Indonesia's Gini Ratio:

     2006    2007    2008    2009    2010    2011    2012    2013
Gini Ratio   0.36%   0.36%   0.35%   0.37%   0.38%   0.41%   0.41%   0.41%

Sources: Statistics Indonesia

This significantly increased Gini ratio since 1999 implies that Indonesia's society has become more and more unequal in terms of income distribution (by many expressed through the phrase "the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer"). As the poorer segments of Indonesian society seem unable to benefit from robust macroeconomic growth, this social problem can evolve into a political one if not resolved. Indonesia's Finance Minister Chatib Basri said that the higher Gini ratio is not caused by increased poverty but is due to the fact that Indonesia's middle class-up and elite segments feel the fruits of economic growth much more than the country's middle class-down and poor segments. Income of the latter grows three to four percent only, while that of the former grows eight percent (year on year). According to Basri, the higher growth of the richer segment is explained by the recent rebound of several commodity prices. When we take a look at the current 40 richest Indonesians, most of these men assemble their recent wealth through commodity-related businesses.

One important measure to reduce the Gini ratio is to invest more in infrastructure development, particularly basic infrastructure as the poorer segments of society are highly dependent on the availability of infrastructure.

Minister of National Development Planning (Bappenas) Armida Alisjahbana said that, although the government should focus to improve the ratio, the current 0.41 percent Gini ratio is still within safe levels. According to her, one measure to reduce the ratio is by implementing progressive taxes. She also would like to see more rich Indonesians to re-invest their profits in the country in order to stimulate job creation, thus reducing the gap between rich and poor.

Indonesia's Poverty Statistics:

   2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013
Relative Poverty
(percentage of population)
 17.8  16.6  15.4  14.2  13.3  12.5  11.7  11.5
Absolute Poverty
(in millions)
   39    37    35    33    31    30    29    29

Sources: World Bank and Statistics Indonesia

Indonesia's (Un)employment Statistics:

   2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013
(percentage of total labor force)
 10.3   9.1   8.4   7.9   7.1   6.6   6.1   6.3

Sources: World Bank and Statistics Indonesia

          2010         2011         2012         2013¹
Labor Force   116,527,546   119,399,375   118,040,000   118,190,000
- Working   108,207,767   111,281,744   110,800,000   110,800,000
- Unemployed      8,319,779      8,117,631      7,240,000      7,390,000

¹ data from August 2013
Source: Statistics Indonesia

Further Reading:

Poverty in Indonesia
Unemployment in Indonesia