Sumatra (Sumatera) World's sixth largest island, in w Indonesia. The largest cities (pop. 1990) are Medan (1,685,972), Palembang (1,084,483), and Padang (477,344). Sumatra's w coast is rugged and mountainous, the Barisan Mountains rising to 3810m (12,500ft), and nearly 60% of the lowland area is jungle. By the 7th century, India established two states in Sumatra: Melayu and Srivijaya. The Portuguese landed on the island in the 16th century, and the Dutch followed a century later. Britain briefly held certain parts of Sumatra in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1950, Sumatra became part of newly independent Indonesia. The main products are oil (the greatest earner), timber, rubber, tin, tobacco, palm oil, tea, coffee, sisal, and rice. Mining and farming were the chief occupations, but the n is being rapidly industrialized, and Sumatra now accounts for c.75% of Indonesia's total income. Area: 425,000sq km (164,000sq mi). Pop. (2000) 42,666,048.
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