Spotlight, December 4, 2014: Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Timor-Leste is a country that takes up roughly half of a medium island in Indonesia. It has one of the highest fertility rates in the world (ranked 15th), with women having an average of five children during their lives. Almost half of its population is under 15 years of age. It has 16 indiginous languages and most inhabitants originally come from that island system, but there is also a small Chinese minority. Timor-Leste was internationally recognized as a country in 2002, but from 1999 to 2008 it suffered from uprisings by small numbers of Indonesia-supported anti-independence rebels who destroyed almost 100% of the country’s infrastructure. Even now, some of Timor-Leste’s country borders have yet to be officially defined, including its Maritime Exclusion Zone with Indonesia and some regions of its exclave, the Oecusse District. It’s four major industries are printing, soap-making, handcrafting, and weaving, but it has the 42nd highest industrial growth rate in the world, which isn’t bad for a country that has had to rebuild itself almost from scratch.
Source: “Timor-Leste.” The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency, 20 June 2014. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.