Until the census of 2000, no attempt had been made since the 1930 census to elicit data from Indonesians about their ethnicity. The 2000 census question on the subject was necessarily based on self-identification. However, the very low figure recorded for ethnic Chinese Indonesians implies that large numbers of them chose not to identify themselves as such, probably because of fears aroused by outbreaks of anti-Chinese violence in 1998. The 2000 census figure of only 1.8 million Chinese, less than 1% of the total population (or 1.4 % according to a proposed adjustment) seems far too low to be credible. In 1930 Chinese Indonesians represented about 2% of the total, and they have generally been assumed since then to amount to 2-3% of the population. This note examines the key variables relevant to that assumption, which seems likely to be nearer the truth than the recent census figure.