The name of this district is derived from the Kurung and the Kumey, the two principal rivers which flow through it. According to myth the Kurung and the Kumey rivers were two sisters; during the age of marriage Kurung eloped without prior permission from her parents and Kumey got married according to her parents' wishes. Therefore, the Kurung flows with a violent roar and ashy colour because her parents shouted and threw ashes after her, while the Kumey flows silently and clearly.
According to the 2011 census Kurung Kumey district has a population of 89,717, roughly equal to the nation of Seychelles. This gives it a ranking of 617th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 15 inhabitants per square kilometre (39 /sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 111.01%. Kurung Kumey has a sex ratio of 1029 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 50.67%. Hiya village under Nyapin circle is the largest village of Kurung Kumey district in terms of geographical area and human population.