Population Policies, Outcome, And The Future Of Population Growth In Indonesia
Elita Pertiwi, Mery Nurma Juwita, Muh. Irfan Habibi & Ferry Hadiyanto
MIE FEB UNPAD
During an unexpectedly high population expansion in the mid-twentieth century, Malthusian argued that hunger and large populations would surpass limited resources. Malthus predicted that the food supply would be unable to keep up with population expansion, leading to sickness, starvation, conflict, and disaster.
However, Boserup (1965) challenged this notion, claiming that population pressure drives farmers to adopt more intensive land utilization strategies to enhance food production. According to Boserup (1965), population growth benefits humans, allowing people to cope and eventually stimulating innovation.
Over the past decade, there has been a growing interest around the world in studying the issue of population growth (Salim et al., 2014). Based on Kelley and Schmidt (2001), high population growth has a detrimental effect on economic growth.
Eastwood and Lipton (2001) conducted another research that found that a high Total Fertility Rate causes a rise in poverty due to a growing consumption gap. Thus, population growth and Total Fertility Rate have been persistent issues across the globe, affecting various factors such as economic development, poverty and inequality, natural resources and the environment, and social dimensions.
According to Salim et al. (2014), the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is defined as the average number of children born alive to a woman (or group of women) over her lifetime, assuming she went through the reproductive years by the age-specific fertility rates of a given year. This rate is frequently expressed as the number of children women have today. In addition, the Population Growth Rate (PGR) is the yearly rate of population growth represented as a percentage of the base population.
To conclude, fertility rate and population growth are a phenomenon that requires careful and serious attention and handling sustainably. Fertility rate and population growth have broad implications for other development sectors, from providing educational facilities, health, employment, the environment, and even housing. In Indonesia, the policy to suppress the fertility and population growth rate is through the Family Planning (KB) program.
The History and Achievement of Population Policies in Indonesia
- Family Planning Program
According to Hull (2003), the Soekarno government (Guided Democracy or Old Order) was pro-natalist and anti-family planning. After recovering from the war, President Soekarno believed that Indonesia needed human resources for its economic growth. President Soekarno was optimistic about a large population that was believed to increase economic development to improve the welfare of its people (BKKBN, 2011a, as cited from Kusuma Dwi Putri et al., 2019).
On December 23, 1957, during President Soekarno’s era, the Indonesia family planning program (KB) began and was designed by the Indonesian Family Planning Association (PKBI) at Gedung Ikatan Dokter Indonesia (BKKBN, 2020). PKBI founders are community leaders and health sector experts concerned about the high maternal mortality rate and various population problems in Indonesia. Therefore, the KB program was designed to regulate pregnancy, treat infertility and provide marriage advice (BKKBN, 2020).
However, the implementation of family planning initially gained pros and cons from various parties. Communities and academics perceived the family planning program as depriving freedom, as family planning is a program to limit pregnancy. Giving birth was seen as a noble duty for a woman to give birth to a new generation after independence, especially when Indonesia needed human resources to grow (Hull, T. H., Hull, V. J., Utomo, I. D. & Adioetomo, S. M, 2006). Also, at the beginning of the implementation of the family planning program, the government needed to know how significant the positive impact of the family planning program was (PKBI, 2017).
Furthermore, during Soeharto’s government, the family planning program was eventually promoted nationally, even in remote villages. In 1969, the government formed the National Family Planning Institute (LKBN) to provide family planning services in Java and Bali. One year later, the National Family Planning Coordinating Board (BKKBN) was formed (Hull, 2003). Until now, BKKBN is still in charge of dealing with population issues.
In President Soeharto, the tagline “two children” or “dua anak” has been an integral part of the minds of Indonesians. The two-finger symbol, facing forward and backward (facing oneself), can also mean victory. The tagline “two children” since the 1970s has been changing, starting with “two children are enough, boys and girls are the same” or “dua anak cukup, laki-laki atau perempuan sama saja,” not only introducing and calling for two children as the ideal target for using contraception as a family planning tool but also means the education of inherent gender equality and justice. Boys and girls are not recommended to be distinguished in growth and opportunities. Subsequently, at the end of the 1990s, the tagline appeared with “two children are better” or “dua anak lebih baik.” (Nofrijal, 2021).
At the end of 2019, the BKKBN packaged and introduced the term KKBPK (Kependudukan, Keluarga Berencana dan Pembangunan Keluarga) to become Program Pembangunan Keluarga, Kependudukan dan Keluarga Berencana or Bangga Kencana. The change from KKBPK to Bangga Kencana aims to make it easier to mention and pronounce the program (Rencana Strategis BKKBN 2020-2024, 2020).
Placing the word “Pembangunan Keluarga” at the front shows that BKKBN wants to benefit all Indonesian families, by realizing harmony, and balance between the quantity, quality, and distribution of the population and the environment, as well as improving the quality of the family. Improving the quality of family can create a sense of peace and hope for a better or independent future in realizing physical well-being and inner happiness (Rencana Strategis BKKBN, 2020).
In 2020, BKKBN also changed the logo, KB jingle beat, uniform (from Batik Bebas to Batik Kencana), and also the tagline “Ayo Ikut KB Dua Anak Saja Cukup” to “Berencana Itu Keren, Dua Anak Lebih Sehat (DAHSAT).” In Kampung KB, Keluarga Berencana was also changed into Keluarga Berkualitas. The implementation was done to change the mindset of young people in planning their future, starting from education, work, and household life (Zega, Temazaro, 2020).
- The Law No. 1 of 1974 to The Law No. 16 of 2019 Marriage Law: Increasing Age of Marriage of Women
In 1974, during President Soeharto era, Law No. 1 of 1974 Marriage Law was implemented. This law makes marriage without parental approval permissible at the age of 21. Girls may marry at the age of 16 and males at the age of 19, with parental permission. Marriages under the legal age are invalid, and there are consequences for intentionally participating in or permitting a child or early marriage (Legal Information Institute, 1992).
This law may have also contributed to the decline in fertility in Indonesia. As a Muslim-majority nation, Indonesian families traditionally married their children close to puberty to prevent committing sins. Marriage was likewise a family rather than an individual matter in traditional Indonesia. In the lack of women’s education and job, poor and middle-class parents sent their daughters to marry as a financial relief for their family (Boserup, 2007).
In addition, Article 1 number 1 of Law No. 23 of 2002 concerning Child Protection emerged, which defines a child as someone who is not yet 18 (eighteen) years old. Therefore, Mahkamah Konstitusi Republik Indonesia finally issued Putusan Mahkamah Konstitusi Nomor 22/PUU-XV/2017 concerning the Review of Law No. 1 of 1974 Marriage Law. Mahkamah Konstitusi ordered legislators within three years to amend Law No. 1 of 1974 Marriage Law to increase the minimum age for marriage for women from 16 to 19 years (equivalent to the minimum age limit for marriage for men). The new age limit is considered to be able to prepare men and women to be physically and mentally mature to get married and produce healthy and quality offspring (BPK, 2019).
On October 14, 2019, the President of the Republic of Indonesia ratified Law No.16 of 2019 concerning amendments to Law No.1 of 1974 Marriage Law, which contains 1 (one) specific article which changes the provisions of Article 7 so that the marriage is allowed only if the man and woman have reached the age of 19 years (BPK, 2019).
If the bride to be married has not yet reached the age of 19, the parents/guardians of the male and parents/guardians of the female may request a dispensation from the Court with urgent reasons accompanied by sufficient supporting evidence. People who experience the conditions can submit a voluntary case (Request) for Dispensation of Marriage to the Religious Court in the region where they live or to the Religious Court where the marriage will be carried out (BPK, 2019).
Consequently, Law No. 1 of 1974 to The Law No. 16 of 2019 Marriage Law may also be one of the determinants of fertility decline. Delayed marriage is also connected with lower and shorter reproductive periods (Widyastari & Isarabhakdi, 2016).
- The 9 Year to 12 Year Compulsory Education: Young Women’s Education
In addition, the imposition of nine years of compulsory education in 1998 and its change to twelve years of compulsory education in 2013 also contributed to reducing fertility rates in Indonesia. With higher education up to high school level and equivalent, Indonesian couples marry later and have more long-lasting partnerships. In addition, nine years of compulsory education provide a solid foundation for Indonesia’s future human capital and offer more educational possibilities for women.
The age at first marriage also rises following the level of education. According to Indonesia Demographic and Health Survey (2012), women aged 25-49 who finished secondary school married at an average age of 22.9 years, but women with no education married at an earlier age of 17.2 years.
The Policies Outcome and the Future of Population Growth in Indonesia
According to World Development Indicators data, Indonesia’s TFR level has continued to decline from 1950 to 2020. In 1950, Indonesia’s TFR was 5.7; in 2020, it was 2.3, as seen in Graph 1.
Indonesia TFR from 1960 – 2020
Graph 1 shows that after implementing the family planning program (KB) in the 1970s, Indonesia’s fertility rate declined significantly compared to the decline before the family planning program was launched.
In addition to a decrease in the Total Fertility Rate, the Crude Birth Rate for Teenage Women (15-19 Years) also decreased between 2012 and 2017, as shown in the following table.
Crude Birth Rate of Adolescent Women (15-19 Years) in 2012 and 2017 by Province
Table 1 shows that the Crude Birth Rate for women aged 15-19 in Indonesia decreased from 2012 to 2017. The average Crude Birth Rate of women aged 15-19 in Indonesia in 2012 was 48. Five years later, the average Crude Birth Rate of women aged 15-19 years in Indonesia was 36. Also, by location of residence, the decline in the Crude Birth Rate in Indonesia for women aged 15-19 is as follows.
Crude Birth Rate of Adolescent Women (15-19 Years) in 2012 & 2017
by Location of Residence
Furthermore, not only in Indonesia but the world’s Total Fertility Rate is also decreasing from time to time, as seen in graph 2 below.
The World and Indonesia’s Total Fertility Rate from 1960-2020
Graph 2 shows the decline in the Total Fertility Rate in the world and Indonesia. In 1960, the world’s Total Fertility Rate was 4.98, and Indonesia’s was 5.65. In 2020, the world Total Fertility Rate was 2.39, and Indonesia’s Total Fertility Rate was 2.27.
However, if we look at developments from year to year, the decline in the population growth rate in Indonesia was most significant during the era of President Soeharto, as can be seen in this graph 3. During President Soeharto’s era, the success of Indonesia’s family planning program was known worldwide (Cammack & Heaton, 2001, as cited by Kusuma Dwi Putri et al., 2019).
Moreover, based on Salim et al. (2014), there have been five different scenarios to see the future growth of Indonesia in 2030. The scenarios are based on BPS, BKKBN TFR Stable at 2.49, UN High, UN Medium, and UN Low, as seen in figure 1.
Indonesia’s Population-based on Different Scenarios: 2010 – 2030
Regardless of the scenario, the population of Indonesia will continue to increase in the future due to the increasing number of women reaching childbearing age (age 15-49). In 2021, according to BPS, the total women aged 15-19 was 10 755,1, the total women aged 20-24 was 10 989,2, the total women aged 25-29 was 10 947,0, the total women aged 30-34 was 10 818,8, the total women aged 35-39 was 10 412,6, the total women aged 40-44 was 10 009,3, the total women aged 45-49 was 9 163,7. Thus, the total number of women reaching childbearing age in 2021 was 73095,70, as seen in graph 4.
Nevertheless, although Indonesia’s population will continue to grow in the future, Indonesia’s Population Growth Rate is expected to decline, from 1,36% in 2017 to 1% in 2025 and 0,8% in 2030, according to the projection of BPS as seen from graph 5.
BKKBN packaged and introduced the term KKBPK (Kependudukan, Keluarga Berencana dan Pembangunan Keluarga) to become Program Pembangunan Keluarga, Kependudukan dan Keluarga Berencana or Bangga Kencana. Then, in 2020, BKKBN changed the logo, KB jingle beat, uniform (from Batik Bebas to Batik Kencana), and also the tagline “Ayo Ikut KB Dua Anak Saja Cukup” to “Berencana Itu Keren, Dua Anak Lebih Sehat (DAHSAT).” In Kampung KB, Keluarga Berencana was also changed into Keluarga Berkualitas. The implementation was done to change the mindset of young people in planning their future, starting from education, work, and household life
The Law No. 1 of 1974 to The Law No. 16 of 2019 Marriage Law increased the age of marriage and forced the past Indonesian families to change. The significance of the Marriage Law in delaying the marriage age will prevent young people from marrying too early. The age limit is considered to be able to prepare men and women to be physically and mentally mature to get married and produce healthy and quality offspring.
Compulsory education from 9 years to 12 years also promotes the spread of ideas among young people and broadens their understanding of their rights and self-actualization. Besides, education broadens women’s labor-force participation prospects. When women are more likely to work, they are more likely to postpone marriage because they want to enjoy earning more money.
Since the beginning of the administration of President Soekarno to President Joko Widodo, the Population Growth Rate, Total Fertility Rate, and Crude Birth Rate in Indonesia have been declining. In the future, Indonesia’s Population Growth Rate is also expected to decline, according to the projection of BPS.
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