Malay Archipelago

The Malay Archipelago (Malay: Kepulauan Melayu, Javanese: Kapuloan Melayu, Tagalog: Kapuluang Malay, Cebuano: Kapupud-ang Malay) is the archipelago between mainland Indochina and Australia. It has also been called the "Malay world," "Nusantara", "East Indies", Indo-Australian Archipelago, Spices Archipelago and other names over time. The name was taken from the 19th-century European concept of a Malay race, later based on the distribution of Austronesian languages.[3]

Malay Archipelago
World map highlighting Malay Archipelago
LocationMaritime Southeast Asia, Melanesia
Total islands25,000
Major islandsJava, Luzon, Borneo, Mindanao, New Guinea, Sulawesi, Sumatra
Area2,870,000 km2 (1,110,000 sq mi)[1]
Largest settlementBandar Seri Begawan
Largest settlementDili
Largest settlementJakarta
Largest settlementKuching
Largest settlementSingapore (city-state)
Largest settlementPort Moresby
Largest settlementQuezon City
Population380,000,000 [2]
Ethnic groupsPredominantly Austronesians, with minorities of Negritos, Papuans, Melanesians, Overseas Chinese, Arabs descendants, and Overseas Indians

Situated between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the archipelago of over 25,000 islands and islets is the largest archipelago by area and fourth by number of islands in the world. It includes Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia (East Malaysia), Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore.[4][5] The term is largely synonymous with Maritime Southeast Asia.[6]

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