About East Timor
East Timor (officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste) is a country in Southeast Asia. It comprises 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 15,410 km² (5,400 sq mi) is located about 640 km (400 mi) northwest of Darwin, Australia.
East Timor was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor until Portugal's decolonization of the country. In late 1975 East Timor declared its independence but was invaded and occupied by Indonesia later that year, and declared that country's 27th province the following year. In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory and East Timor became the first new sovereign state 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.
At US$800, the per capita GDP (purchasing power parity adjusted) of East Timor is one of the lowest in the world. Its Human Development Index (HDI), however, corresponds to a medium degree of human development and places East Timor 142nd among the world's nations.
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