Brain Food: Us and Them - Indonesia

The fourth most populous country in the world is also the largest archipelagic state - 17,508 islands rich in petroleum, tin and natural gas. Economic development has been stalling, due to recent acts of terrorism, endemic corruption and a weak banking and legal system. Newly elected president Yudhoyono, however, has promised to deliver greater law and order. Future economic growth depends on building up investor confidence at home and abroad.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


Average age of the country's 238 million people is just 26 years, and two-thirds of the population live in rural areas, although industrialisation has brought large-scale migration to cities. More than a 25% of Indonesians live below the poverty line. There's only one computer per 100 people, and 2.5 mobile phones. Visitors pay $224 a night for a single room with bath in an upmarket hotel.

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