Austronesian peoples

The Austronesian peoples, sometimes referred to as Austronesian-speaking peoples,[43] are a large group of peoples in Madagascar,[44] Island Southeast Asia, Micronesia, coastal New Guinea, Island Melanesia, Polynesia, and Taiwan that speak Austronesian languages. The nations and territories predominantly populated by Austronesian-speaking peoples are sometimes known collectively as Austronesia.[45]

Austronesian people
Amis people of Taiwan performing a traditional dance
Total population
c. 400 million
Regions with significant populations
 Indonesiac. 260.6 million (2016)[1]
 Philippinesc. 109.03 million (2020)[2]
 Madagascarc. 24 million (2016)[3]
 Malaysiac. 19.2 million (2017)[4]
 Thailandc. 1.9 million[5]
 Papua New Guineac. 1.3 million[citation needed]
 East Timorc. 1.2 million (2015)[6]
 New Zealandc. 855,000 (2006)[7][8][9]
 Singaporec. 700,000[10]
 Taiwanc. 575,067 (2020)[11]
 Solomon Islandsc. 478,000 (2005)[citation needed]
 Fijic. 456,000 (2005)[12]
 Bruneic. 450,000 (2006)[13]
 Vanuatuc. 272,000 [14][15]
 Cambodiac. 249,000 (2011)[16]
 French Polynesiac. 230,000 (2017)[17][18]
 Samoac. 195,000 (2016)[19]
 Vietnamc. 162,000 (2009)[20]
 Guamc. 150,000 (2010)[21]
 Hawaiic. 140,652–401,162[22] (depending on definition)
 Kiribatic. 119,940 (2020)[23]
 New Caledoniac. 106,000 (2019)[24][25]
 Federated States of Micronesiac. 102,000[14][15][26]
 Tongac. 100,000 (2016)[27]
 Surinamec. 93,000 (2017)[28]
 Marshall Islandsc. 72,000 (2015)[29]
 American Samoac. 55,000 (2010)[30]
 Sri Lankac. 40,189 (2012)[31]
(Torres Strait Islands)
c. 38,700 (2016)[32]
 Myanmarc. 31,600 (2019)[33][34]
 Northern Mariana Islandsc. 19,000[35]
 Palauc. 16,500 (2011)[14][15][36]
 Wallis and Futunac. 11,600 (2018)[37]
 Nauruc. 11,200 (2011)[38]
 Tuvaluc. 11,200 (2012)[39][40]
 Cook Islandsc. 9,300 (2010)[41]
 Easter Island
(Rapa Nui)
c. 2,290 (2002)[42]
 Niuec. 1,620[14][15]
Austronesian languages
Various religions

Based on the current scientific consensus, they originated from a prehistoric seaborne migration, known as the Austronesian expansion, from pre-Han Taiwan, at around 3000 to 1500 BCE. Austronesians reached the northernmost Philippines, specifically the Batanes Islands, by around 2200 BCE. Austronesians were the first people to invent oceangoing sailing technologies (notably catamarans, outrigger boats, lashed-lug boat building, and the crab claw sail), which enabled their rapid dispersal into the islands of the Indo-Pacific. From 2000 BCE they assimilated (or were assimilated by) the earlier Paleolithic Negrito, Orang Asli, and Australo-Melanesian Papuan populations. They reached as far as Easter Island, Madagascar,[46] and New Zealand. At the furthest extent, they might have also reached the Americas.[47][48]

Aside from language, Austronesian peoples widely share cultural characteristics, including such traditions and technologies as tattooing, stilt houses, jade carving, wetland agriculture, and various rock art motifs. They also share domesticated plants and animals that were carried along with the migrations, including rice, bananas, coconuts, breadfruit, Dioscorea yams, taro, paper mulberry, chickens, pigs, and dogs.