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East Timor Country Guide

Explore East Timor in Oceania

East Timor with the capital city Dili is located in Oceania (Southeastern Asia, northwest of Australia in the Lesser Sunda Islands at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago; note - Timor-Leste includes the eastern half of the island of Timor). It covers some 15,007 square kilometres (slightly larger than Connecticut) with 1,107,000 citizens.

Interactive map of East Timor

The terrain features mountainous. The average density of population is approximately 74 per km². The notable climate conditions in East Timor can be described as tropical with hot, humid and distinct rainy and dry seasons. Potential natural disasters are floods and landslides are common or earthquakes, tsunamis or tropical cyclones.

To reach someone in East Timor dial +670 prior to a number. There are 2,400 installed telephones. And there are 116,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".tp". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of .

About the flag and history of East Timor

East Timor Flag Icon

Red, with a black isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) superimposed on a slightly longer yellow arrowhead that extends to the center of the flag; a white star - pointing to the upper hoist-side corner of the flag - is in the center of the black triangle; yellow denotes the colonialism in Timor-Leste's past; black represents the obscurantism that needs to be overcome; red stands for the national liberation struggle; the white star symbolizes peace and serves as a guiding light.

The Portuguese began to trade with the island of Timor in the early 16th century and colonized it in mid-century. Skirmishing with the Dutch in the region eventually resulted in an 1859 treaty in which Portugal ceded the western portion of the island. Imperial Japan occupied Portuguese Timor from 1942 to 1945, but Portugal resumed colonial authority after the Japanese defeat in World War II. East Timor declared itself independent from Portugal on 28 November 1975 and was invaded and occupied by Indonesian forces nine days later. It was incorporated into Indonesia in July 1976 as the province of Timor Timur (East Timor). An unsuccessful campaign of pacification followed over the next two decades, during which an estimated 100,000 to 250,000 individuals lost their lives. On 30 August 1999, in a UN-supervised popular referendum, an overwhelming majority of the people of Timor-Leste voted for independence from Indonesia. However, in the next three weeks, anti-independence Timorese militias - organized and supported by the Indonesian military - commenced a large-scale, scorched-earth campaign of retribution. The militias killed approximately 1,400 Timorese and forcibly pushed 300,000 people into western Timor as refugees. Most of the country's infrastructure, including homes, irrigation systems, water supply systems, and schools, and nearly 100% of the country's electrical grid were destroyed. On 20 September 1999, Australian-led peacekeeping troops deployed to the country and brought the violence to an end. On 20 May 2002, Timor-Leste was internationally recognized as an independent state. In 2006, internal tensions threatened the new nation's security when a military strike led to violence and a breakdown of law and order. At Dili's request, an Australian-led International Stabilization Force (ISF) deployed to Timor-Leste, and the UN Security Council established the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), which included an authorized police presence of over 1,600 personnel. The ISF and UNMIT restored stability, allowing for presidential and parliamentary elections in 2007 in a largely peaceful atmosphere. In February 2008, a rebel group staged an unsuccessful attack against the president and prime minister. The ringleader was killed in the attack, and most of the rebels surrendered in April 2008. Since the attack, the government has enjoyed one of its longest periods of post-independence stability, including successful 2012 elections for both the parliament and president. In late 2012, the UN Security Council voted to end its peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste and both the ISF and UNMIT departed the country by the end of the year.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Oceania
Neighbours: Indonesia
Capital: Dili
Size15,007 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 5,794 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than Connecticut
CurrencyName Dollar, Currency Code:USD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).tp
Telephone Country Prefix+670
Mobile Phone Connections116,000
Landline Phone Connections2,400

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area14,874 (sq km)160

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population1,172,390 159
Population growth rate2.47 (%)31
Birth rate34.85 (births/1,000 population)27
Death rate6.28 (deaths/1,000 population)156
Net migration rate-3.88 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)188
Maternal mortality rate300.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)37
Infant mortality rate40.09 (deaths/1,000 live births)55
Life expectancy at birth67.06 (years)164
Total fertility rate5.22 (children born/woman)16
Health expenditures9.10 (% of GDP)41
Obesity - adult prevalence rate2.70 (%)178
Children under the age of 5 years underweight45.30 (%)1
Education expenditures10.10 (% of GDP)6


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)11,230,000,000 152
GDP - real growth rate10.00 (%)9
GDP - per capita (PPP)10,000 119
Labor force418,200 158
Unemployment rate18.40 (%)156
Distribution of family income - Gini index31.90 106
Taxes and other revenues40.70 (% of GDP)41
Inflation rate (consumer prices)9.00 (%)192
Commercial bank prime lending rate11.04 (%)75
Stock of narrow money196,000,000 178
Stock of broad money386,900,000 182
Stock of domestic credit300,000,000 180
Industrial production growth rate8.50 (%)21
Current account balance2,375,000,000 37
Exports18,000,000 209
Imports689,000,000 187


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production131,700,000 (kWh)189
Electricity - consumption67,590,000 (kWh)202
Crude oil - production83,740 (bbl/day)52
Crude oil - exports96,270 (bbl/day)38
Crude oil - proved reserves553,800,000 (bbl)50
Refined petroleum products - consumption2,755 (bbl/day)185
Refined petroleum products - imports2,205 (bbl/day)178
Natural gas - proved reserves200,000,000,000 (cu m)46
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy395,300 (Mt)183


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use3,100 214
Telephones - mobile cellular614,200 162
Internet hosts252 195
Internet users2,100 211


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports6 175
Roadways6,040 (km)149
Merchant marine1 155

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

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