Across Indonesia’s 17,000-odd islands you can hear over 300 different languages spoken and find a range of people from hipsters in Jakarta to communities speaking tribal dialects and following animist traditions deep in the mountains of West Timor. And then there are the varied cultural expressions, from Bali’s incredible richness to the buttoned-down conservatism of Aceh. Yet despite this diversity, almost everybody can speak one language: Bahasa Indonesia, the tongue that helps unify this sprawling collection of peoples.
Population: (in 2020) 273,523,615
Ethnic Groups: Javanese, Sundanese, Malay, Batak, Madurese, Betawi, Minangkabau, Buginese, Bantenese, Banjarese, Balinese, Acehnese, Dayak, Sasak, Chinese Indonesian, Makassarese, Cirebonese, Lampung, Palembang, Gorontalo, Minahasan, Nias
Official Language: Indonesian
Other Languages: Javanese, Sundanese, Madurese, Minangkabau, Buginese, Palembang Malay, Banjarese, Acehnese, Balinese, Betawi, Sasak, Batak Toba, Ambonese Malay, Makassarese, Chinese-Min Nan, Batak Dairi, Batak Simalungun, Batak Mandailing, Jambi Malay, Gorontalo, Ngaju Dayak, Nias, Batak Angkola, Manado Malay, North Moluccan Malay, Chinese-Hakka, Batak Karo, Uab Meto, Bima, Manggarai, Toraja-Sa’dan, Komering, Tetum, Rejang, Muna, Sumbawa, Bangka Malay, Osing, Gayo, Chinese-Cantonese, Tolaki, Tae’
Language Families: Austronesian languages, Malayo-Sumbawan languages, Barito languages, Northwest Sumatra–Barrier Islands languages, South Sulawesi languages, Philippine languages, West Papuan languages, Trans–New Guinea languages, Mairasi languages, East Cenderawasih (Geelvink Bay) languages, Lakes Plain languages, Tor–Kwerba languages, Nimboran languages, Skou languages (Skou), Border languages, Senagi languages, Pauwasi languages