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To which language should you translate to localize in Indonesia?

What we know from our community

As one of the largest multilingual countries in the world, the linguistic landscape in Indonesia is extremely diverse and complex with many languages coexisting and influencing one another. Thus the existence of “Bahasa Indonesia” (which literally means “Indonesian language”) that serves as a unifying force for the country. It is estimated that around 85-90% of the population speaks Indonesian. It is used as the official language in education, government, and media.

But when it comes to how many Indonesians speak Bahasa Indonesia as their first language, the answer would be only less than a quarter of the population speak Indonesian as their primary language. It’s quite hard to give an exact percentage of language usage in Indonesia, since it’s a vast country and the language usage can vary greatly from region to region. In some areas, local languages are widely spoken, while in other areas, they may be used primarily in the home or in certain social contexts. And yet, most people speak their local languages as their mother tongue. In other words, many Indonesians are trilingual.

What the 150 top websites do

Of the 150 top website (Global by design ranking):

  • 61/150 translate into Indonesian.
  • 76/150 translate into English.
  • 1/150 translates into Indonesian Sign Language.




Official language
Indonesian 29%

Secondary languages
Javanese 52%, Sundanese 19%


T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.

Other languages
More than 700 living languages are spoken in Indonesia

Low proficiency (EF) – 79 of 113 countries/regions in the world- 13/23 position in Asia.


Capital: Jakarta
Currency: Indonesian rupiah
Population: 276.36 mln
Population density: 145/km2


GDP: 1.32 trillion USD (2022)
GDP per capita: 4,788.0 USD ‎(2022) ‎
Exports: $248 billion (2021)


Internet users: 77% penetration, 212.9 million
Unemployment rate: 3.5% (2022)
Urbanisation: 58% (2022)
Literacy: 96% (2020)


Numbering system
Arabic numerals with comma as decimal separator.

Date format: dd-mm-yyyy
Time: 24h time system
Country code: 0062

Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal

Facts and data


$194 billion (2021).  Refined Petroleum ($14.5B), Crude Petroleum ($6.03B), Petroleum Gas ($4.27B), Vaccines, blood, antisera, toxins and cultures ($3.42B), and Motor vehicles; parts and accessories (8701 to 8705) ($3.19B), importing mostly from China ($60.4B), Singapore ($18.4B), Japan ($13.2B), United States ($9.69B), and Malaysia ($9.55B).
In 2021, Indonesia was the world’s biggest importer of Soybean Meal ($2.37B), Industrial Furnaces ($404M), Steam Boilers ($233M), Refractory Cements ($226M), and Artificial Filament Tow ($177M).

Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of  age)
• 50.5% have an account with a financial institution
• 1.6% have a credit card
• 9.3% have a mobile money account
• 5.9% make online purchases

Ease of doing business
It is easy to conduct business (rated 69.6 out of 100) ranked 9th out of 25 Asia-Pacific countries and ranked 73rd out of 190 countries worldwide (2022, World Bank).

Global Innovation Index
Ranked 13th out of 17 South-Eastern
Asian and Oceanic countries, 75th out of 132 worldwide.

The Global Innovation Index captures the innovation
ecosystem performance of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends.

$248 billion (2021).  Coal Briquettes ($28.4B), Palm Oil ($27.3B), Petroleum Gas ($8.06B), Ferroalloys ($7.16B), and Large Flat-Rolled Stainless Steel ($6.68B), exporting mostly to China ($54.5B), United States ($26.2B), Japan ($18.6B), India ($14.5B), and Singapore ($13B).
In 2021, Indonesia was the world’s biggest exporter of Palm Oil ($27.3B), Ferroalloys ($7.16B), Large Flat-Rolled Stainless Steel ($6.68B), Stearic Acid ($5.5B), and Lignite ($5.29B).

Main local online stores
MercadoLibre, eBay and Amazon, Netshoes, Alibaba,,, Frávega, Apple and Cencosud

Economic freedom
‘Moderately free’ (rated 63.5 out of 100) ranked 10th out of 39 Asia-Pacific countries and ranked 60th out of 176 countries worldwide (2023, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal).

Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal

Indonesia. The wandering whispering.

Indonesia. The wandering whispering.

By Rachmadhina Insan Widyapianissa

At 1,905 million square kilometers with over 275 million people, Indonesia is really a big – both figuratively and literally. Indonesia has 34 provinces, 17,000 islands, and 700 living local languages spoken across the archipelago.

Read it now

Service Imports (2020)
Service Exports (2020)

Source: OEC

Trade balance of goods from 2012 to 2022

Source: Statista

Historical Data Trade Imports

The following section uses historical trade data imports from partners of Indonesia.

Historical Data Trade Exports

The following section uses historical trade data exports from partners of Indonesia.

Source: OEC

The Top Export Opportunities for Indonesia by Relatedness

Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product by showing only products that Indonesia is not specialized in.

Indonesia's Most Complex Exports

The Product Complexity Index (PCI) measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters.

Source: OEC

Indonesia's Most Specialized Products

Specialization is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA), an index that takes the ratio between Indonesia observed and expected exports in each product.

Source: OEC

Perception of products made in selected countries in 2017

Source: Statista

Which attributes do you associate with products made in Indonesia?

Source: Statista

Market Growth Imports (2020)

This score represents the likelihood that the given country will start importing that product in the next few years. It forecasts the opening of a new specific market.

Market Growth Exports (2020)

This score represents the likelihood that the given country will start exporting that product in the next few years. It forecasts the opening of a new specific market.

Source: OEC

Foreign direct investment, net inflows (BoP, current US$)

Source: OEC

Distribution of e-commerce payment methods in Indonesia in 2019

Source: Worldpay



Reach most of the online purchasing power

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce.

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Media language Indonesian, English

Information channels
Television is the most popular medium. Major national commercial networks compete with state-owned Televisi Republik Indonesia (TVRI). The radio dial is crowded, with scores of stations in Jakarta alone. In line with global trends, print newspaper circulations are falling. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) describes as “drastic” the restrictions on media access to the troubled province of West Papua. More generally, it says many journalists self-censor because of the threat from laws on blasphemy and online libel. The authorities can resort to blocking online content deemed to break the law or violate social norms, says Freedom House. The NGO reported restricted access to social media and manipulation of online content during elections in 2019.

The press

The Jakarta Post – English-language daily
Kompas – daily
Pos Kota – daily
Indo Pos – daily
Republika – daily
Bisnis Indonesia – daily
Tempo – weekly


Televisi Republik Indonesia – state-owned, operates two networks
Surya Citra Televisi Indonesia (SCTV) – private
Indosiar – private
MNCTV – private
Trans 7 – private
Metro TV – private, news


Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI) – state-owned, operates national, regional and local stations

News agency

Antara – government-owned news agency, English-language pages
Jakarta Globe – news site, in English
Detikcom – news site

Media data source: BBC

Internet Data

Internet users
77% penetration, 212.9 million.

Share of web traffic by device
64.52% mobile phones, 35.11% computers (laptops and desktops), 0.37% tablet devices.

Median speed of mobile Internet connection
17.27  Mbps

Median speed of fixed Internet connection
24.32 Mbps

Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 128%

Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 94.2%

Most popular web search engines
Google (95.04%), Yandex Ru (1.69%), Bing (1.33%), Yahoo! (1.12%), DuckDuckGo (0.77%), other (0.04%).

Most used social media
Facebook (52.84%), YouTube  (35.26%), Instagram (5.95%), Twitter (4.87%), Pinterest (0.91%), LinkedIn (0.08%), reddit (0.04%), other (0.05%).

Internet data sources: Datareportal/Statcounter

Social statistics

Life expectancy
68 yrs (2021)

Current education expenditure
88.1% of total expenditure in public institutions

Current health expenditure
3.41% of GDP

Cultural Curiosities
Indonesia’s geography, composed of 17,500 islands, means that there are over 300 different ethnicities, and this has led to the development of many micro-cultures with their own customs and traditions. 

A common trait is a hierarchical structure that most Indonesians follow, with age usually the overriding feature in determining the level of respect. The elderly are thought to have the most wisdom and are thus considered deserving of more authority. 

In 2017, about 16% of 25–64 year-olds in Indonesia had attained tertiary education, well below the OECD average of 44% and the G20 average of 38% (Figure 1). Bachelor’s programmes are the most popular form of tertiary education among young adults in Indonesia: 12% of 25–34 year-olds have earned a bachelor’s degree, compared to 4% for short-cycle tertiary qualifications. Not many young adults will graduate from a master’s or doctoral degree in Indonesia: only 1% have attained a master’s degree and below 0.01% a doctorate (OECD averages: 14% and 0.8%).

Corruption perceptions Index
Indonesia scored 34 out of 100, ranked 110 out of 180 countries worldwide.

CO2 emissions
2.1 metric tons per capita

World Happiness Index
Indonesia ranked 87 out of 146 countries, with a score of 5.240.

Social statistics sources: WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF

The Data Factbook is a work in progress project. Our community is helping us to fill it up always with new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write your advices at

Languages research

Languages spoken in Indonesia


  • Acehnese

  • Toba Batak

  • Malay

  • Lampung

  • Madurese

  • Sasak

  • Banjarese

  • Maanyan

  • Others Austronesian Languages

  • Bugis

  • Toraja

  • Gorontalo

  • Non Austronesian Languages

  • Minahasa

  • Mongondow

  • Kaili

  • Makassarese

  • Uab Meto

  • Kei

  • Wos Byak

  • Savu

  • Sikka-Maumere

  • Balinese

  • Javanese

  • Sundanese

  • Beati

  • Minangkabau

Languages in percentages

Bahasa Indonesian

The geographical distribution of languages that you will find in the maps published in this section is a work in progress. Our community is helping us to fill it up with always new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write to

Photo credit: Ruben Hutabarat, Unsplash