The island of Sumba is located in the south-east of Indonesia, bordered by the islands of Sumbawa  to the northwest, Flores to the northeast, Timor in the east and Australia in the south and southeast.

 

Sumba has an area of 11,005 km² and a population of 768,824 people (BPS NTT 2017).  Most people are subsistence farmers. The majority of Sumba’s population embraces Christianity (Protestant and Catholic) followed by Islam and a small number of Hindus and Buddhists. Although the numbers continue to decrease, there are still quite a few Sumbanese who adhere to the original Marapu beliefs.

 

Since 2008 Sumba has been divided into 4 districts, namely East Sumba, Central Sumba, West Sumba and Southwest Sumba.  The island has two airports and two seaports located in East Sumba and Southwest Sumba.

 

The quality of life of the people of Sumba is still far behind most of Indonesia, in education, health and prosperity.  In the Indonesian Government’s estimation in 2015, all four districts are underdeveloped.

 

This contrasts with the diverse cultural and economic potential, especially in tourism.  In 2017 Focus Magazine, published in Germany, named Sumba the most beautiful island in the world.