Dialing code +670
ISO 2 code TL
ISO 3 code TLS
Capital Dili
Main Language None
Currency Dollar (USD)
GDP $2.7 billion 170th
Population 1,154,625 156th


Continent Oceania
Location 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 the Oecussi (Ambeno) region on the northwest portion of the island of Timor and the islands of Pulau Atauro and Pulau Jaco
Land 15,007 km2 160th
Terrain Mountainous
Climate Tropical; hot humid; distinct rainy and dry seasons
Natural Hazards Mountainous
Note: Timor comes from the Malay word for "East"; the island of Timor is part of the Malay Archipelago and is the largest and easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands

Neighbouring Countries



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. Between the referendum and the arrival of a multinational peacekeeping force in late September 1999 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. The majority 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 the Australian-led peacekeeping troops of the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) 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 late April 2006 internal tensions threatened the new nation's security when a military strike led to violence and a near breakdown of law and order in Dili. At the request of the Government of Timor-Leste an Australian-led International Stabilization Force (ISF) deployed to Timor-Leste in late May. In August 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 the Government of Timor-Leste to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in April and June 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 the majority of the rebels surrendered to the government in April 2008.
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Life Expectancy 67.27 years 142nd
Median Age 21.8 years 144th
Birth Rate 26.25 births/1,000 population 57th
Death Rate 5.98 births/1,000 population 149th
Sex Ratio 0.91 male(s)/female 33rd
Literacy 58.6% 177th

1.2 million


Roadways 6040 km 147th
Railways None km
Airports 6 163rd
Waterways None km
Heliports 9 21st
Airports paved 1 161st


Currency Dollar (USD)
GDP $2.7 billion 170th
GDP per capita (PPP) $2400 157th