How big are Australia and Indonesia?

Posted on 24 February, 2014

If Jakarta was its own country, it would have an economy the size of Libya’s — and if West Java were measured alone, it would have a population larger than Canada.

Business Insider recently shared a pair of maps showing how different states in Australia and the United States compare to other national economies. We took the same idea, and applied it to two common measures for a country’s size: population and GDP.

Gross domestic product

In 2012, the most recent year accurate statistics are available, Indonesia’s economy was worth $US 878 billion, while Australia’s was $1.532 trillion. The Australian map shows that New South Wales is roughly equivalent to Austria in economic output, followed by Victoria, which would displace Malaysia.

Here’s how it looks for Indonesia, based on 2010 figures from the Badan Pusat Statistik:

indonesia-gdp-comparison

Jakarta would become the world’s 67th-largest economy, followed by East Java at number 68, and West Java in 70th place.

One thing that’s clear from this comparison is how much less centralised Indonesia’s economy is between different provinces — most of which are significantly smaller than Australian states, except in Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Population

Comparing population makes for a much more interesting story.

Whereas Australia is relatively tiny — Victoria, for instance, is little bigger than Denmark — West Java on its own would be double the size of Australia and bigger than Poland, Canada or Argentina.

indonesia-population-comparison

Taking the provinces in Java on their own would make for a country roughly equivalent to Japan in size — the 10th largest on the planet. Jakarta alone swallows up the population of Sweden!

Here’s the same map for Australia — not quite the same!

australia-population-comparison

Sources

For GDP information, this post uses data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Indonesia’s Badan Pusat Statistik, the IMF and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population data is from the 2010 Indonesian Census, the ABS and Wikipedia.

The original map of US states comes from the American Enterprise Institute, and its Australian equivalent was prepared by Business Insider Australia.

By their nature, these kind of comparisons are tricky — so please let us know if you spot any errors or omissions in the comments below!