Jakarta – Indonesia may face a "baby boom" if a government-led population control plan is not implemented soon, a senior official says.
Citing the Central Statistics Agency's latest data, National Family Planning Agency chairman Sugiri Syarief said Wednesday that Indonesia's population had increased by 32.5 million since 2000, and at an average population growth rate of 1.49 percent per year. The data put Indonesia's population at 237.6 million people.
"Indonesia's population will reach about 450 million people by 2045 if the population growth rate remains 1.49 percent. That means that one in every 20 people in the world would be Indonesian," he said on the sidelines of a national meeting on population development and family planning.
Such a large population would create massive burdens on government spending on health, education, food and public housing.
"A huge number of people can have the potential to drive the economy as long as they are qualified. Without quality, they can be a burden on our development, however," Sugiri said, as quoted by Antara news agency.
To prevent a baby boom, he said, Indonesia needed a population control plan. This would cover family planning and help spread the population evenly throughout the country and improve transportation.
He said the government would also revitalize the national family planning program as part of its efforts to prevent higher population growth.