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{{Use dmy dates|date=October 2019}}{{Other uses}}{{Multiple issues|{{more citations needed|date=July 2015}}{{original research|date=December 2017}}}}{{short description|Island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands}}

|archipelago = Greater Sunda Islands|area_km2 = 473481Mount Kerinci>Kerinci|elevation_m = 3,805|population = 50,180,000 |population_as_of = 2014|country = Indonesia|country_admin_divisions_title = Provinces|country_admin_divisions = Aceh, Bengkulu, Jambi, Lampung, Riau, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, North Sumatra|country_largest_city= Medan (pop. 2,097,610)|density_km2 = 105Acehnese people>Acehnese, Batak (Indonesia), Chinese Indonesians>Chinese, Indian Indonesians, Javanese people>Javanese, Malay Indonesian, Mentawai people>Mentawai, Minangkabau people, Nias people>Nias etc.}}Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is located entirely in Indonesia and the sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (not including adjacent islands such as the Riau Islands and Bangka Belitung Islands).Sumatra is an elongated landmass spanning a diagonal northwest-southeast axis. The Indian Ocean borders the west, northwest, and southwest coasts of Sumatra with the island chain of Simeulue, Nias and Mentawai 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 borders 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 center 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{{Clarify|of when otherwise time reference easily obsolete|date=March 2018}}. 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 causing considerable tensions between Indonesia and affected countries Malaysia and Singapore.WEB,weblink Singapore shrouded in haze from Sumatran forest fires -, By Peter Shadbolt, CNN, CNN, 7 May 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 7 November 2017, live,


Sumatra was known in ancient times by the Sanskrit names of Swarnadwīpa ("Island of Gold") and Swarnabhūmi ("Land of Gold"), because of the gold deposits in the island's highlands.BOOK, A Kingdom of Words: Language and Power in Sumatra, Drakard, Jane, Oxford University Press, 1999, 983-56-0035-X, The first mention of the name of Sumatra was in the name of Srivijayan Haji (king) Sumatrabhumi ("King of the land of Sumatra"),BOOK, Munoz, Early Kingdoms, 175, who sent an envoy to China in 1017. 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 is also known by other names namely, Andalas BOOK, The history of Sumatra, Marsden, William, Longman, 1783, Dutch, 5, or Percha Island.BOOK, Historical Atlas of Indonesia, Cribb, Robert, Routledge, 2013, 249, Late in the 14th century the name Sumatra became popular in reference to the kingdom of Samudra Pasai, a rising power until replaced by the Sultanate of Aceh. Sultan Alauddin Shah of Aceh, in letters addressed to Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1602, referred to himself as "king of Aceh and Samudra".BOOK, Sneddon, James N., The Indonesian language: its history and role in modern society, UNSW Press, 2003, 65,weblink 9780868405988, 16 December 2015,weblink 29 May 2016, live, The word itself is from Sanskrit "Samudra", (समुद्र), meaning "gathering together of waters, sea or ocean".BOOK, Macdonell, Arthur Anthony, A practical Sanskrit dictionary with transliteration, accentuation, and etymological analysis, Motilal Banarsidass Publications, 1924, 347,weblink 9788120820005, 16 December 2015,weblink 6 May 2016, live, Marco Polo named the kingdom Samara or Samarcha in the late 13th century, while the 14th century traveller Odoric of Pordenone used Sumoltra for Samudra. Subsequent European writers then used similar forms of the name for the entire island.BOOK,weblink Cathay and the Way Thither: Being a Collection of Medieval Notices of China, Issue 36, Sir Henry Yule, 86–87, 21 February 2017,weblink 21 February 2017, live, BOOK,weblink History of Sumatra, containing an account of the government (etc.), Marsden, William, 4–10, 1811, 21 February 2017,weblink 22 February 2017, live, European writers in the 19th century found that the indigenous inhabitants did not have a name for the island.BOOK, An Indonesian Frontier: Acehnese and Other Histories of Sumatra, Reid, Anthony, 9971-69-298-8, 2005, National University of Singapore Press,


File:Batak Warriors 60011135 edit.jpg|thumb|left|Batak warriors, 1870]]The Melayu Kingdom was absorbed by Srivijaya.BOOK, Coedès, George, George Coedès, Walter F. Vella, translator Susan Brown Cowing, The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, 1968, University of Hawaii Press, 978-0-8248-0368-1, {{rp|79–80}}Srivijayan influence waned in the 11th century after it was defeated by the Chola Empire of southern India. At the same time, Islam made its way to Sumatra through Arabs and Indian traders in the 6th and 7th centuries AD.G.R. Tibbets,Pre-Islamic Arabia and South East Asia, in D.S. Richards (ed.),1970, Islam and The Trade of Asia, Oxford: Bruno Cassirer Pub. Ltd, p. 127 nt. 21; S.Q.Fatimi, In Quest of Kalah, in D.S. Richards (ed.),1970, p.132 n.124; W.P. Groeneveldt, Notes in The Malay Archipelago, in D.S. Richards (ed.),1970, p.129 n.42 By the late 13th century, the monarch of the Samudra kingdom had converted to Islam. Marco Polo visited the island in 1292.Ibn Battuta visited with the sultan for 15 days, noting the city of Samudra was "a fine, big city with wooden walls and towers", and another two months on his return journey.BOOK, Battutah, Ibn, The Travels of Ibn Battutah, 2002, Picador, London, 9780330418799, 256, 274, 322, Samudra was succeeded by the powerful Aceh Sultanate, which survived to the 20th century. With the coming of the Dutch, the many Sumatran princely states gradually fell under their control. Aceh, in the north, was the major obstacle, 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.NEWS, 17 July 2005,weblink Indonesia agrees Aceh peace deal, BBC News, 17 May 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 9 March 2008, live, Security crackdowns in 2001 and 2002 resulted in several thousand civilian deaths.WEB,weblink Aceh Under Martial Law: Inside the Secret War: Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Violations, Human Rights Watch, 17 May 2015,weblink 6 March 2016, live, The island was heavily impacted by both the 1883 Krakatoa eruption and the 2004 Christmas Tsunami.


{{Historical populations|align=right 20808148 28016160 36506703 40830334 42616164 45839041 50613947ACCESSDATE=17 JULY 2013 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20130701144756/HTTP://WWW.BPS.GO.ID/TAB_SUB/VIEW.PHP?KAT=1&TABEL=1&DAFTAR=1&ID_SUBYEK=12&NOTAB=1 DF=, }}Sumatra is not particularly densely populated, with just over 90.4 people per km2 – more than 50 million people in total. Because of its great extent, it is nonetheless the fifthWEB,weblink Population Statistics, GeoHive, 25 July 2012,weblink 4 April 2012, live, most populous island in the world.File:Minangprocession.jpg|Minangkabau women carrying platters of food to a ceremonyFile:House in Nias North Sumatra.jpg|Traditional house in Nias North Sumatra


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 MalayWEB,weblink Atlas of Languages of Intercultural Communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas: Vol. I: Maps. Vol II: Texts, Stephen A., Wurm, Peter, Mühlhäusler, Darrell T., Tryon, 1 January 1996, Walter de Gruyter, Google Books, are popular in North and South Sumatra, especially in urban areas. Minangkabau (Padang dialect)WEB, gcanthminangkabau - Minangkabau Language,weblinkweblink 4 April 2014,, 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.


{{bar boxWEBSITE=WWW.BPS.GO.ID ACCESS-DATE=5 JANUARY 2019 ARCHIVE-DATE=23 SEPTEMBER 2015, live, |titlebar=|left1=religion|right1=percent|float=right|bars={{bar percent|Islam|Green|87.1}}{{bar percent|Christianity|Blue|10.7}}{{bar percent|Buddhism|yellow|1.4}}{{bar percent|Hinduism|orange|0.3}}{{bar percent|Other religions/No answer|Black|0.3}}{{bar percent|Confucianism|Magenta|0.1}}}}File:Meuseujid Raya.JPG|thumb|Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda AcehBanda AcehThe majority of people in Sumatra are Muslims (87.1%), while 10.7% are Christians, and less than 2% are Buddhists and Hindus.WEB, Kewarganegaraan, Suku Bangsa, Agama, dan Bahasa Sehari-hari Penduduk Indonesia,weblink, id, 5 January 2019,weblink" title="">weblink 23 September 2015, live,

Administration {| class"sortable wikitable"

! Name || Area (km2) || Populationcensus 2000 || Populationcensus 2010 || Populationestimate 2014 || CapitalAceh >57,956.00align="right"4,486,570align="right"| Banda AcehNorth Sumatra (Sumatera Utara) >72,981.23align="right"12,326,678align="right"Medan, Indonesia>MedanWest Sumatra (Sumatera Barat) >42,012.89align="right"4,845,998align="right"Padang, Indonesia>PadangRiau>87,023.66align="right"5,543,031align="right"| PekanbaruJambi>50,058.16align="right"3,088,618align="right"Jambi (city)>JambiSouth Sumatra (Sumatera Selatan) >91,592.43align="right"7,446,401align="right"| PalembangBengkulu>19,919.33align="right"1,713,393align="right"Bengkulu (city)>BengkuluLampung>34,623.80align="right"7,596,115align="right"| Bandar LampungBangka-Belitung (Kepulauan Bangka Belitung) >16,424.14align="right"1,223,048align="right"| Pangkal PinangRiau Islands (Kepulauan Riau) >8,256.10align="right"1,685,698align="right"| Tanjung PinangTotals >480,847.74align="right"50,613,947align="right"|


(File:Sumatra Volcanoes.png|thumb|Map of geological formation of Sumatra island)File:Sinabung.jpg|thumb|Mount SinabungMount SinabungThe longest axis of the island runs approximately {{convert|1790|km|abbr=on}} northwest–southeast, crossing the equator near the centre. At its widest point, the island spans {{convert|435|km|mi|abbr=on}}. 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.BOOK, Guinness Book of World Records 2014, Glenday, Craig, The Jim Pattison Group, 2013, 978-1-908843-15-9, 015, 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.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.WEB,weblink Daerah Produsen Kopi Arabika di Indonesia, Kopi Distributor 1995, 28 February 2015, 28 February 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 2 April 2015, live,

Largest cities

File:Medanskyline2013.jpg|thumb|MedanMedanBy population, Medan is the largest city in Sumatra.Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta. Medan is also the most visited and developed cities in Sumatra.{| class="wikitable sortable"! Rank! City! Province! Population 2010 Census! City Birthday! Area (km2)| 1| Medan| North Sumatra2,109,339| 1 July 1590265.10| 2| Palembang| South Sumatra1,452,840| 17 June 1683374.03|3| '''Batam| Riau Islands1,153,860| 18 December 1829715.0| 4| Pekanbaru| Riau903,902| 23 June 1784633.01| 5| Bandar Lampung| Lampung879,851| 17 June 1682169.21| 6| Padang| West Sumatra833,584| 7 August 1669694.96| 7Jambi City>Jambi| Jambi529,118| 17 May 1946205.00| 8Bengkulu (city)>Bengkulu| Bengkulu300,359| 18 March 1719144.52| 9| Dumai| Riau254,332| 20 April 19992,039.35| 10| Binjai| North Sumatra246,010| 90.24| 11Pematangsiantar>Pematang Siantar| North Sumatra234,885| 24 April 187160.52| 12| Banda Aceh| Aceh224,209| 22 April 120561.36| 13| Lubuklinggau| South Sumatra201,217| 17 August 2001419.80

Flora and fauna

{{See also|List of national parks of Indonesia}}File:Sumatran tiger.jpg|thumb|Sumatran tigerSumatran tigerFile:Rafflesia sumatra.jpg|thumb|upright=0.5|Rafflesia arnoldiiRafflesia arnoldiiSumatra supports a wide range of vegetation types which are home to a rich variety of species, including 17 endemic genera of plants.BOOK, The Ecology of Sumatra, Whitten, Tony, 1999, Tuttle Publishing, 962-593-074-4, 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, such as the Sumatran ground cuckoo. 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.Nguyen, T. T. T., and S. S. De Silva (2006). "Freshwater finfish biodiversity and conservation: an asian perspective". Biodiversity & Conservation 15(11): 3543–3568 There are 93 amphibian species in Sumatra, 21 of which are endemic to Sumatra.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 25 August 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 25 August 2017, live, (See also: List of amphibians of Sumatra)The Sumatran tiger, Sumatran rhinoceros, Sumatran elephant, Sumatran ground cuckoo, and Sumatran 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.WEB, staff,weblink Forest, Wildlife Protection Pledged at World Conservation Congress,, 14 October 2008, 25 July 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 3 June 2012, live, 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.

Rail transport

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).NEWS, Younger, Scott, The Slow Train,weblink 19 July 2015, Jakarta Globe, 6 November 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 21 July 2015, dead, Padang-Solok-Bukittinggi in West Sumatra, and Bandar Lampung-Palembang-Lahat-Lubuk Linggau in Southern Sumatra.

See also



Further reading

  • WEB

, Grover, Samantha
, Sukamta, Linda
, Edis, Robert
, People, palm oil, pulp and planet: four perspectives on Indonesia’s fire-stricken peatlands
, August 2017
, The Conversation (website), The Conversation

External links

{{Commons category}}{{Wikivoyage}}{{Provinces of Indonesia}}{{World's largest islands}}{{Authority control}}

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