Indonesia’s statistical publications

The publication and improvement of national statistical data in Indonesia was a consequence of the gradual spread of Dutch colonial rule across the country during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Annual Colonial Reports, 1865-1929

In the early 19th century, the first attempts to collect statistical data were restricted to the areas in Java under direct colonial rule. Data were collected with administrative questionnaires at village level and aggregated up the administrative chain until they reached the capital of colonial Indonesia, Jakarta (then called Batavia). Generally aggregated by residency (residentie), these data were submitted to the Ministry of Colonial Affairs in The Netherlands. The Ministry produced an annual Colonial Report (Koloniaal Verslag) since 1834, containing statistical data in a growing number of appendices. 

The colonial government gradually established specialised government departments, which generated new statistical data for administrative purposes. These were summarised in the appendices of the annual Colonial Reports. After the Dutch parliament seized responsibility for colonial affairs from the Dutch King, the Ministry submitted the annual Colonial Reports to the parliament during 1865-1929. Together with the appendices, the reports were published as part of the proceedings of the Dutch parliament. They can all be downloaded from this online repository.  

Statistical Yearbooks, 1891-1940

These aggregated data from the annual Colonial Reports were re-published as time series by the Central Bureau of Statistics in The Netherlands as part of the Dutch annual statistical yearbook (Jaarcijfers voor het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden – Koloniën, 1891-1921).

In 1922 the Statistical Office (Statistisch Kantoor) in Indonesia was given responsibility for the publication of annual statistical yearbooks for Indonesia (Statistisch Jaaroverzicht voor Nederlandsch-Indië, 1922-1929; Indisch Verslag, 1930-1940). Selected abridged data were also published in a statistical pocketbook (Statistisch Zakboekje, 1934-1941). The agency became the Central Office of Statistics (Centraal Kantoor voor de Statistiek, CKS) in 1924, also known by its Indonesian name (Kantor Pusat Statistik, KPS).

Monthly data since 1910

In addition to annual data publications, CKS/KPS published monthly data. In the 1930s for the purpose of monitoring the impact of the economic crisis of the 1930s on Indonesia: Verslag nopens den economischen toestand van Nederlandsch-Indië [Report on the economic condition of colonial Indonesia] (1932-1940), Maandcijfers over den economischen toestand der inheemsche bevolking op Java en Madoera (1935), continued as Maandcijfers betreffende den economischen toestand der inheemsche bevolking op Java en Madoera [both: Monthly data on the economic condition of the indigenous population of Java and Madura] (1936-1940). 

Some monthly data were also published in the weekly journal of the Department of Economic Affairs: Korte Berichten voor Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel [Short communications about agriculture, industry and trade] (1910-1932), continued as Economisch Weekblad voor Nederlandsch-Indië [Economic weekly for colonial Indonesia] (1932-1942 and 1946-1947), Economisch Weekblad voor Indonesië [Economic weekly for Indonesia] (1947-1953) and Warta Ekonomi untuk Indonesia [Economic news for Indonesia] (1954-1962). The statistical data in this journal help to bridge the years between the 1930s and 1950s as they contain statistical data up to February 1942 and from February 1946 onwards. 

The collection and publication of statistical data took time to recover from the Japanese occupation and the independence war during the 1940s. CKS/KPS re-started its publication of monthly data in 1949, and has published them since under different names. The journal initially appeared as Ichtisar Bulanan Statistik/Statistisch Maandoverzicht/Monthly Survey (1949-1954), and was continued as Statistik Konjunktur/Monthly Survey: Laporan Perkembangan Ekonomi di Indonesia (1954-August 1963). 

CKS/KPS became the Biro Pusat Statistik (BPS) in 1957. Since 1961, the government of President Sukarno increasingly prohibited the publication of economic statistics. BPS stopped publications in 1963. After Sukarno’s presidency started to wane in 1966, BPS resumed publication of monthly statistical data: Warta BPS: Bulletin Bulanan Resmi [BPS news: Official monthly bulletin] (June 1966-1969), which it continued since 1970 as Indikator Ekonomi [Economic indicators]. This monthly publication is available online back to 2002 at the website of BPS, which in 1997 was renamed Badan Pusat Statistik.

Statistical Yearbooks since 1956

BPS published an annual statistical pocketbook since 1956, called Statistik Indonesia [Indonesian statistics]. However, the coverage of the pocketbook was limited, compared to the statistical yearbooks until 1940. In 1964 the publication of the statistical pocketbook was halted on Presidential orders. Following a change of government, BPS resumed its annual publication in 1968. The 1968 issue contained retrospective data for 1963-1967. In 1971 BPS started the publication of a statistical yearbook, also called Statistik Indonesia, which is available online at the website of BPS.

Until the 1990s, most of the published statistical data published by BPS continued to consist of administrative data produced by government department and agencies. To augment these, BPS increasingly also published its own survey-based data since the 1960s.

Central bank data since 1954

Indonesia's central bank, Bank Indonesia, became an alternative source of economic data. Its annual reports since 1954 contain economic data in addition to financial and monetary statistics. The Sukarno government prohibited the bank from publishing such statistics and annual reports in 1961. Soon after the lifting of this prohibition, Bank Indonesia in 1968 resumed publication of its annual report. That year, it also initiated the publication of its monthly Statistik Ekonomi-Keuangan Indonesia [Indonesian financial statistics]. It is available online at the Bank Indonesia website with data back to the 1980s. 

Time series

Not all statistical data in the statistical yearbooks and pocketbooks lend themselves to the creation of consistent time series. The 16 volumes in the series Changing Economy in Indonesia explain for some parts of the economy until 1940 why this is the case. Therefore, when collating time series, account has to be taken of changes in the methodologies used to estimate data, changes in the geographical coverage of the data, as well as changes in ways in which the data are presented in tables. 

Further reading

Van der Eng, Pierre (1996) ‘Historical economic statistics in Indonesia: Continuity and change’, Newsletter of the Asian Historical Statistics Project, No.3: 12-15. 

Last update on Tuesday 9 August 2022 (06:23) by  Pierre van der Eng


Editor : Jean-Pascal Bassino [UMR IAO]

Contact : Jean-Pascal Bassino

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