Poverty in Indonesia

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Poverty in Indonesia is a widespread issue though in recent years the official numbers show a declining trend. Due to the dense rural nature of parts of the Java, Bali, Lombok, and parts of Sumatra, poverty can be classified into rural and urban poverty. Urban poverty is prevalent in not only in Jabodetabek, but also in Medan and Surabaya.

As a sprawling archipelago, poverty characteristics and implications vary widely from island to island and culture to culture. The Indonesian part of New Guinea (comprising the provinces of Papua and West Papua) has serious poverty issues of its own due to economic, cultural, linguistic and physical isolations which set it apart from the rest of Indonesia.


In February 1999, as much as 47.97 million people were classified as poor, representing 47.43% of the nation's population.[1] However, this figure must take into account the slide of the rupiah in the Asian financial crisis. By July 2005, that number had been reduced to 35.10 million, representing 41.97% of the total population.[1] Figures from March 2007 showed that 37.17 million people were under the poverty line, representing 20.58% of the entire population.[1]

Based on a report from the Asian Development Bank, Indonesia’s national population in 2015 was at 255.46 million, 47.2% of whom lived below the national poverty line.[2] Indonesia’s national poverty line set a consumption of Rp302,735 ($25) monthly per person - about 82 cents daily.[3] There was also a disparity as early as 2014, where 23.8% of the rural population was classified as poor while the urban population consisted of 16.2%. This stems from the low-productivity jobs available in the country in agriculture and low-end service sectors.

In September 2017, Indonesia’s poverty rate stood at 10.12 %, with some 26.58 million with some 25 million people living below the poverty line. As of September 2018, the poverty rate stood at 9.66% (some 25 million people), the lowest ever recorded.[4]


  1. ^ a b c BPS:Miskin
  2. ^ Asian Development Bank. (n.d.). Poverty in Indonesia. Retrieved 21 November 2016 from https://www.adb.org/countries/indonesia/poverty
  3. ^ Asian Development Bank. (2015, October). Summary of Indonesia's Poverty Analysis. Retrieved 21, November 2016, from https://www.adb.org/publications/summary-indonesias-poverty-analysis
  4. ^ https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2019/08/20/its-okay-to-be-poor-why-fighting-poverty-remains-challenging-in-indonesia.html

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