Sumatra, and into coastal communities across south and East Asia. The disaster left more than 220,000 Indonesians dead or missing.

Nearly half of the country’s workforce is engaged in agriculture. Once the world’s largest rice exporter, Indonesia was self-sufficient for years thanks to this staple crop. During the last few years, however, rice production has dropped due to severe drought, forcing the country to import a substantial amount of rice.


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