Development Indicators

Oct 28th, 2011, in Business & Economy, by

Comparative charts of Indonesian economic development indicators, or why Malaysia is just better.

From the World Bank’s ‘World Development Indicators’.


Electricity Consumption

Teenage Fertility Rate

Total Fertility Rate

Days Needed to Start a Business

High Tech Exports

Internet Usage

Primary School Graduation

A possible question from the data might be – why is Malaysia such a relative outlier? Among others…

19 Comments on “Development Indicators”

  1. Chris says:

    This is my question:

    How is it possible to have more than 100% primary school graduation?

    I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to graduate twice or do something else that would cause some students to be double-counted.

  2. bonni says:

    I thought indonesia was the highest on internet usage and high-tech exports…

  3. ET says:


    How is it possible to have more than 100% primary school graduation?

    Good question. Do you think what I think?

  4. Karl Karnadi says:

    Indonesia IS the highest internet user. We should not forget how large the population of Indonesia is. The fact that the percentage of internet user is low shows the huge potential Indonesia has. The problem that Indonesia has to solve first, is complex bureaucracy & corruption (how many days needed to start a business), health + education for all, cheap internet availability to remote areas, lack of energy source.

    The latter point is one of the most important one. Indonesia is lack of electricity. So big the problem has become, that electricity blackout is a common phenomenon even in big cities, even in the capital city Jakarta.

  5. deta says:

    How is it possible to have more than 100% primary school graduation?

    It did say “% of relevant age group”. The more than 100% completion rate could indicate that there is a high number of students graduated at younger or older than the official age for that level of education.

    Or, they probably take double degree 🙂

  6. bonni says:

    Still doesn’t make any sense deh, deta… But maybe as you said, it’s the double degree in primary school… “Kejar paket double A” 😀

  7. deta says:

    Hi Bonni, usually I’m not very good at explaining things but let’s see.

    Say, the number of population in a far-faraway country with the age of 12 years old (the “normal” age for primary school graduates) is 1 million.

    The number of students graduating from primary school in that country is 1.1 million, consisting of :
    – 0.8 million 12 years old
    – 0.3 million 13 years old and above
    The ratio of completion rate to the relevant age will be 1.1 million over 1 million, equals 110%.

    Halah, jadi tambah pusing, yak? 🙂

  8. berlian biru says:

    I think we can be over pessimistic about these findings and I like others feel the teeth grinding frustrations of this country (administration not people) every day and how sometimes it seems like Indonesia only goes one step forward to take two back.

    However recently I have begun to feel that there are changes happening here and despite the impatience with SBY and his government and I will be first to rank among his critics things are getting, slowly admittedly, better.

    My job has me studying the newspapers a lot here and to be sure in the general news section you’d want to tear your hair out in frustration but tucked away every day in the business sections is real evidence of genuine development.

    Hardly a week goes by without another example of major infrastructural improvements, developments that in many first world countries would be regarded as impressive. These are especially so in power generation with some pretty huge building going on of plant and networks. Roads too are definitely getting better, sure the process of getting them better is causing huge tailbacks in places but the point is development is happening.

    In Jakarta after the massive floods of 2008 there is no doubt that a huge amount of decidedly unglamorous work has been carried which will, hopefully, improve things.

    I don’t know, I hope I’m not being too much of an optimist, unusual for me, but I get the feeling that away from the limelight of the scandals and violence, things are getting better here.

  9. bonni says:

    Hey deta,

    If it consists 0.8 million (12 years old) and 0.3 million (13 years old and above), then it shouldn’t be 110%, because the “more than 100% scale” is for the “13 years old and above” which is 0,3 million from 1.1 million total rate. Also, the rate automatically will not reach 100% as only 0.8 million of 12 years olds are graduated from primary school, doesn’t reach the number of the population of that age which is 1 million.

    Gosh! Pusing euy… 😀

  10. bonni says:

    I get the feeling that away from the limelight of the scandals and violence, things are getting better here.


  11. deta says:


    Gosh! Pusing euy…

    A cup of kopi luwak will help. 🙂

  12. timdog says:

    Ah, BB, here’s something we can agree on (actually, there’s more than you might think, beyond the noisy bickering).

    One of the things I find endlessly tiresome about Indonesia is the endless NON-constructive criticism which Indonesians like to apply to their country, and the ridiculous retrospective “what ifs”.

    Just yesterday morning I heard the tired old “lebih baik dijajah inggris daripada belanda…” line, which apart from being an attempt at a collective shirking of responsibility in the present day relies primarily on a direct comparison of Indonesia and Singapore. Talk about apples and oranges – more like durians and blackcurrants.
    Anyway, as a Brit I both well used to hearing the line, and well used to responding – ever heard of Bangladesh and Pakistan, not to mention large swathes of Africa? Aware that the GDP per capita in “rising superpower” India is half that of Indonesia, and that somewhere close to 40% of Indian women can’t read (note that I mention women there – no need to do so for Indonesia as the gender disparity in literacy rates – which stand in the 90s, as in most of Europe – are negligible)?

    Indonesia, I have long felt, does admirable in the unglamorous aspects of developement. It may not possess many globe-straddling graduates, and bright-lights tech industry, but there is that solid, sustained growth.
    And when it comes to the nuts and bolts of basic development it also does very well. India might produce some of the world’s best graduates, but that doesn’t count for a great deal if 40% of its women can’t read. Indonesia meanwhile has managed to bring basic “three Rs” education to virtually every corner of the country, and for all my raging about healthcare on another thread, it has at least got puskesmas in the most remote corners. That puts it well above many other “developing countries”, before you even consider its staggering geographical challenges…

    And yes, closer to the centre there’s all that infrastructure work, improving roads and so on. And there are some really decent municipal and provincial governments here and there. Bali may well be the most kacau belau place in the country (I’m not joking, if you pay close attention to the local media there you may decide never to holiday in the Island of the Dogs ever again), but Governor Pastika has been doing some seriously good stuff in the last few years, and has some solid, development-minded henchmen too; Solo has an excellent city government, and all over East Java there are very many well-run towns.

    When some hyperbule starts claiming that “Indonesia is a failed state”, I just smile and wonder if they have such pretty municipal flowerbeds in Somalia…

  13. agan says:


    Gosh! Pusing euy…

    A cup of kopi luwak will help. 🙂

    It prolly makes more sense if you didn’t think about it 🙂
    The devil is always in the detail, the formula they use (from the clickable link) is

    (a-b)/c x 100%

    And plugging Ceu Deta’s numbers into the creepy formula

    a =total number of students graduating in 6th. Grade =1.1 million
    b= total repeaters in that grade= negligible
    c= total number of 12 years old children =1 million

    And voila you will always get more than 100 % primary school graduation if your
    Numerator (a-b) was larger than Denominator (c).

    Don’t make any sense? You Betcha !

    And now if you excused me let me finish my Venti, sugar-free, non-fat, no foam, and extra hot Luwak poop with light whip.

  14. bonni says:


    Bahahahah you sick puppy you! 😛 Thanks! I had to think about it ‘mumet’-ly over peppermint mocha frappucino and chocolate croissants, and now that you appear with the genius way out, I’m having a diet coke and low fat chips 😛

  15. ET says:


    It did say “% of relevant age group”. The more than 100% completion rate could indicate that there is a high number of students graduated at younger or older than the official age for that level of education.


    Don’t make any sense? You Betcha !

    It makes sense. But the question remains: why does the more than 100% completion rate only appear for Indonesia and not for the other countries in the graph?

  16. deta says:

    why does the more than 100% completion rate only appear for Indonesia

    Uhm… My guess is that while other countries like Malaysia and Philippines had almost steady rate of graduation year by year, Indonesia has only been catching up during these last years by providing BOS scheme for primary schools, where more students can go for free and get graduation certificates (despite the quality of education).

  17. William says:

    Indonesia democracy is like an open kitchen, you see your food being made. In Suharto’s Indonesia you never say your food being made. I worked in Indonesian Public Work’s Department during the Suharto era, and it was dysfunctional, and this was one of the better government departments. But most Indonesian don’t see what was going on, now because of great press freedom they do.

    I think the graphs paint a pessimistic picture. Indonesia is not an easy country to govern. Archipelago countries are difficult to govern, even food self sufficiency is difficult, because of the lack of major river systems. At the rate things are going, I would not be surprised the average Indonesian will be richer than the average Thai in 10 years time. In 10-15 years, there will be far fewer Indonesian in Malaysia.

    If you look at other countries in SEA, outside of Singapore, I think Indonesia’s prospects are good. Only Indonesia GDP growth rates have recovered to the levels prior to 1998. All the other SEA countries have much more serious problems than Indonesia. Vietnam, while has 6-7% growth, they have serious macroeconomic problems, high inflation (+20%) and negative balance payment situation. Malaysia is caught in the middle income trap and serious brain drain problems. Thailand is wrecked by chronic political instability, low labor productivity (caused in part by importing cheap labor from Laos, Cambodia and Burma) The Philippines, grow at about 4-5% a year, but its fertility rate is 3.1 compared to Indonesia 2.2, which means that per capita income growth is +4% a year compared to 1.5% a year in the Philippines. Its a huge difference, right now Indonesian are 50% richer than the average Filipino, in ten years time, Indonesia per capita income will be more than x2-2.5 that of the Philippines. Indonesia’s per capita income in ten years time will be 30% lower than Malaysia.

    There are alot of things the Indonesians politicians have done that people don’t give them credit particularly in the first five years after the overthrow of Suharto. They passed alot of serious laws that laid the foundation of Indonesian democracy. The political system looks like SNAFU, but the decentralization policies were needed, and the electoral system was well thought out. They weakened the Presidency, but made sure through the electoral system that there would be relatively few political party in Parliament (8-9 right now compared to 40-50 in the Philippines). They also stuck to the 1945 Constitution and made it relatively easier to amend (requiring only 60% of the DPR), this is compared to the constitutional mess you have in Thailand.

    Because of this the Indonesian government does gets obscured by scandals and messy coalition politics, but Indonesia has achieved much in the last 10 years.

    1) Removing the Army for politics.
    2) Ending most of the discrimination against Chinese Indonesians
    3) Investing alot more on education than in the past. Spending three times as much as a % of GDP on education than it did during the Suharto period.
    4) Steady increases in foreign investment

  18. Mr. Brightside says:

    …and the free press of course.

    that and the penguins.

  19. Sputjam says:

    Malaysia is not a very good country to compare with.
    It’s a country steep in waste, non productive youths, huge civil service to population ratio, 8 sultans, 1 raja and 1 Agung and 4 governors, 13 chief ministers, many, many ministers, deputy ministers and all these just to accommodate every racial group, culture and tradition.
    And a haphazard education system. Only half the country speaks the national language. A tourist may think that Malaysia is part of china in some areas.
    It’s a country full of refugees and migrant workers who dump rubbish all over the place. And now, it’s invaded by middle easterners who acts like gangsters and enter using student visas. Of all the middle easterners, Iranians seems to be ok, like the Koreans.
    Where I live in KL, the locals seems to be a minority.

    Indonesia suffer none of these problems. And communicate in the same language.

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