Maritime Southeast Asia

Maritime Southeast Asia (as opposed to Mainland Southeast Asia) comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia (East Malaysia), the Philippines, and Singapore.[3] Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia or Oceanic Southeast Asia. The 16th-century term "East Indies" and the later 19th-century term "Malay Archipelago" are also used to refer to Maritime Southeast Asia.

Maritime Southeast Asia
LocationIndonesian Archipelago
Philippine Archipelago
Malay Peninsula
Total islands25,000
Major islandsBorneo, Java, Luzon, Mindanao, New Guinea, Sulawesi, Sumatra
Area2,870,000 km2 (1,110,000 sq mi)[1]
Highest elevation4,884 m (16024 ft)
Highest pointPuncak Jaya
Largest settlementJakarta
Largest settlementQuezon City
Largest settlementBandar Seri Begawan
Largest settlementKuala Lumpur
Largest settlementDili
Largest settlementPort Moresby
Largest settlementSingapore
Population380,000,000 [2]
Ethnic groupsPredominantly Austronesians, with minorities of Negritos, Papuans, Melanesians, Overseas Chinese, Arabs descendants, Eurasians, Mestizos, Asli people, and Overseas Indians
One of the majority of uninhabited islands of the Philippines. Maritime Southeast Asia is made up of the world's two largest archipelagos situated between the Indian Ocean, the South China Sea and the Western Pacific.

In Indonesia and Malaysia, the Old Javanese term "Nusantara" is also used as a synonym for Maritime Southeast Asia. The term, however, is nationalistic and has shifting boundaries. It usually only encompasses the Malay Peninsula, the Sunda Islands, Maluku, and often Western New Guinea; excluding the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.[4][5]

Stretching for several thousand kilometres, the area features a very large number of islands and boasts some of the richest marine, flora and fauna biodiversity on Earth.

The main demographic difference that sets Maritime Southeast Asia apart from modern Mainland Southeast Asia is that its population predominantly belongs to Austronesian groups. The region contains some of the world's most highly urbanized areas: Greater Jakarta, Greater Kuala Lumpur, Metro Manila, and Singapore; and yet a majority of islands in this vast region remain uninhabited by humans.