|— Province —|
|• Governor||Plt. Ust. Junaidi Hamsyah, S.Ag., M.Pd|
|• Total||19,919.33 km2 (7,690.90 sq mi)|
|• Density||91/km2 ( 240/sq mi)|
|• Ethnic groups||Rejang (60,4%), Javanese (22,3%), Serawai (17,9%), Lembak (4,9%), Pasemah (4,4%), Minangkabau (4,3%), Malay (3,6%), Sundanese (3%), Batak (2%) |
|• Languages||Rejang, Bengkulu, Indonesian|
|Time zone||WIB (UTC+7)|
Bengkulu (also known as Southwest Sumatra) is a province of Indonesia. It is on the southwest coast of the island of Sumatra, and borders the provinces of West Sumatra, Jambi, South Sumatra and Lampung. The province also includes Enggano Island. The capital and largest city is Bengkulu city.
It was formerly the site of a British garrison, which they called Bencoolen.
The English East India Company established a pepper-trading center and garrison at Bengkulu (Bencoolen) in 1685. In 1714 the British built Fort Marlborough in the city, which still stands. The trading post was never profitable for the British, being hampered by a location which Europeans found unpleasant, and by an inability to find sufficient pepper to buy. It became an occasional port of call for the EIC's East Indiamen.
Despite these difficulties, the British persisted, maintaining their presence for roughly 140 years before ceding it to the Dutch as part of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 to focus attention on Malacca. Bengkulu remained part of the Dutch East Indies until the Japanese occupation in World War 2.
During Sukarno's imprisonment by the Dutch in the early 1930s, the future first president of Indonesia lived briefly in Bengkulu. Here he met his wife, Fatmawati, who bore him several children, including the first female President of Indonesia, Megawati Sukarnoputri.
Bengkulu lies near the Sunda Fault and is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. In June 2000, an earthquake killed at least 100 people. A recent report predicts that Bengkulu is "at risk of inundation over the next few decades from undersea earthquakes predicted along the coast of Sumatra" A series of earthquakes struck Bengkulu during September 2007, killing 13 people.
|Source: Badan Pusat Statistik 2010|
Administrative divisions 
Bengkulu Province is subdivided into nine regencies and the independent city of Bengkulu, which lies outside any regency. The regencies and city are listed below with their (provisional) populations at the 2010 Census.
|South Bengkulu Regency (Bengkulu Selatan)||1,179.65||129,878||142,722||Manna|
|Rejang Lebong Regency||1,475.99||237,459||246,378||Curup|
|North Bengkulu Regency (Bengkulu Utara)||5,548.54||328,620||256,358||Argamakmur|
|Seluma Regency||2,400.44||156,814||172,801||Pasar Tais|
|Central Bengkulu Regency (Bengkulu Tengah)||*||*||98,570||Karang Tinggi|
- # The area and 2005 estimated population of Central Bengkulu Regency are included in the figures for North Bengkulu Regency.
Three active coal mining companies produce between 200,000 and 400,000 tons of coal per year, which is exported to Malaysia, Singapore, South Asia, and East Asia. Fishing, particularly tuna and mackerel, is an important activity. Agricultural products exported by the province include ginger, bamboo shoots, and rubber.
- Bengkulu Lumbung Nasionalis yang Cair. http://epaper.kompas.com. February 11, 2009.
- Andrew C. Revkin (2006-12-05). "Indonesian Cities Lie in Shadow Of Cyclical Tsunami". New York Times (Late Edition (East Coast)) p. A.5.
- New York Times
- Badan Pusat Statistik : Population of Indonesia by Province 1971, 1980, 1990, 1995 and 2000 Retrieved 5 April 2010
- Reid, Anthony (ed.). 1995. Witnesses to Sumatra: A traveller's anthology. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. pp. 125–133.
- Reprints of British-era primary source material
- Wilkinson, R.J. 1938. Bencoolen. Journal of the Malayan Branch Royal Asiatic Society. 16(1): 127-133.
- Overview of the British experience in Bencoolen