East Timor

East Timor, officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste or Timor-Leste, is a country in Southeast Asia comprising the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecussi-Ambeno, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor. The small country of 14,609 square kilometres is located about 640 km northwest of Darwin, Australia.

The name 'Timor' derives from timor or timur, the word for 'east' in Malay and Indonesian which became 'timor' in Portuguese. The Portuguese name Timor-Leste and the Tetum name Timor Lorosa'e are sometimes used in English. Lorosa'e (the word for 'east' in Tetum) literally means 'rising sun'.

At $400, East Timor has the lowest per capita GDP (Purchasing Power Parity adjusted) in the world (192nd on the list of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita). Its Human Development Index (HDI), however, corresponds to to a medium degree of human development and places East Timor 142nd among the world's nations.

Colonized by Portugal in the sixteenth century, East Timor was known as Portuguese Timor for centuries. It was invaded by Indonesia in 1975, which occupied it until 1999. Following the UN-sponsored act of self-determination that year, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory and East Timor became the first new country of the twenty-first century on May 20, 2002. Alongside the Philippines, East Timor is one of only two predominantly Roman Catholic countries in Asia, and the only Portuguese-speaking sovereign state in Asia.

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