Changes in Demographic Characteristics of Indonesia
By: Aadharsh. D
Indonesia is currently the fourth most populous country in the world with a population of 245, 613, 043 million people. It is also the largest archipelago in the world with 5 main islands. The Indonesia economy is the 18th largest in the world by nominal GDP and 15th largest by purchasing power parity.2 It is considered to be one of the fastest growing developing countries in the world especially since it is richly endowed with natural resources but they are exploited and poverty still remains as a major widespread problem in the country.
Population growth rate is defined as the annual change in population for a country. In 2011 (July 2011 est.), Indonesia has a growth rate of 1.069% which is the 111th highest in the world.3 For the past 10 years, Indonesia’s population rate has been decreasing and there is no increase at all.
As you can see from the graph, the population is still growing, but just at a slower rate. A decrease in the growth rate could have been caused by factors such as increased knowledge and awareness about contraceptive methods. If married couples started to do family-planning and were aware about birth control, the growth rate will drop. This is a positive change as developed countries usually have low growth rates. It is better that the population grows slowly since there is already so much unemployment (7.1%, 2010 est.)5 and poverty in the country and so we do not need more people being unemployed in the future. If the economy does grow as an effect of the growing population, this will create more jobs for those who are unemployed right now.
Life expectancy is a value that estimates how long a person from a specific country will live. Of course this varies from person to person but the figure is estimated from an average. The current life expectancy for an Indonesian from birth is 71.33 years (2011 est.). 6
From the graph above, you can see the rate at which the average life expectancy is increasing in a steady rate as the line is almost straight. The average life expectancy could be increasing due to such factors such as improved medical facilities and also increased awareness on habits that could harm your health such as smoking or excessive drinking. Improved medical facilities could mean that the economy is also improving as doctors and nurses are provided better education and hospitals are maintained better. This could also help the economy through medical tourism where the doctors of Indonesia offer quality service but at a cheaper rate.
Increased life expectancy could also mean that the people can work for longer years since they are healthier and this results in an increased labor force which could drive the economy forward and developing industries which in turn creates job opportunities of those who are unemployed and also those who live in poverty.