Percikan pikiran seorang ekonom.

Demographic Dividend? No, It is Education Dividend

24 May 2017

Dear readers,

The word “demographic dividend” has been used frequently in Indonesia, especially when we examine relationship between population change and economic development. The main argument of the concept is that falling fertility has reduced young dependency ratio (“burden” from population under 14 years old), and rising number of “productive” working age population (15-64 years old). The concept further argues that the rising number is favourable for economic growth.

However,  Lutz (2015) showed that the concept of “demographic dividend” omitted an important intermediate variable — education. Declining fertility is not automatically transformed into rising productivity. To make the falling young dependency ratio favourable to economic growth, rising education, especially female education, should have increased accompanying the  decline in the young dependency ratio. Therefore, Lutz argued that we should talk about Education Dividend, rather than Demographic Dividend.

You may click here to read the article by Lutz on world population and human capital.

Further studies should be made on the current status of human capital of population aged 15-64 years old. How productive are they? Are population 15-24 already productive, or still in school? How is the health of the population? Is there any available employment opportunities for them?

If the status of human capital is low, the relative large number of population aged 15-64 can be disaster rather than a dividend. With low education, low productivity, and lack of employment opportunities, these young people can be exploited as a source of social and political instability.

Best regards,

Aris Ananta

Filed under: Demography, publications, statistics, , ,

A Critique to UN Population Projection

24 May 2017

Dear readers,

One of the most important ingredients in making population is the assumptions on what will happen to the fertility, mortality, and migration in the future.  To do so, some demographers analyze time series data (data in the past) and extrapolate it to the future. This is the way that the UN population projection was prepared, argued Abel, Barakat, KC, and Lutz (2016).

Yet, they argued that the future will be different from the past. They do not agree with the extrapolation method.   To make the assumptions, they collect expert opinion on what may happen in the future, especially with regards to the implementation of Sustainable Development Program. They insert “education” as the new variable in their population projection.

With their projection, the world population will reach its peak at around 2060 and will reach between 8.2 – 8.7 billion in 2010. This is much lower than the UN projection at between 9.5 billion and 13.0 billion in 2010. Projected increase in education, and the resulting decrease in fertility and mortality, will make the world population reaching its peak much earlier.

This paper is important for those who are preparing population projection as well as those who try to use results of population projection. Please click here.

Enjoy reading the article.

Aris Ananta

Filed under: Demography, English, statistics, ,

Third Demographic Transition: Call for Papers

24 April 2017


Population Review is seeking quantitative research papers on the Third Demographic Transition (TDT). As originally discussed by Professor David Coleman in 2006, the TDT is underpinned by the assumption that population mobility, particularly migration, alters the ethnic/race composition of a population in developed countries, resulting in positive and negative socioeconomic consequences.  In 2016, Professor Aris Ananta found that a similar pattern materialized in developing countries (e.g. Indonesia).


This call for papers seeks high-quality contributions on the TDT as it applies to both developed and developing countries. Papers may include a topic within a specific country, a collection of countries or an entire geographical region. Papers that survive the peer-review process will be compiled into a Special Collection, which will be accessible online at

For more detailed information, please read TDT. Call for Papers

Filed under: Demography, English, Ethnicity, internal migration, international migration, migration, statistics

Just Published. “Population of SIJORI”

14 June 2016

Dear Readers,

I just have a new publication, on the demography of SIJORI (Singapore – Johor – Province of Riau Island), entitled “The Population of the SIJORI Cross-Bordern Region”. It is Chapter 2 in The SIJORI Cross-Border Regions: Trans national Political, Economics, and Culture. Edited by Francis E. Hutchinson and Terence Chong. Singapore: ISEAS – Yushof Ishak Institute, 2016.

More details are referred to here.

Best regards,

Aris Ananta



Filed under: Demography, English, Kepulauan Riau, Johor, Singapore, migration, statistics

New Article on Ethnicity

Dear Readers,

As we continue working on ethnicity in Indonesia, we have just published a journal article, “Declining Dominance of an Ethnic Group in a Large Multi-Ethnic Developing Country: the Case of the Javanese in Indonesia”, Population Review, volume 55, number 1, 2016, pp. 1-26, written by Aris Ananta, Dwi Retno Wilujeng Wahyu Utama, and Ari Purbowati.

Here is the abstract
Indonesia is undergoing a third demographic transition that features changes in ethnic composition.  We examine quantitatively the extent and change of dominance of the Javanese, who have experienced below replacement fertility.  As used herein, an ethnic group is said to be dominant if it is the largest ethnic group and its percentage is at least twice the percentage of the second largest ethnic group. The Javanese are the largest, most ubiquitous and politically important ethnic group in Indonesia. This quantitative analysis addresses the ethnic dominance and cultural hegemony literature. We question the ubiquity of the Javanese – who represent the process of Javanization – because Indonesia’s Javanese character/culture may be eroding. We find that among the Javanese living outside their three home provinces, the percentage of those who speak Javanese daily at home is very low.  These Javanese may have adapted to local conditions. We also find that the Javanese are not always the dominant or even the largest ethnic group. In most of the districts, they comprise a very small minority ethnic group.

An important finding is that the “third demographic transition” has been and continues to be occurring in Indonesia, a large developing country. Our findings expand the original concept of what constitutes a third demographic transition, which has been applied previously only to developed countries. We conclude that the Javanese are still dominant, but their dominance has declined, and that a third demographic transition is taking place in Indonesia.

Filed under: Demography, English, Ethnic Diversity, Indonesia, Statistics, Ethnicity, Large Population, statistics, , ,

New Publication on Ethnicity

Dear Readers,

As a continuation of Demography of Indonesia’s Ethnicity, we have published

Quantifying Indonesia’s  Ethnic Diversity. Statistics at National, Provincial, and District Levels.” Asian Population Studies, Volume 11, Issue 3, 2015. Written by Evi Nurvidya Arifin, Aris Ananta, Dwi Retno Wilujeng Wahyu Utami, Nur Budi Handayani, and Agus Pramono.

Here is the abstract

Ethnicity used to be a political taboo in Indonesia, a country with more than 600 ethnic groups, but this has changed since the advent of the Reform era (1998). The government of Indonesia (through Statistics-Indonesia) included a question on ethnicity in its 2000 population census, and continued in the 2010 census. This paper produces the first estimates of ethnic diversity at the national, provincial, and district levels using tabulations provided by Statistics-Indonesia based on the full enumeration data set of the 2010 Indonesia Population Census. It analyzes three measurements of ethnic diversity: the percentage of the largest ethnic group, Ethnic Fractionalization Index (EFI), and Ethnic Polarization Index (EPOI). This paper provides a quantitative start for further studies to link ethnic diversity with many social, economic, and political variables, including studies on the dynamics of ethnic diversity. We conclude that Indonesia is relatively ethnically fractionalized, though not as polarized. Among provinces and districts, we have seen a continuum ranging from ethnically homogeneous to heterogeneous, from the least fractionalized to the most fractionalized, and from the least polarized to the most polarized province or district. Variation in ethnic diversity is also seen across islands although provinces and districts in the Island of Java are more likely to be homogeneous, less fractionalized and less polarized than provinces and districts outside Java Island.

Filed under: Demography, English, Ethnicity, statistics, ,

Demography of Indonesia’s Ethnicity

Demography of Indonesia's Ethnicity

12 July 2015

Dear friends,

A new book Demography of Indonesia’s Ethnicity was just published by Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, on 15 July 2015. Written by Aris Ananta and Evi Nurvidya Arifin, who were with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies during the writing of the book but now with the University of Indonesia, and three statisticians from Badan Pusat Statistik Indonesia (M. Sairi Hasbullah, Nur Budi Handayani, and Agus Pramono), this book provides the first detailed statistics on ethnicity in Indonesia at both national and provincial levels. The statistics were calculated from the tabulation provided by the BPS based on the 100 percent sample of the raw data set of the Indonesia 2010 population census. The use of the 100 percent sample, rather than 10 percent or smaller, raises the accuracy of the statistics.

One of the important features of the book is the construction of New Classification of ethnic groups in Indonesia. The data on ethnicity in the raw data set is still very raw. (It is supposed to be raw, to let users decide how to regroup them.) One ethnic group can have more than one name, more than one spelling. One ethnic group can also have sub or sub-sub ethnic groups. There are also names which do not exist in the existing literatures. Therefore, the five authors enjoyed the virtual travel throughout Indonesia, reading sociological and anthropological literatures and consulting with local expertise by reading the data. They then constructed the New Classification, consisting of more than 630 ethnic groups in the whole Indonesia. This New Classification is made user-friendly, along with the codes, to facilitate easy analyses for those whoever work with the data.

With the New Classification, the authors produce the statistics on ethnicity. Because of time and space constraint, most of the discussion is focused on the fifteen largest ethnic groups in Indonesia: Javanese (40.06 percent), Sundanese (15.51 percent), Malay (3.70 percent), Batak (3.58 percent), Madurese (3.03 percent), Betawi (2.87 percent), Minangkabau (2.73 percent), Buginese (2.71 percent), Bantenese (1.96 percent), Banjarese (1.74 percent), Balinese (1.66 percent), Acehnese (1.44 percent), Dayak (1.36 percent), Sasak (1.34 percent), and Chinese (1.20 percent). The New Classification can be downloaded freely from the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.
However, in Chapter 4, they also discuss the ten largest ethnic groups in each province, which may not be the same as those at the national level. Because of the large number of ethnic groups in Land of Papua, Islands of Maluku, and Province of Central Sulawesi, the authors examine the fifteen largest ethnic groups in Province of Central Sulawesi, and Provinces of Maluku and North Maluku; and the 25 largest ethnic groups in the Provinces of Papua and West Papua. Table 4 also provides an extended list of ethnic groups in Indonesia, covering the ten, 15, or 25 largest groups in each province.

Population Dynamics in Ethnic Composition for Indonesia is discussed in Chapter 6. In chapter 7 the authors examine the religion and language of the fifteen largest ethnic groups. The 2010 population census is the first census collecting data on language and ethnicity at the same time.

This book is a result of a collaboration between Badan Pusat Statistik and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Dr. Riwanto Tirtosudahmo, Senior Researcher from Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) said that “Indonesia’s famous ethnic heterogeneity is no longer a social and cultural imagination, but has been statistically proven in this carefully and brilliantly crafted book”

Prof Leo Suryadinata, Nanyang Technology University, Singapore, wrote “This is the first detailed study of Indonesia’s demography and ethnicity based on the most-recent statistical information: the 2010 population census. This book is a follow-up to the major ISEAS publication entitled Indonesia’s Population: Ethnicity and Religion in a Changing Political Landscape (2003), but it is more up-to-date, much larger and more complex than the 2003 publication, as it covers more aspects and more ethnic groups. This is an essential reference book for those who want to study contemporary Indonesia.”

Prof Charles Hirschman, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, described “The post-New Order (since 1998) era has opened up Indonesian society to politics, new visions, and even to a greater understanding of the national motto “Unity through Diversity” with the collection of data on ethnic identities in the 2000 and 2010 censuses. Demography of Indonesia’s Ethnicity is the pioneering study of the complexity of measuring and interpreting ethnic identities from demographic data. The authors reduce the 1,331 raw ethnic categories to a more meaningful classification based on ethnographic research and geographical variation. Then they analyse change in ethnicity from 2000 to 2010 and the relationship between ethnicity and religion and language. This excellent book will be the foundation of all future research on ethnicity in Indonesia.”

Prof. David Henly, Leiden University, the Netherland, noted “Since the end of the Suharto era, democracy and freedom of speech have given ethnicity a new and direct political significant in Indonesia. At the same time, the censuses of 2000 and 2010 have made the country’s ethnic division statistically visible for the first time since the colonial period. Aris Ananta and his colleagues have done Indonesians, Indonesia-watchers, and the historians of the future an important service by summarizing and analysing, lucidly and with attention to detail, the new ethnic census data and the patterns and trends it reveals. This book will be useful to all those interested in the great and unique multicultural project that is Indonesia.”

For content of the book, readers are referred to website of the Publication Unit of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Readers can also get some free materials, including the New Classification of ethnic groups. Please visit here.

I hope you enjoy reading the book.

Best regards,


Filed under: Demography, English, statistics, , , ,

This site contains the writings of Aris Ananta & Evi Nurvidya Arifin. Click here to find out more about them.

We are researchers in the field of demography, social and economic statistics, and economics, focusing on Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Click here to find out more about OUR PUBLICATION .<br

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