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There are 1,340 recognised ethnic groups in Indonesia. The vast majority of those belong to the Austronesian peoples.
Based on ethnic classification, the largest ethnic group in Indonesia is the Javanese who make up about 40% of the total population. The Javanese are concentrated on the island of Java, particularly in the central and eastern parts. The Sundanese are the next largest group; their homeland is located in the western part of the island of Java and the southern edge of Sumatra. The Sunda Strait is named after them. The Malays, Batak, Madurese, Betawi, Minangkabau, and Bugis are the next largest groups in the country.
Many ethnic groups, particularly in Kalimantan and Papua, have only hundreds of members. Most of the local languages belong to the Austronesian language family, although a significant number of people, particularly in eastern Indonesia, speak unrelated Papuan languages. Chinese Indonesians make up a little less than 1% of the total Indonesian population according to the 2000 census. Some of these Indonesians of Chinese descent speak various Chinese languages, most notably Hokkien and Hakka.
The classification of ethnic groups in Indonesia is not rigid and in some cases unclear due to migrations, cultural and linguistic influences; for example, some may consider the Bantenese to be members of the Sundanese people; however, others argue that they are different ethnic groups altogether since they have their own distinct dialects. This is also the case with the Baduy people, who share many cultural similarities with the Sundanese people. An example of hybrid ethnicity is the Betawi people, descended not only from marriages between different peoples native to Indonesia, but also intermarriages with Arab, Chinese and Indian migrants since the era of colonial Batavia (modern-day Jakarta).
Number and percentage of population of ethnic groups with more than a million members according to the 2010 census.[a]
|Ethnic group||Population (millions)||Percentage||Main regions|
|Javanese||95.217||40.06||Bengkulu, East Java, East Kalimantan, Central Java, Jambi, Lampung, North Sumatra, Riau, South Sumatra, Yogyakarta|
|Sundanese||36.705||15.51||Banten, West Java|
|Malay||8.754||3.70||Bangka-Belitung Islands, Jambi, North Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan|
|Batak||8.467||3.58||North Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, Jakarta|
|Minangkabau||6.463||2.73||Riau, West Sumatra|
|Buginese||6.415||2.71||Central Sulawesi, East Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, West Sulawesi|
|Banjarese||4.127||1.74||South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan|
|Dayak||3.220||1.36||Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, West Kalimantan|
|Sasak||3.175||1.34||West Nusa Tenggara|
|Chinese Indonesian||2.833||1.20||Bangka-Belitung Islands, North Sumatra, Jakarta, Riau, Riau Islands, West Kalimantan, North Coast of Central Java and East Java.|
The proportions of Indonesian ethnic groups according to the (2000 census) are as follows: Some ethnic groups which are now recognized as being distinct were subsumed under larger umbrella groups up until 2001. Since the 2010 census, they are counted separately.
|Ethnic group||Population (million)||Percentage||Main regions|
|Javanese||92.24||42.00||Central Java, East Java, Yogyakarta, Jakarta, North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Bengkulu, Lampung|
|Sundanese||30.978||15.41||West Java, Banten, Jakarta, Lampung|
|Malay||6.946||3.45||Aceh, North Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, Jambi, South Sumatra, Bangka–Belitung Islands, West Kalimantan|
|Madurese||6.772||3.37||Madura Island, East Java|
|Batak||6.076||3.02||North Sumatra, Aceh, West Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, Jakarta|
|Minangkabau||5.475||2.72||West Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, Jakarta|
|Betawi||5.042||2.51||Jakarta, Banten, West Java|
|Buginese||5.010||2.49||South Sulawesi, South East Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, East Kalimantan|
|Banjarese||3.496||1.74||South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan|
|Chinese Indonesian||2.832||1.20||North Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, West Kalimantan, Jakarta, Bangka–Belitung Islands|
|Sasak||2.611||1.17||West Nusa Tenggara|
|Minahasan||1.900||0.96||North Sulawesi, Gorontalo|
|Cirebonese||1.890||0.94||West Java, Central Java|
Some ethnic groups are indigenous to certain regions of Indonesia. Due to migration within Indonesia (as part of government transmigration programs or otherwise), significant proportions of those ethnic groups reside outside of their traditional regions.
Throughout Indonesian history, various ethnic groups of foreign origin spread throughout Indonesia in several migration waves, and usually established themselves in urban centres, seldom settling rural parts of the country.
Currently, they have lived together peacefully with the local ethnicities such as the Betawi, Malay, Javanese, and Sundanese; and also, few cities in Indonesia have significant Chinese populations that preserve their heritage links to China. They are spread throughout Indonesian archipelagoes, and significant numbers can be found in Palembang, Jakarta, Surabaya and other coastal cities.