Poverty in Indonesia is a widespread issue though in recent years the official numbers show a declining trend. Due to the dense rural nature of parts of the Java, Bali, Lombok, and parts of Sumatra, poverty can be classified into rural and urban poverty. Urban poverty is prevalent in not only in Jabotabek, but also in Medan and Surabaya. As a sprawling archipelago, poverty characteristics and implications vary widely from island to island and culture to culture. Papua has serious poverty issues of its own due to economic, cultural, linguistic and physical isolation which set it apart from the rest of Indonesia.
In February 1999, as much as 47.97 million people were classified as poor, representing 23.43% of the nation's population. However, this figure must take into account the slide of the rupiah in the Asian financial crisis. By July 2005, that number had been reduced to 35.10 million, representing 15.97% of the total population. Latest available figures, March 2007,[dated info] show that 37.17 million people are under the poverty line representing 16.58% of the entire population.