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Overseas Indonesians

Overseas Indonesians
Total population
c. 8 million (2015)[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Malaysia est 2,500,000 (2014)[2]
 Netherlands est 1,800,000 (2013)[3]
 Saudi Arabia est 1,500,000 (2014)[4]
 Singapore est 200,000 (2010)[5]
 United States 167,220 (2017)[6]
 Taiwan 161,000 (2010)[7]
 Hong Kong 102,100 (2006)[8]
 United Arab Emirates 100,000 (2006)[9]
 Australia 86,196 (2017)[10]
 Suriname 74.000 (2010)[11]
 Japan 49,982 (2017)[12][13][14]
 Philippines 43,817 (2000)[15]
 Qatar 39,000 (2013)[16]
 South Korea 33,195 (2017)[17]
 Germany 16,738 (2014)[18]
 Russia 15,520 (2006)[19]
 Canada 14,320 (2006)[19]
 United Kingdom 9,624 (2011)[20][21][22][23]
 Macau 6,269 (2012)[24]
 Christmas Island 981 (2010)[25]
Indonesian and English (lingua franca)
Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Javanese, Japanese and Malay (in some countries)
Islam · Christianity · Hinduism · Buddhism · Irreligion
Related ethnic groups
Native Indonesians, Chinese Indonesians

Overseas Indonesians people of Indonesian origin who live outside Indonesia. This term applies to people of Indonesian birth and descent who are citizens or residents of temporary status.


Many Indonesians go abroad as students, or labourers (known as "Tenaga Kerja Indonesia" or TKI). Most of them settle in Malaysia, UAE, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Netherlands, United States, and Australia.

Indonesians Worldwide


An estimated 2,000,000-2,500,000 Indonesian citizens are in Malaysia at any given time, due to a constant migration since the age of antiquity from Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan and Celebes, the number of Malaysians with some Indonesian ancestry may be up to millions more.

United Arab Emirates


There are about 39,000 Indonesian citizens in the State of Qatar according to the Indonesian Embassy.[26]


According to the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore, as of 2010 there are 180.000 Indonesian citizens in Singapore. As much as 80.000 work as domestic helpers/TKI, 10.000 as sailors, and the rest are either students or professionals. But the number can be higher as registering one's residence is not compulsory for Indonesians, putting the number to around 200.000 people. Singaporean citizens of Indonesian descent make the bulk of the Malay population in Singapore.


Indonesia was a colony of the Netherlands from 1605 until 1945. In the early 20th century, many Indonesian students studied in the Netherlands. Most of them lived in Leiden and were active in the Perhimpoenan Indonesia (Indonesian Association). During the Indonesian National Revolution, many Moluccans and Indo people, people of mixed Dutch and Indonesian ancestry migrated to the Netherlands. Most of them were ex-KNIL army. In this way around 360,000 Indo people (Indo's)and Totok's (white people) and 12,500 persons from Maluke ancestry were settled in the Netherlands. Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Denny Landzaat, Roy Makaay, Mia Audina, and Daniel Sahuleka are notable people of Indonesian ancestry from the Netherlands. These 372,500 first generation people and their 2nd, 3d and 4th generation offspring account for some 1.6 million Dutch passport-holders. This is as much as about 10% of the overall population of the Netherlands.

United Kingdom

United States

In the United States, most Indonesians are students and professionals. Boston University and Harvard University are examples of favourite universities for Indonesians. In the Silicon Valley region of Northern California, there are many professional Indonesian-American engineers in the high-tech industry that are employed in companies such as Cisco Systems, KLA Tencor, Google, Yahoo, Sun Microsystems, and IBM. Sehat Sutardja, CEO of Marvell Technology Group, is one of the successful Indonesian professional in USA.[27]

In April 2011 the Special English service of Voice of America reported on a push for American universities to get more Indonesians to study in America as part of reaching out fast-growing economies like Indonesia in order to compete with students' preferred universities in Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia.[28]

Saudi Arabia

Most of Indonesians in Saudi Arabia are female domestic workers, with a minority of other types of labour migrants and students. Most of the santri extension studied in Saudi, as well as Islamic University in Madina. A number of Indonesian expatriates in Saudi Arabia work in diplomatic sectors or are employees to local or foreign companies located in various province of Saudi Arabia such as SABIC, Schlumberger, Halliburton, or Indomie. Many of Indonesians are also employees to the world's biggest oil company Saudi Aramco. Most Indonesians in Saudi Arabia reside in Riyadh, Jeddah, and all around Dammam area.


Before Dutch and British sailors arrived in Australia, Indonesians from Southern Sulawesi have explored the Australia northern coast. Each year, the Bugis sailors would sail down on the northwestern monsoon in their wooden pinisi. They would stay in Australia for several months to trade and take tripang (or dried sea cucumber) before returning to Makassar on the dry season off shore winds. These trading voyages continued until 1907.[citation needed] Nowadays, mostly Indonesian whose reside in Australia are either foreign students or workers, the main ethnic group mostly are the Chinese from Indonesia.


The Indonesian people, mainly Javanese, make up 15% of the population of Suriname. In the 19th century, the Dutch sent the Javanese to Suriname as contract workers in plantations. The most famous person of Indonesian descent is Paul Somohardjo as the speaker of the National Assembly of Suriname.[29]


In 2013 approximately 20,000 Indonesians living in Japan, including about 3,000 illegal Indonesians. These numbers dropped from the previous years because of various reasons, reasons include the high cost of living in Japan and the difficulties to find jobs in Japan. Most of them are in Japan for short term and deportation remains high for Indonesian residents.

Hong Kong

Indonesian are the second largest foreigner group after Filipino, mainly are the female domestic helper from Java Island, there are also several Chinese Indonesians family and student that reside in Hong Kong. Central and Wan Chai are the main district that mostly Indonesians living in.

South Korea



South Africa


See also


  1. ^ "Memanfaatkan Diaspora Indonesia". Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Di Hadapan BMI Malaysia, Menlu Retno Tekankan Prioritas Perlindungan WNI" (in Indonesian). Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur. 27 January 2015. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2016. Diperkirakan terdapat sekitar 2,5 juta warga Indonesia berada di Malaysia, dimana hampir setengahnya berstatus ilegal.
  3. ^ "Ada 1,8 Juta Diaspora Indonesia di Belanda". Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  4. ^ Kompasiana (2016). Kami Tidak Lupa Indonesia. Bentang Pustaka. ISBN 9786022910046.
  5. ^ "Kian ramai dari Indonesia jadi warga" (PDF) (in Malay). Berita Harian. 20 February 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Meet Marvell" (PDF). Forbes Magazine. 14 August 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 October 2006.
  7. ^ "Indonesia, Taiwan sign agreement on migrant protections". The Jakarta Post. 30 April 2011. Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  8. ^ Media Indonesia Online 30 November 2006
  9. ^ Ramona Ruiz (30 May 2012). "Indonesian envoy wants fewer maids sent to UAE". The National. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Statistics".[dead link]
  11. ^ "Meet Marvell" (PDF). Forbes Magazine. 14 August 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 October 2006.
  12. ^ Sakurai 2003: 33
  13. ^ Sakurai 2003: 41
  14. ^ (PDF). Ministry of Justice. 13 April 2018 []. Retrieved 13 April 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Population by country of citizenship, sex, and urban/rural residence; each census, 1985–2004, United Nations Statistics Division, 2005, retrieved 2011-06-15
  16. ^ Snoj, Jure (18 December 2013). "Population of Qatar". Archived from the original on 22 December 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  17. ^ KIS Statistics 2013 (PDF). Korean Immigration Service. 29 May 2014. p. 378. ISSN 2005-0356. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  18. ^ Indonesians in Germany - their engagement in the development (2016)
  19. ^ a b Census 2006
  20. ^ "Country-of-birth database". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Archived from the original on 11 May 2005. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  21. ^ "2011 Census: Country of birth (expanded), regions in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  22. ^ "Country of birth (detailed)" (PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  23. ^ "Country of Birth - Full Detail: QS206NI". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  24. ^ "Macau Population Census". Census Bureau of Macau. May 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  25. ^ Simone Dennis (2008). Christmas Island: An Anthropological Study. Cambria Press. pp. 91–. ISBN 9781604975109.
  26. ^ Snoj, Jure (18 December 2013). "Population of Qatar". Archived from the original on 22 December 2013.
  27. ^ "Meet Marvell" (PDF). Forbes Magazine. 14 August 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 October 2006.
  28. ^ Ember, Steve; Schonhardt, Sara (13 April 2011). "A Push to Get More Indonesians to Study in US". VoA. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  29. ^ "English Not On Menu For Wednesday's Press Briefing". Malaysian National News Agency. 22 September 2005. Retrieved 24 June 2016.