Pulau Borneo
Borneo Topography.png
Topography of Borneo
LocationSoutheast Asia
Coordinates01°N 114°E / 01°N 114°E / 1; 114
ArchipelagoGreater Sunda Islands
Area743,330 km2 (287,000 sq mi)
Area rank3rd
Highest elevation4,095 m (13,435 ft)
Highest pointMount Kinabalu
Brunei and Muara
Largest settlementBandar Seri Begawan (pop. ~50,000)
ProvincesWest Kalimantan
Central Kalimantan
South Kalimantan
East Kalimantan
North Kalimantan
Largest settlementSamarinda (pop. 842,691)
States and FTSabah
Largest settlementKuching (pop. 617,886)
Population21,258,000 (2014)
Pop. density28.59 /km2 (74.05 /sq mi)
Ethnic groupsMalay: (Bajau, Banjar, Belait, Bruneian, Sarawak)
Dayak: (Bidayuh, Iban, Kadazan-Dusun, Kayan, Kedayan, Lun Bawang/Lun Dayeh, Melanau, Murut, Penan, Rungus)
Chinese: (Bruneian, Malaysian, Indonesian) etc.

Borneo (/; Malay: Pulau Borneo, Indonesian: Kalimantan) is the third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia.[note 1] At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java, west of Sulawesi, and east of Sumatra. The island was named after the nation of Brunei.

The island is politically divided among three countries: Malaysia and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia to the south.[1] Approximately 73% of the island is Indonesian territory. In the north, the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak make up about 26% of the island. Additionally, the Malaysian federal territory of Labuan is situated on a small island just off the coast of Borneo. The sovereign state of Brunei, located on the north coast, comprises about 1% of Borneo's land area. A little more than half of the island is in the Northern Hemisphere including Brunei and the Malaysian portion, while the Indonesian portion spans both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Borneo is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world.

In August 2019, Indonesian president Joko Widodo announced a plan to move the capital from Jakarta to an unnamed city in the East Kalimantan province in Borneo.[2]


The island is known by many names. Internationally it is known as Borneo, after Brunei, derived from European contact with the kingdom in the 16th century during the Age of Exploration. The name Brunei possibly derives from the Sanskrit word váruṇa (वरुण), meaning either "water" or Varuna, the Hindu god of rain. Indonesian natives called it Kalimantan,[3] which was derived from the Sanskrit word Kalamanthana, meaning "burning weather island" (to describe its hot and humid tropical weather).[4]

In earlier times, the island was known by other names. In 977, Chinese records began to use the term Bo-ni to refer to Borneo. In 1225, it was also mentioned by the Chinese official Chau Ju-Kua (趙汝适).[5] The Javanese manuscript Nagarakretagama, written by Majapahit court poet Mpu Prapanca in 1365, mentioned the island as Nusa Tanjungnagara, which means the island of the Tanjungpura Kingdom.[6]