|Archipelago||Greater Sunda Islands|
|Area||475,807.63 km2 (183,710.35 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||3,805 m (12484 ft)|
|Provinces|| Aceh |
|Largest settlement||Medan (pop. 2,097,610)|
|Population||59,977,300 (mid 2022 estimate)|
|Pop. density||125.0/km2 (323.7/sq mi)|
|Ethnic groups||Acehnese, Batak, Gayonese, Lampung, Malay, Mentawai, Minangkabau, Nias, Palembang, Rejang, Chinese, Indian, Javanese, Sundanese etc.|
Sumatra km2 (182,812 mi.2), including adjacent islands such as the Simeulue, Nias, Mentawai, Enggano, Riau Islands, Bangka Belitung and Krakatoa archipelago.is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the sixth-largest island in the world at 475,807.63
Sumatra is an elongated landmass spanning a diagonal northwest–southeast axis. The Indian Ocean borders the northwest, west, and southwest coasts of Sumatra, with the island chain of Simeulue, Nias, Mentawai, and Enggano off the western coast. In the northeast, the narrow Strait of Malacca separates the island from the Malay Peninsula, which is an extension of the Eurasian continent. In the southeast, the narrow Sunda Strait, containing the Krakatoa Archipelago, separates Sumatra from Java. The northern tip of Sumatra is near the Andaman Islands, while off the southeastern coast lie the islands of Bangka and Belitung, Karimata Strait and the Java Sea. The Bukit Barisan mountains, which contain several active volcanoes, form the backbone of the island, while the northeastern area contains large plains and lowlands with swamps, mangrove forest and complex river systems. The equator crosses the island at its centre in West Sumatra and Riau provinces. The climate of the island is tropical, hot, and humid. Lush tropical rain forest once dominated the landscape.
Sumatra has a wide range of plant and animal species but has lost almost 50% of its tropical rainforest in the last 35 years.[ clarification needed ] Many species are now critically endangered, such as the Sumatran ground cuckoo, the Sumatran tiger, the Sumatran elephant, the Sumatran rhinoceros, and the Sumatran orangutan. Deforestation on the island has also resulted in serious seasonal smoke haze over neighbouring countries, such as the 2013 Southeast Asian haze which caused considerable tensions between Indonesia and affected countries Malaysia and Singapore. The widespread deforestation and other environmental destruction in Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia has often been described by academics as an ecocide.
Sumatra was known in ancient times by the Sanskrit names of Suwarnadwīpa ('Island of Gold') and Suwarnabhūmi ('Land of Gold'), because of the gold deposits in the island's highlands. The earliest known mention of the current form "Sumatra" was in 1017, when the local king Haji Sumatrabhumi ("king of the land of Sumatra") sent an envoy to China. Arab geographers referred to the island as Lamri ( Lamuri , Lambri or Ramni) in the tenth through thirteenth centuries, in reference to a kingdom near modern-day Banda Aceh which was the first landfall for traders. The island has also been known by other names, including Andalas or Percha Island.
In the late 13th century, Marco Polo referred to the kingdom as Samara, while his contemporary fellow Italian traveller Odoric of Pordenone used the form Sumoltra. Later in the 14th century the local form "Sumatra" became popular abroad due to the rising power of the kingdom of Samudera Pasai and the subsequent Sultanate of Aceh.
From then on, subsequent European writers mostly used Sumatra or similar forms of the name for the entire island.
By the year 692, the Melayu Kingdom was absorbed by Srivijaya. : 79–80 Srivijaya's influence waned in the 11th century, specifically in the year 1025, after suffering defeat at the hands of the Chola Empire in southern India By the end of the 12th century, Srivijaya had been reduced to a kingdom, and its dominant role in South Sumatra ended with the last king, Ratu Sekekhummong, who founded the milestone of Kepaksian Sekala Brak in the 13th century AD with the Dalom building. At the same time, the spread of Islam in Indonesia occurred gradually and indirectly, starting from the western regions of Indonesia such as the Sumatra area which became the first place for the spread of Islam in the archipelago then Java to the eastern regions of Indonesia, Sulawesi and Maluku. The island of Sumatra is also an area in the archipelago that received the spread of Islam first compared to other islands or other areas. The island of Sumatra became the first area to receive the spread of Islam because of the position of the island of Sumatra which is close to the Malacca strait. The initial process of Islamization related to trade and also the formation of the kingdom. Islam entered Sumatra through pious Arabs and Tamil traders in the 6th and 7th centuries AD. p.129 n.42</ref> At the beginning and end of the 13th century the formation of the kingdom, the king of the Samudra kingdom had converted to Islam. Marco Polo visited the island in 1292, and his fellow Italian Odoric of Pordenone in 1321.[ citation needed ]
Aceh in the north of Sumatra became known in the 16th century as trading centre for the pepper trade by shipping quality piperaceae (pepper). Aceh became the main commercial centre of the Aceh Sultanate and trading routes were established to the Mediterranean via the Red Sea to rival the Portuguese shipping lanes. The reign of Iskandar Muda is known as the golden age of Sumatra because he extended the cultural influence of the Aceh Sultanate to Padang and Johor.The Aceh Sultanate sustained the rivalry with the Johor sultanate, the Dutch, and the Portuguese throughout the 16th and 17th century. When the Dutch were weakened in the 18th century the British empire began to actively intervene in Aceh, establishing close relations between Banda Aceh and Penang. In the 17th and 18th century the Aceh Sultanate battled the Siak sultanate in the south of Sumatra. The port city of Banda Aceh was recorded in European historical writings since the 13th century. In terms of economic development the port of Banda Aceh only started to face competition in the 18th century when more ports were constructed in Sumatra for maritime transport. Nevertheless, major pepper suppliers used the port of Banda Aceh at the beginning of the 19th century. The port in Medan grew swiftly in the late 19th and early 20th century. Meanwhile the medium sized port of Palembang faced a stiff economic decline as the heritage of the Srivijaya empire was superseded by the economic policy of the Singhasari and Majapahit. The Palembang sultanate experienced a terminal decline in the early 19th century.
With the coming of the Dutch Empire, the many Sumatran princely states gradually fell under their control. Aceh posed major obstacles, as the Dutch were involved in the long and costly Aceh War (1873–1903).
The Free Aceh Movement fought against Indonesian government forces in the Aceh Insurgency from 1976 to 2005.Security crackdowns in 2001 and 2002 resulted in several thousand civilian deaths.
The island was heavily impacted by both the 1883 Krakatoa eruption and the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.
Sumatra is not particularly densely populated, with an average of about 126 people per km2 – about 59,977,300 people in total (according to official estimates as at mid 2022). Because of its size, it is nonetheless the fifth most populous island in the world.
The largest indigenous ethnic groups in Sumatra are Malays, Minangkabaus, Bataks, Acehnese, and Lampungs. Other major non-indigenous ethnic groups are Javanese, Sundanese, and Chinese.
Below are 11 largest ethnic groups in Sumatra based on the 2010 census (including Riau Islands, Bangka Belitung, Nias, Mentawai, Simeulue and islands around it)
|Ethnic groups from South Sumatera||4,826,272|
|Ethnic groups from Aceh||3,991,883|
|Ethnic groups from Jambi||1,379,351|
|Ethnic groups from Lampung||1,109,601|
There are over 52 languages spoken, all of which (except Chinese and Tamil) belong to the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. Within Malayo-Polynesian, they are divided into several sub-branches: Chamic (which are represented by Acehnese in which its closest relatives are languages spoken by Ethnic Chams in Cambodia and Vietnam), Malayic (Malay, Minangkabau and other closely related languages), Northwest Sumatra–Barrier Islands (Batak languages, Gayo and others), Lampungic (includes Proper Lampung and Komering) and Bornean (represented by Rejang in which its closest linguistic relatives are Bukar Sadong and Land Dayak spoken in West Kalimantan and Sarawak (Malaysia)). Northwest Sumatra–Barrier Islands and Lampungic branches are endemic to the island. Like all parts of Indonesia, Indonesian (which was based on Riau Malay) is the official language and the main lingua franca. Although Sumatra has its own local lingua franca, variants of Malay like Medan Malay and Palembang Malayare popular in North and South Sumatra, especially in urban areas. Minangkabau (Padang dialect) is popular in West Sumatra, some parts of North Sumatra, Bengkulu, Jambi and Riau (especially in Pekanbaru and areas bordered with West Sumatra) while Acehnese is also used as an inter-ethnic means of communication in some parts of Aceh province.
The majority of people in Sumatra are Muslims (87.1%), while 10.7% are Christians, and less than 2% are Buddhists and Hindus.
Sumatra is one of seven geographical regions of Indonesia, which includes its adjacent smaller islands. Sumatra was one of the eight original provinces of Indonesia between 1945 and 1948. Including adjacent archipelagoes normally included with Sumatra (such as the Riau Islands, Nias and the Bangka-Belitung group), it now covers ten of Indonesia's 37 provinces, which are set out below with their areas and populations.
| North Sumatra |
| West Sumatra |
| Riau Islands |
| South Sumatra |
| Bangka Belitung Islands |
(Kepulauan Bangka Belitung)
The longest axis of the island runs approximately 1,790 km (1,110 mi) northwest–southeast, crossing the equator near the centre. At its widest point, the island spans 435 km (270 mi). The interior of the island is dominated by two geographical regions: the Barisan Mountains in the west and swampy plains in the east. Sumatra is the closest Indonesian island to mainland Asia.
To the southeast is Java, separated by the Sunda Strait. To the north is the Malay Peninsula (located on the Asian mainland), separated by the Strait of Malacca. To the east is Borneo, across the Karimata Strait. West of the island is the Indian Ocean.
The Great Sumatran fault (a strike-slip fault), and the Sunda megathrust (a subduction zone), run the entire length of the island along its west coast. On 26 December 2004, the western coast and islands of Sumatra, particularly Aceh province, were struck by a tsunami following the Indian Ocean earthquake. This was the longest earthquake recorded, lasting between 500 and 600 seconds (8.33–10 minutes).More than 170,000 Indonesians were killed, primarily in Aceh. Other recent earthquakes to strike Sumatra include the 2005 Nias–Simeulue earthquake and the 2010 Mentawai earthquake and tsunami.
Lake Toba is the site of a supervolcanic eruption that occurred around 74,000 years ago, representing a climate-changing event.The most important rivers in Sumatra belong to the catchment area of the South China Sea. Heading north to south, the Asahan, Rokan, Siak, Kampar, Indragiri, Batanghari flow into the Malacca Strait, while the island's largest river, the Musi, flows into the sea at Bangka Strait in the south. To the east, big rivers carry silt from the mountains, forming the vast lowland interspersed by swamps. Even if mostly unsuitable for farming, the area is currently of great economic importance for Indonesia. It produces oil from both above and below the soil – palm oil and petroleum.
Sumatra is the largest producer of Indonesian coffee. Small-holders grow Arabica coffee ( Coffea arabica ) in the highlands, while Robusta ( Coffea canephora ) is found in the lowlands. Arabica coffee from the regions of Gayo, Lintong and Sidikilang is typically processed using the Giling Basah (wet hulling) technique, which gives it a heavy body and low acidity.
Sumatra is a highly seismic island. Huge earthquakes have been recorded throughout history. In 1797, an 8.9 earthquake shook Western Sumatra, and in 1833, a 9.2 earthquake shook Bengkulu and Western Sumatra. Both events caused large tsunamis. Earthquakes are very common throughout the coastal area of the west and center of the island, and tsunamis are common due to the high seismicity in the area.[ citation needed ]
By population, Medan is the largest city in Sumatra.Medan is also the most visited and developed city in Sumatra.
|Rank||City||Province||City Birthday||Area |
|1||Medan||North Sumatra||1 July 1590||265.10||2,097,610||2,435,252|
|2||Palembang||South Sumatra||17 June 683||400.61||1,455,284||1,668,848|
|3||Bandar Lampung||Lampung||17 June 1682||169.21||881,801||1,166,066|
|4||Pekanbaru||Riau||23 June 1784||633.01||897,767||983,356|
|5||Padang||West Sumatra||7 August 1669||694.96||833,562||909,040|
|6||Jambi||Jambi||17 May 1946||205.00||531,857||606,200|
|7||Bengkulu||Bengkulu||18 March 1719||144.52||308,544||373,591|
|8||Dumai||Riau||20 April 1999||2,039.35||253,803||316,782|
|10||Pematang Siantar||North Sumatra||24 April 1871||60.52||234,698||268,254|
|11||Banda Aceh||Aceh||22 April 1205||61.36||223,446||252,899|
|12||Lubuklinggau||South Sumatra||17 August 2001||419.80||201,308||234,166|
Sumatra supports a wide range of vegetation types that are home to a rich variety of species, including 17 endemic genera of plants.Unique species include the Sumatran pine which dominates the Sumatran tropical pine forests of the higher mountainsides in the north of the island and rainforest plants such as Rafflesia arnoldii (the world's largest individual flower), and the titan arum (the world's largest unbranched inflorescence).
The island is home to 201 mammal species and 580 bird species. There are nine endemic mammal species on mainland Sumatra and 14 more endemic to the nearby Mentawai Islands.There are about 300 freshwater fish species in Sumatra. There are 93 amphibian species in Sumatra, 21 of which are endemic to Sumatra.
The Sumatran tiger, Sumatran rhinoceros, Sumatran elephant, Sumatran ground cuckoo, Sumatran orangutan and Tapanuli orangutan are all critically endangered, indicating the highest level of threat to their survival. In October 2008, the Indonesian government announced a plan to protect Sumatra's remaining forests.
The island includes more than 10 national parks, including three which are listed as the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra World Heritage Site – Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. The Berbak National Park is one of three national parks in Indonesia listed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
Sumatra has lost almost 50% of its tropical rainforest in the last 35 years.[ clarification needed ] Many species are now critically endangered, such as the Sumatran ground cuckoo, the Sumatran tiger, the Sumatran elephant, the Sumatran rhinoceros, and the Sumatran orangutan. Deforestation on the island has also resulted in serious seasonal smoke haze over neighbouring countries, such as the 2013 Southeast Asian haze which caused considerable tensions between Indonesia and affected countries Malaysia and Singapore. The widespread deforestation and other environmental destruction in Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia has often been described by academics as an ecocide.
Several unconnected railway networks built during Netherlands East Indies exist in Sumatra, such as the ones connecting Banda Aceh-Lhokseumawe-Besitang-Medan-Tebingtinggi-Pematang Siantar-Rantau Prapat in Northern Sumatra (the Banda Aceh-Besitang section was closed in 1971, but is currently being rebuilt).Padang-Solok-Bukittinggi in West Sumatra, and Bandar Lampung-Palembang-Lahat-Lubuk Linggau in Southern Sumatra.
Riau is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the central eastern coast of Sumatra along the Strait of Malacca. The province shares land borders with North Sumatra to the northwest, West Sumatra to the west, and Jambi to the south, and a maritime border with the Riau Islands and the country of Malaysia to the east. It is the second-largest province in the island of Sumatra after South Sumatra, and is slightly larger than Jordan. According to the 2020 census, Riau had a population of 6,394,087 across a land area of 89,935.90 square kilometres; the official estimate as at mid 2022 was 6,614,384. The province comprises ten regencies and two cities, with Pekanbaru serving as the capital and largest city.
West Sumatra is a province of Indonesia. It is on the west coast of the island of Sumatra and includes the Mentawai Islands off that coast. West Sumatra borders the Indian Ocean to the west, as well as the provinces of North Sumatra to the north, Riau to the northeast, Jambi to the southeast, and Bengkulu to the south. The province has an area of 42,119.54 km2 (16,262.45 sq mi), with a population of 5,534,472 at the 2020 census. The official estimate at mid 2022 was 5,640,629. The province is subdivided into twelve regencies and seven cities. It has relatively more cities than other provinces outside Java, although several of them are relatively low in population compared with cities elsewhere in Indonesia. Padang is the province's capital and largest city.
North Sumatra is a province of Indonesia located on the northern part of the island of Sumatra. Its capital and largest city is Medan. It is bordered by Aceh on the northwest and Riau and West Sumatra in the southeast, with two different coastlines located on the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca, and a maritime border with Malaysia to the east. North Sumatra is Indonesia's fourth most populous province after West Java, East Java and Central Java, and the third-largest province on the island of Sumatra after the neighbouring Riau. It covers an area of 72,981 km2.It is approximately same with size of Sierra Leone.According to the 2020 census, the province's population in that year was 14,799,361. The mid-2022 official estimate was 15,115,206. North Sumatra is a multi-ethnic province. The Malay people are regarded as the natives of the east coast of the province, while the west coast of the province is mainly inhabited by the Batak. The central highlands region around Lake Toba is predominantly inhabited by other Batak groups. The Nias people are natives to Nias Island and its surrounding islets. With the opening of tobacco plantations in East Sumatra during the colonial era, the colonial government employed many contract labourers for plantations, mainly Chinese, Javanese and Indian migrants. The majority did not return after their contract ended and decided to stay in the province. The recent rapid urbanisation also attracted neighbouring people from Aceh, Riau and West Sumatra.
South Sumatra is a province of Indonesia, located on the southeast of the island of Sumatra. The capital and largest city of the province is the city of Palembang. The province borders the provinces of Jambi to the north, Bengkulu to the west and Lampung to the south, as well a maritime border with the Bangka Belitung Islands to the east. It is the largest province in the island of Sumatra, and it is slightly smaller than Portugal. The Bangka Strait in the east separates South Sumatra and the island of Bangka, which is part of the Bangka Belitung Islands province. The province has an area of 91,592.43 km2 (35,364 sq mi) and had a population of 8,467,432 at the 2020 Census; the official estimate as at mid-2022 was 8,657,008. The province is rich in natural resources, such as petroleum, natural gas and coal. The province is inhabited by many different ethnic groups, with Palembangese being largest ethnic group. Most speak the Palembang language, which is mutually intelligible to both Indonesian and local Palembang Malay. Other ethnic groups include the Javanese, Sundanese, Minangkabau and Chinese. Most are concentrated in urban areas and are largely immigrants from other parts of Indonesia.
Lampung, officially the Province of Lampung, is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the southern tip of the island of Sumatra. It has a short border with the province of Bengkulu to the northwest, and a longer border with the province of South Sumatra to the north, as well a maritime border with the province of Banten and Jakarta to the east. It is the original home of the Lampung people, who speak their own language, and possess their own written script. Its capital is Bandar Lampung.
Jambi is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the east coast of central Sumatra and spans to the Barisan Mountains in the west. Its capital and largest city is also called Jambi. It is bordered by the provinces of Riau to the north, West Sumatra to the west, Bengkulu to the southwest, South Sumatra to the south, and sharing a maritime border with the Riau Islands to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The province has a land area of 49,026.58 km2, and a sea area of 3,274.95 km2. It had a population of 3,092,265 according to the 2010 census and 3,548,228 according to the 2020 census; the official estimate as at mid 2022 was 3,631,136.
Bengkulu, historically known as Bencoolen, is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the southwest coast of Sumatra. It was formed on 18 November 1968 by separating out the area of the historic Bencoolen Residency from the province of South Sumatra under Law No. 9 of 1967 and was finalized by Government Regulation No. 20 of 1968. Spread over 20,130.21 km2, it is bordered by the provinces of West Sumatra to the north, Jambi to the northeast, Lampung to the southeast, and South Sumatra to the east, and by the Indian Ocean to the northwest, south, southwest, and west.
The Riau Islands is a province of Indonesia - not to be confused with neighbouring Riau Province from which the islands were separated in 2002. The capital of the province is Tanjung Pinang and the largest city is Batam. It shares a maritime border with Riau and Jambi to the east, Bangka Belitung Islands to the south, Singapore to the northeast, Malaysia and West Kalimantan to the west, and Vietnam and Cambodia to the north.It comprises a total of 1,796 islands scattered between Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, and Borneo including the Riau Archipelago. Situated on one of the world's busiest shipping lanes along the Malacca Strait and the Natuna Sea, the province shares water borders with neighboring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. The Riau Islands also have relatively large potential mineral resources and energy, as well as marine resources.
Bangka is an island lying east of Sumatra, Indonesia. It is administered under the province of the Bangka Belitung Islands, being one of its namesakes alongside the smaller island of Belitung across the Gaspar Strait. The 9th largest island in Indonesia, it had a population of 1,146,581 at the 2020 census. It is the location of the provincial capital of Pangkal Pinang, and is administratively divided into four regencies and a city. The island itself and the surrounding sea suffers considerable environmental damage from its thriving tin mining industry which operates on- and offshore.
Pangkalpinang, also colloquially written as Pangkal Pinang, is the capital and largest city of the Bangka Belitung Islands Province in Indonesia. It is located on Bangka Island's east coast, the city is divided into seven districts (kecamatan) and has 42 wards (kelurahan).
Tanjungpinang, also colloquially written as Tanjung Pinang, is the capital city of the Indonesian province of Riau Islands. It covers a land area of 144.56 km2, mainly on the southern Bintan Island, as well as other smaller islands such as Dompak Island and Penyengat Island. With a population of 227,663 at the 2020 Census, it is the second largest city of the province, after Batam; the official estimate as at mid 2022 was 239,854. Tanjungpinang is a historic city of the Malay culture, having served as the capital of both Johor Sultanate and Riau-Lingga Sultanate.
Lhokseumawe, is the third largest city in Aceh province, Indonesia. The city covers an area of 181.06 square kilometres, and had a population of 171,163 at the 2010 census and 188,713 at the 2020 census; the official estimate as at mid 2022 was 191,396. The city is a key regional centre important for the economy of Aceh.
Simeulue is an island of Indonesia, 150 kilometres (93 mi) off the west coast of Sumatra. It covers an area of 1,754 square kilometres, including minor offshore islands. It had a population of 80,674 at the 2010 census and 92,865 at the 2020 census. The official estimate as at mid 2021 was 93,762. Its capital is Sinabang.
Malay Indonesians are ethnic Malays living throughout Indonesia. They are one of the indigenous peoples of the country. Indonesian, the national language of Indonesia, is a standardized form of Riau Malay. There were numerous kingdoms associated with the Indonesian Malays along with other ethnicities in what is now Indonesia, mainly on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. These included Srivijaya, the Melayu Kingdom, Dharmasraya, the Sultanate of Deli, the Sultanate of Siak Sri Indrapura, the Riau-Lingga Sultanate, the Sultanate of Bulungan, Pontianak Sultanate, and the Sultanate of Sambas. The 2010 census states that there are 8 million Malays in Indonesia; this number comes from the classification of Malays in East Sumatra and the coast of Kalimantan which is recognized by the Indonesian government. This classification is different from the Malaysia and Singapore census which includes all ethnic Muslims from the Indonesian archipelago as Malays.
The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the Republic of Indonesia.
The Indonesian island of Sumatra is the sixth largest island in the world. The rich ethnic diversity and historical heritage in Sumatra is reflected in the range of architectural styles in the island. The vernacular style is the native Sumatran ethnic groups architecture of dwellings, while the Hindu-Buddhist architecture reflected through the cultural historical heritage of candis built in Sumatra. The third wave is Islamic architecture adopted in mosques and palace in Sumatra, especially in Aceh, North Sumatra, and Malay cultural sphere in the island.
Islam is the most common religion in the Indonesian province of West Sumatra, embraced by 97.42% of the population. The Muslim population increases to 99.6% if it excludes the Mentawai Islands, where the majority of the non-Muslim (Protestant) West Sumatrans reside. Islam in West Sumatra is predominantly Sunni, though there is a small Shia Islamic pocket within the coastal city of Pariaman. The Minangkabau people, indigenous to West Sumatra, comprise 88% of the West Sumatran population today and have historically played an important role within Indonesia's Muslim community. Up until today the region is considered one of the strongholds of Islam in Indonesia.
26 December 2004: Longest earthquake...between 500 and 600 seconds.