Koreans in Indonesia

Koreans in Indonesia
Total population
78,676 (2017)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Jakarta, Tangerang, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Denpasar, Batam, Medan
Jakarta and surroundings 55,824[1]
Surabaya and surroundings 7,710[1]
Elsewhere in Java 6,872[1]
Bali, Lombok, Sulawesi, Papua 6,520[1]
Sumatra, Kalimantan 1,750[1]
Korean, English
Christianity, Buddhism;[2] minority of Islam[3]
Related ethnic groups
Korean diaspora
Koreans in Indonesia
Korean name
Hangul 재인도네시아 한인
Hanja 在인도네시아 韓人
Indonesian name
Indonesian Orang Korea di Indonesia

Koreans in Indonesia numbered 78,676 individuals as of 2018, making them the 13th-largest population of overseas Koreans, according to South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs; some local population estimates put their numbers even higher, at as many as 50,000 people.[1][4]

Migration history

One of the leading figures of the Indonesian independence movement, Komarudin (Korean name: Yang Chil-seong; Hangul: 양칠성; Hanja: ) was an ethnic Korean.[5]

The Korean presence in Indonesia goes back several decades. The Jakarta International Korean School in East Jakarta opened on 1 February 1975, and as of 2007 enrolled 719 elementary school students, 357 middle school students, and 375 high school students.[6] It is thus the largest Korean day school in Southeast Asia, at more than twice the enrollment of the one in Ho Chi Minh City.[4][7] A Koreatown began to form in South Jakarta's Kebayoran Baru subdistrict as early as 1982, when Kim Woo-jae opened a shop selling kimchi and doenjang.[8]

Between 2011 and 2013, their population increased by 11%. Nearly all (38,401, or 95%) are staying in Indonesia on ordinary residence visas. Other categories have shown rapid growth in recent years but remain small in absolute numbers: those on international student visas number 664 people (up 137% since 2011), 814 (up 285%) have permanent residence status, and 405 (up 58%) have become Indonesian citizens. The sex ratio of the community is unbalanced, with 1.3 men for every woman, similar to the pattern seen in most South Korean expatriate communities in Southeast Asian countries besides Malaysia and Singapore; however, the imbalance has decreased from earlier years.[1] Unlike Japanese expatriates of earlier years, most South Korean expatriates come accompanied by their families. They have shown particular enthusiasm for learning the Indonesian language, and comprise most of the student body in Indonesian-language courses at the University of Indonesia.[9]

Business and employment

Most South Korean expatriates in Indonesia are employees of South Korea multinational conglomerates with investments in Indonesia, or owners of small and medium-sized enterprises. Labour relations at South Korean-owned factories were poor in the 1990s, but have improved in recent years.[10]


In 2005 there were about 30,000 South Koreans living in Indonesia, with most of them being in the Jakarta area. Of the rest, 1,200 lived in Surabaya, 600 lived in Bandung, 150 lived in Bali, and 550 lived elsewhere.[11]

The main Korean areas in Jakarta proper are Cibubur in East Jakarta and Kelapa Gading and Sunter in North Jakarta. There are also Korean populations in Bogor, Cikarang in Bekasi Regency, and Tangerang. Most of the Bekasi Koreans work for the electronics industry. In Tangerang most Koreans work for manufacturing companies,[12] in particular those involved in the making of shoes,[4] and many Korean-owned businesses are in Lippo Village (Lippo Karawaci).[12] 80% of the commercial buildings in Lippo Village are occupied by ethnic Koreans.[13]

Farther away from Jakarta, Korean nationals are also served by two other weekend schools, the Surabaya Hangul School (founded 1 January 1989, enrolling 42 students at the kindergarten and elementary levels), and the Bandung Hangul School (founded 1 March 1992, enrolling 66 students at the kindergarten through middle school levels).[14][15] Semarang is another area mentioned as having a large number of Koreans, though they lack any Korean-language educational facilities there. Bali, a popular destination for Korean tourists, has also begun to attracting some scattered Korean entrepreneurs.[4]


The directory of the Korean Association in Indonesia listed 14 Korean churches (of various denominations including Presbyterianism) and one Buddhist temple of the Jogye Order in the Jabodetabek area.[2] Muslims form a smaller minority of the Korean community. The Indonesian branch of the Korean Muslim Federation opened in 1982; they sponsored 22 Muslims from South Korea to come to Indonesia as students in 1983 and 1984 to study in local universities and better understand Islam. According to their figures, as of 2005, there were only 50 Korean Muslims in Indonesia, including those who had converted while living there.[3][16]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "총괄", 《재외동포현황》, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2013-09-30, p. 17, retrieved 2015-04-30 and "남아시아태평양", 《재외동포현황》, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2013-09-30, p. 100, retrieved 2015-04-30
  2. 1 2 "학원, 의료, 종교 및 사회복지/Hagwons, Medical Care, Religion, and Social Welfare". 한인기업 디렉토리/Korean Business Directory. Korean Chamber of Commerce/Korean Association in Indonesia. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
  3. 1 2 "Dynamic Korea: Muslims, a minority among minorities". The Jakarta Post. Archived from the original on 2007-04-29. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Han, Sang-jae (2006-04-19). "인도네시어의 한인들: 지구촌 리포트 (Koreans of Indonesia: Global Village Report)". Jae'oe Dongpo Sinmun. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
  5. Jung Hwan-bo (정환보) (2011-08-15), '인도네시아 독립영웅' 그는 조선 청년이었다, Kyunghyang Sinmun (in Korean), retrieved 2011-09-03
  6. "Overseas Korean Educational Institutions: 자카르타한국국제학교". National Institute for International Educational Development, Republic of Korea. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
  7. "Overseas Korean Educational Institutions: 호치민시한국학교". National Institute for International Education Development, Republic of Korea. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-15.
  8. "More converge around 'Little Korea' in Jakarta". The Jakarta Post. Archived from the original on 2007-04-29. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
  9. Otto, Ben (2 April 2015), "In South Jakarta, South Koreans Learn Bahasa Indonesia", The Wall Street Journal, retrieved 2 May 2015
  10. Panggabean, Simon (28 October 2009), "Indonesia, the dream country of Koreans", The Jakarta Post, retrieved 2 May 2015
  11. "Businesspeople: The backbone of RI's Korean community" (Archive). The Jakarta Post. Thursday April 14, 2005. Retrieved on August 17, 2015.
  12. 1 2 Panggabean, Simon A. "Indonesia, the dream country of Koreans" (Archive). The Jakarta Post. October 28, 2009. Retrieved on August 17, 2015.
  13. Nurbianto, Bambang. "Koreans made to feel at home in their village in Karawaci". The Jakarta Post. Archived from the original on 2015-09-22. Retrieved 2007-05-14. -
  14. "Overseas Korean Educational Institutions: 수라바야한글학교". National Institute for International Educational Development, Republic of Korea. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
  15. "Overseas Korean Educational Institutions: 반동한글학교". National Institute for International Educational Development, Republic of Korea. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
  16. "Dr Ali Ann Sun Gun: Kegiatan Dakwah di Korsel Sangat Intens" (in Indonesian). Republika Online.
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