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The population policy is directed toward development of the population as human resources in order that the national development can be effective and valuable, while the quality of life is gradually improving. Meanwhile, control of population growth is carried out through efforts to lower the birth and mortality rate, especially that of infants and children. These efforts in particular have been implemented through family planning programs which also have the purpose of improving the welfare of mother and child and at the same time create a small, happy, and prosperous family.

The implementation of population policy has noted significant progress. In 1998, the life expectancy was 64.7 years, the crude death rate was 7.7 per 1,000 people, and the infant mortality rate was 50 per 1,000 live birth. Meanwhile the crude birth rate in 1998 was 22.7 per 1,000 people and the total fertility rate was 2,59 per woman. Until June 1999, the total population is approximately 209 millions.


Indonesian nationality is governed by Act No. 62 of 1958. It defines an Indonesian national as a person who, since the beginning of independence on August 17, 1945, qualifies for citizenship under the existing laws.

Further, a person whose mother is an Indonesian national, but whose father's nationality is unknown or whose father is stateless. shall quality for Indonesian citizenship. Also, a person who was born in Indonesia from unknown parents, or an orphan whose parents are unknown, or a person born in Indonesia who does not inherit any nationality from his/her parents, shall qualify for Indonesian citizenship.

A five year old child, who is adopted by foster parents of Indonesian nationality, shall qualify for Indonesian nationality if the foster parents apply to a court to legitimize the adoption within one year and request is granted.

A child born from a legitimate marriage of an Indonesian mother and an alien father shall, in the event a divorce is granted by the court, quality for Indonesian nationality if he/she so decides.

A child born from a legitimate or illegitimate marriage between an alien father and an Indonesian mother is entitled to become an Indonesian national if he/she applies to the Minister of Justice, having abandoned his/her alien nationality according to the law of the foreign country or in accordance with an agreement concluded between Indonesia and a foreign country. In such case a child shall submit the application within a year after reaching the age of 18. To obtain the Indonesian nationality, aliens must fulfill the following conditions:

a.  Have reached the age of 21 or over;

b.  Were born in Indonesia or have lived in Indonesia continuously for 5 years, or interruptedly for 10 years;

c.  Have a fair command of the Indonesian language and knowledge of Indonesian history, and have never been convicted  by a court for a breach of law or for any act against Indonesia;

d.  Have the consent of the wife/husband;

e.  Are mentally and physically healthy;

f.  Pay a fee of not less than Rp500 and not more than Rp 10,000, which shall be decided by the court, taking into consideration the applicant's income;

g.  Have permanent employment;

h.  Have no other nationality or have abandoned his/her nationality which is in conformity with an agreement on dual nationality reached between Indonesia and the foreign country.

An alien married woman is not entitled to apply for Indonesian citizenship. However, the Indonesian nationality may be granted to aliens who have proved meritorious and have served the interest of Indonesia. Such nationality shall be granted with the approval of the House of Representatives.

An alien wife of an Indonesian national is entitled to Indonesian citizenship if she so wishes and makes a statement to that effect within a year of the marriage. This does not apply if the husband has abandoned his Indonesian nationality.

An Indonesian woman married to an alien husband shall lose her Indonesian nationality if she makes a statement to this effect within a year of her marriage.

Indonesian nationality obtained by a husband shall automatically apply to his wife except where she, after acquiring the Indonesian nationality, does not abandon her alien nationality.

If a person  loses  his/her Indonesian  nationality,  his wife/her husband also loses it, except both of them are stateless.

A person who has lost his/her Indonesian nationality by marriage can regain it if the marriage is broken off and the person applies for it. Such an application shall include a statement of the divorce and be submitted to a court or an Indonesian diplomatic mission abroad.

A child under the age of 18 who is not married and retains his/her kinship with the father who has not yet acquired the Indonesian nationality, qualifies for Indonesian nationality if he/she lives permanently in Indonesia.

If a widow or widower obtains Indonesian nationality, her/his child shall be entitled to the same provided that the latter is under 18 years of age and not married. This also applies to children under 18 and not married, born to parents who have lost their Indonesian nationality.


There are 583 languages and dialects spoken in the archipelago. They normally belong to different ethnic groups of the population. Some of the distinctly different local languages are: Acehnese, Batak, Sundanese, Javanese, Sasak, Tetum of Timor, Dayak, Minahasa, Toraja. Buginese. Halmahera, Ambonese, Ceramese, and several Irianese languages. To make the picture even more colorful, these languages are also spoken in different dialects.

The national language of Indonesia is "Bahasa Indonesia". Originally it was the Malay language mainly spoken in the Riau Islands. In its spread throughout the country, its vocabulary and idioms have been enriched by a great number of local languages. To keep pace with religious, social and cultural progress, many words and terms have been derived from foreign languages, including Dutch, Chinese, Sanskrit. Arabic and, later, Portuguese.

Although Bahasa Indonesia has become the lingua franca, local languages and dialects continue to be spoken and will not be abolished.

The "Kalasan" Candi is one of the Buddist tempels found in Central Java

Tombs of ancient king in West Nusatenggara

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