Indonesia Population in the 1950’s

This name refers to the unitary state (Republic of Indonesia) which today includes, following complex events (see below), the former Dutch East Indies, with the exception of the western part of Dutch New Guinea. More than the entry indonesia (in XIX, p. 138), which dealt with the whole island complex (also called Insulindia) to the SE of the Asian continent, from the Bay of Bengal to the Arafura sea (therefore including the former Dutch East Indies but excluding the New Guinea), the Dutch Indian entries are updated below (XIX, p. 97; App. II, 11, p. 23); Indonesia, United States of (App. II, 11, p. 27);eastern Indonesia (App. II, 11, p. 27); Indonesian, republic (App. II, 11, p. 27). The division and population of the republic is shown in the table on p. following.

The average population increase between 1950 and 1956 was 11%; the maximum increase occurred in some large cities: Djakarta, the capital, whose increase was, between 1930 and 1956, by 262% and Bandung which in the same period had a population increase of 422%.

The birth rate is high, but exact data are not known except for some provinces of Java, where it varies between 42.9 per thousand (Kendal) and 40.6 per thousand (Pekalongan) for the more fertile provinces, 25.7 (Blitar) and 18.5 (Bogor, known as Buitenzorg in the colonial period) for the less fertile provinces. Mortality varies less, between 23.3 per thousand in Pekalongan and 19.5 per thousand in Bogor. The net natural rate of increase was 23.6 per thousand in Kendal and 9.0 per thousand in Bogor.

Before the war, the passenger movement was quite active: in 1937 there were 168,143 arrivals and 124,460 departures. After the war, however, these figures were reduced to less than half, and in 1956 the arrivals were 77,206 and the departures of 71,804. In that year, 20,784 Dutchmen left against only 9431 who arrived. The opposite trend is seen between the British and the Americans: against 8596 British who arrived, only 3530 left, and against 5549 Americans who arrived, only 2229 left. The Chinese form the largest group, with 11,099 arrivals and 13,348 departures in 1956 (62,866 arrivals and 57,587 departures in 1936).

Internal migrations are interesting: from 1950 to 1956 as many as 29,293 families comprising 115,934 people, almost all from Java, were helped to settle in southern Sumatra, with a few exceptions that chose central Sumatra or eastern Borneo. To these must be added 5087 families (19,869 people) who moved on their own.

In 1956 there were 58,175 mosques, 4,518 Protestant churches and 937 Catholic churches.

The statistics of public education are still incomplete, and refer to 89% of the 31,502 elementary schools, to 56% of the 3505 secondary schools, and to 69% of the 55 faculties, but there is a notable increase in the number of institutions, and a extraordinary increase in frequencies, which have more than tripled in the last twenty years. Generally, Java has proportionally fewer middle school pupils than the other islands, especially Sulawesi (Celebes) and northern Sumatra. there are over 10,000 libraries with over 2,500,000 volumes; 80 newspapers are published in Malay, Javanese and Sundanese, 17 in Chinese, 7 in Dutch, 2 in English, as well as 410 periodicals almost all in Malay.

Health services are still insufficient: in 1957 there was on average only one doctor for each hospital. Immense progress has been made in the fight against smallpox, plague and dysentery, while typhus, paratyphus and diphtheria show no sign of abating.

The rapid increase in population made it necessary to almost continuously increase agricultural production: from 1950 to 1956 the production of rice went from 115 to 146 million quintals, that of maize from 15.7 to 19, that of cassava from 58 to 92, that of sweet potatoes from 14 to 25, that of peanuts from 1.5 to 2.1, that of soy from 2 to 3.4. The predominance of Java is absolute, except in the case of rice, of which Sumatra produces 18% against 63% of Java. It should be noted, however, that Javanese production of maize, cassava and peanuts has decreased since the war, and that of sweet potatoes and soy has increased very little; There are signs of recovery, and from 1950 onwards the increase has been slight but continuous, although the cultivated area has not changed much.

In 1955 the indigenous farmers had also produced one million tons of dried coconut, 47,000 tons of coffee (almost all in Sumatra), 22,000 tons of tea (in Java), 15,000 tons of kapok (also in Java), z2. 000 t of areca nuts (in Sumatra), 18,000 t of pepper (in Sumatra), 2500 t of cloves (in Sumatra), 2800 t of nutmegs (almost all in Sulawesi), 413,700 t of sugar (in Java), 43,000 tons of tobacco (in Java).

Out of 8,283,000 ha of indigenous crops, the “commercial” products of the previous paragraph had occupied just over 2,000,000 ha in 1955; the real plantations instead occupied 1,831,623 ha, compared to 2,495,758 ha occupied in 1939. Given the scarcity of agricultural land, it is easy to understand how the government intends to decrease the surface of the plantations as quickly as possible, especially in Java, where private plantations fell by four-fifths. The plantations of tea, coffee, sugar, cinchona and tobacco have decreased considerably, while those of hevea and oil palm have decreased slightly; 18 different products obtained from plantations are listed, but some are grown on very small areas, such as for example. gutta-percha and essential oils. In 1956 the production of sugar from the plantations was 605,500 t, that of rubber 265,000 t, that of palm oil 165,000 t, that of tea 40,000 t, that of cordage fibers 35,000 t; 41,000 tons of oil palm kernels must also be added. Take into account the fact that the plantations employ 404,000 people, as well as 125,000 adventitias, mainly employed for cutting sugar cane.

The breeding is based on cattle (5,059,346 in 1955) and buffaloes (2,888,211), while the horses were only 584,294. Unfortunately, goats are rapidly increasing; there were 7,173,910 in 1955, almost double the pre-war number. The sheep were 2,781,563, and the pigs 1,469,224. Cattle, goats and sheep are raised mainly in Java, while pigs are raised only on islands where the population is not Muslim.

Sea fishing in 1956 produced 419.976 t of fish, while fishing in inland waters (pond and river fishing) produced 296.027 t; the former predominates in Sumatra and Java, while Kalimantan (Borneo) produces almost half of the freshwater fish. Fish imports are around 35,000 tons, half of the pre-war total. Fishing employs 464,500 men with 129,250 sailboats and 760 motorboats.

Mining production in 1956 included 12,750,000 t of oil and 2,650,000 t of natural gas, 830,000 t of coal, 303,500 t of bauxite, 82,000 t of manganifer ore, and 30,500 t of tin ore. In addition, 3000 kg of iodine were produced. Industrial production came from over 10,000 factories with nearly 500,000 employees, of which almost 80% in Java; the textile and clothing industries and the food industries were by far the most numerous, but the former and the tobacco industries had the greatest number of employees. The 64 largest textile workshops consumed over 10,000 tons of yarn in 1956: and the 28 knitwear factories consumed over 2000 tons. Energy production reached 863,433,000 kWh in 1955, compared to 380,500 kWh in 1940; almost 80% of production takes place in Java, and two thirds of it is hydroelectric.

From the point of view of trade, the countries that export most to Indonesia are the United States of America, Japan, Holland, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Kingdom; the major importers from Indonesia they are Singapore, Holland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan.

In 1957 there were 175,427 motor vehicles on approximately 75,000 km of roads. The airlines carried 16,815 passengers and covered 13,715,000 km.

Finances. – Indonesian finances have been characterized by severe instability in this postwar period. This instability was determined by an external factor: violent fluctuations in the prices of some exported raw materials (rubber, tin, copra, etc.); and by an internal factor: the trend of state finances. The latter recorded a series of deficits, due to the expansion of public spending and, in particular, expenditure on internal and external security, as well as those on the country’s economic development. As deficits were mainly financed through central bank credit, there has been a continued expansion of global demand, resulting in sharp price increases and frequent balance-of-payments crises. Consequently, the reserves of gold and foreign currencies gradually dwindled. In 1956, the first five-year development plan was adopted. It involves a global expenditure of 30 billion rupees, of which 12.5 billion by the public sector. An annual increase of approximately 3% of the national income is foreseen for the five-year period to which the plan refers.¬†For Indonesia public policy, please check

In July 1953, the Bank of Java, which had been nationalized in 1951, took on the new name of Bank of Indonesia. On the same occasion, it was explicitly assigned the typical functions of a central bank: exclusive issuing privilege, supervision of the credit system, treasury service for the government, management of foreign exchange reserves. It also performs the functions of a commercial bank. In order to strengthen the country’s financial organization, the Indonesian government has founded and financed various credit institutions, including the State Bank of Indonesia, the State Bank for Industry and the Indonesian People’s Bank. The monetary unit is the Indonesian rupiah which is divided into 100 sen. Indonesia, a member of the International Monetary Fund since 1954, has not yet declared monetary parity. The rupee exchange rate was devalued several times. In 1959, the official rate was fixed at 45 rupees per US dollar; but, since multiple changes have been applied for imports (this system has been in force since 1947 and has been reworked several times), for some categories of goods the rate rises to 135 rupees per dollar.

Indonesia Finance

About the author