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Indians in Indonesia

India has the largest diaspora in the world and as per the Ministry of External Affairs, there are 3.2 Crores or 32 million Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) residing outside India.

As per the Ministry of External Affairs report, there are 120,000 (1.20 Lakhs) Indians residing in Indonesia. Out of which around

  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) – 111,500 (1.11 lakhs)
  • Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)  – 8500 

read about Population of Overseas Indians

Source: MEA report about overseas Indian population.

Indian Population in Indonesia

Indian Indonesians are Indonesian citizens of Indian ancestry and approx population of Indians in Indonesia as of 2023 is 1.30 Lakhs. They are descendants of those who migrated from India to Indonesia during the 19th & 20th Centuries.  Indians were later brought to Indonesia by the Dutch in the 19th century as indentured laborers to work on plantations located around Medan in Sumatra. While the majority of these came from South India, a significant number also came from the north. The Medan Indians included Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs.
The Indian Diaspora also includes several thousand Sindhi families who constitute the second wave of Indian immigrants who made Indonesia their home in the first half of the 20th century. The inflow of major Indian investments in Indonesia starting in the late 1970s drew a fresh wave of Indian investors and managers to this country. This group of entrepreneurs and business professionals has further expanded over the past two decades and now includes engineers, consultants, chartered accountants, bankers, and other professionals.
Most Indians were concentrated in the province of North Sumatra and urban areas such as Banda Aceh, Surabaya, Medan, and Jakarta. In Medan, North Sumatra, there is a large (Tamil people) community estimated at 75,000 people (around 75% out of all Indian-Indonesian population). In all of Indonesia, various North Indians are found. Usually, their professions are connected with textile industries. 

Though there are no official figures, it is estimated that there are around 25,000 PIOs/NRIs living in Indonesia, of whom the Indian expatriate community registered with the Embassy and the Consulate in Medan numbers around 75,000.

Regions with significant populations
  • Medan
  • Surabaya
  • Banda Aceh
  • Jakarta
  • Denpasar
  • Padang
  • Surakarta

Religion of Indian population in Indonesia

Buddhism and Hinduism originally arrived in Indonesia from India and spread over the centuries. Later, with the rise of Islam, this religion was brought to Indonesia by the Indian Muslims from the 11th century onward, first not to replace the existing religious systems, but to complement them.

Indians have diverse religious backgrounds and are represented mainly by  Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. The majority follow Hinduism and Christianity. 1.74% of Indonesia’s population were Hindu, and 0.77% are Buddhist. Most Indonesian Hindus are Balinese.

also read about religion in Indonesia

Indian Population in Indonesia 2023 | Indians in Indonesia