That’s a good question, and answering it in full may be beyond the scope of a single blog post.
What I will highlight is that the oldest evidence that has so far been found is located, using Google maps, in present day Malaysian Sarawak here and in the contemporary Philippines here. (Source: The Discovery of the Hobbit: The Scientific Breakthrough that Changed the Face of Human History by Mike Morwood and Penny van Oosterzee. Random House, Sydney, 2007, ISBN 978 1 74166 702 8, page 91)
One problem is how we define “people”, with clarity emerging that the Hobbit people found on the Indonesian island of Flores evolved seperately from our human ancestors (as the story here articulates).
So now we know…or maybe not.