|East Timor, officially the Democratic Republic of 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 of East Timor on the northwestern side of the island, surrounded by Indonesian West Timor. The small country of 5,376 square miles (14,609 square kilometres) is located about 400 miles (640 km) northwest of Darwin, Australia.
The name Timor derives from timor or timur, the word for 'east' in Malay as well as 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'.
East Timor has the lowest per capita GDP (Purchasing Power Parity adjusted) in the world of only $400 (which corresponds to the 192nd, and last, position). However, regarding the Human Development Index, or HDI, it is in 140th place among the world's nations, which corresponds to medium human development.
Colonized by Portugal in the 16th 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, which achieved full independence on May 20, 2002, becoming the first new country of the 21st century. With the Philippines, East Timor is one of only two predominantly Christian (Roman Catholic) countries in Asia.
East Timor is the only Portuguese-speaking country in Asia and one of the eight (8) such countries in the world (the other ones being Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and São Tomé and Principe).