Timor-Leste

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Timor was actively involved in Southeast Asian trading networks for centuries and by the 14th century exported aromatic sandalwood, slaves, honey, and wax. By mid 16th century, the Portuguese had colonized the island. It was incorporated into Indonesia in July 1976 as the province of Timor Timur (East Timor). On 20 May 2002, Timor-Leste was internationally recognized as an independent state.

Geography

Area

total: 14,874 sq km

land: 14,874 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Climate

tropical; hot, humid; distinct rainy and dry seasons

Natural resources

gold, petroleum, natural gas, manganese, marble

People and Society

Population

1,445,006 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) (includes Tetun, Mambai, Tokodede, Galoli, Kemak, Baikeno), Melanesian-Papuan (includes Bunak, Fataluku, Bakasai), small Chinese minority

Languages

Tetun Prasa 30.6%, Mambai 16.6%, Makasai 10.5%, Tetun Terik 6.1%, Baikenu 5.9%, Kemak 5.8%, Bunak 5.5%, Tokodede 4%, Fataluku 3.5%, Waima'a 1.8%, Galoli 1.4%, Naueti 1.4%, Idate 1.2%, Midiki 1.2%, other 4.5% (2015 est.)

Religions

Roman Catholic 97.6%, Protestant/Evangelical 2%, Muslim 0.2%, other 0.2% (2015 est.)

Population growth rate

2.15% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

semi-presidential republic

Capital

name: Dili

Executive branch

chief of state: President Francisco GUTERRES (since 20 May 2017); note - the president is commander in chief of the military and is able to veto legislation, dissolve parliament, and call national elections

head of government: Prime Minister Taur Matan RUAK (since 22 June 2018)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Parliament (65 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

lower middle-income Southeast Asian economy; government expenditures funded via oil fund drawdowns; endemic corruption undermines growth; foreign aid-dependent; wide-scale poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$4.19 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$3,200 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

rice, maize, vegetables, coffee, roots/tubers nes, other meats, cassava, pork, beans, mangoes/guavas

Industries

printing, soap manufacturing, handicrafts, woven cloth

Exports

$60 million (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Singapore 51%, China 20%, Japan 9%, Indonesia 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, coffee, various vegetables, scrap iron (2019)

Imports

$850 million (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

Indonesia 39%, China 27%, Singapore 10%, Malaysia 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, cement, delivery trucks, motorcycles (2019)


Page last updated: Friday, May 13, 2022