Central Kalimantan

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Central Kalimantan

Kalimantan Tengah
Flag of Central Kalimantan
Coat of arms of Central Kalimantan
Coat of arms
Isen Mulang (Ngaju)
Location of Central Kalimantan in Indonesia.
Location of Central Kalimantan in Indonesia.
Coordinates: 2°13′S 113°55′E / 2.217°S 113.917°E / -2.217; 113.917Coordinates: 2°13′S 113°55′E / 2.217°S 113.917°E / -2.217; 113.917
and largest city
Palangka Raya
 • BodyCentral Kalimantan Provincial Government
 • GovernorSugianto Sabran
 • Vice GovernorSaid Ismail [id]
 • Total153,564.5 km2 (59,291.6 sq mi)
Area rank2nd
Highest elevation2,300 m (7,546 ft)
 • Total2,649,803
 • Density17/km2 (45/sq mi)
 • Ethnic groups46% Dayak
22% Javanese
21% Banjarese
3.9% Malay
1.9% Madurese
4.8% other
 • Religion (2017)[4]70.0% Islam
16.4% Protestant
8.09% Hindu/Kaharingan
4.56% Catholic
0.65% Buddhism
0.1% other
 • LanguagesIndonesian (official)
Chinese (Hakka and Teochew)
Time zoneWIB (UTC+7)
HDI 2019Increase 0.709 (High)
HDI rank21st in Indonesia (2019)

Central Kalimantan (Indonesian: Kalimantan Tengah), is a province of Indonesia. It is one of five provinces in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. Its provincial capital is Palangkaraya and in 2010 its population was over 2.2 million,[5][incomplete short citation] while the 2015 showed a rise to 2.49 million and the latest official estimate (for mid-2019) is 2,649,803.[6][incomplete short citation]

The population growth rate was almost 3.0% per annum between 1990 and 2000, one of the highest provincial growth rates in Indonesia during that time; in the subsequent decade to 2010 the average annual growth rate slowed markedly to around 1.8%, but it rose again in the decade beginning 2010. More than is the case in other province in the region, Central Kalimantan is populated by the Dayaks, the indigenous inhabitants of Borneo.


Since the eighteenth century the central region of Kalimantan and its Dayak inhabitants were ruled by the Muslim Sultanate of Banjar. Following Indonesian independence after World War II, Dayak tribes demanded a province separate from South Kalimantan province.[7]

In 1957 South Kalimantan was divided to provide the Dayak population with greater autonomy from the Muslim population in the province. The change was approved by the Indonesian Government on 23 May 1957 under Presidential Law No. 10 Year 1957, which declared Central Kalimantan the seventeenth province of Indonesia. President Sukarno appointed the Dayak-born national hero Tjilik Riwut as the first Governor and Palangkaraya the provincial capital.[8]

Historical population
1971 701,936—    
1980 954,353+36.0%
1990 1,396,486+46.3%
1995 1,627,453+16.5%
2000 1,801,965+10.7%
2005 1,914,900+6.3%
2010 2,212,089+15.5%
2015 2,490,178+12.6%
2019 2,649,803+6.4%
Source: Badan Pusat Statistik 2019


Central Kalimantan is the third-largest Indonesian province by area with a size of 153,564.5 km2 (59,291.6 sq mi), about 1.5 times the size of the island of Java. It is bordered by West Kalimantan and East Kalimantan provinces to the north, by the Java Sea to the south, by South Kalimantan and East Kalimantan provinces to the east, and by West Kalimantan province to west.

The Schwaner Mountains stretch from the north-east of the province to the south-west, 80% of which is covered in dense forest, peatland swamps, mangroves, rivers and traditional agriculture land. Highland areas in the north-east are remote and not easily accessible. Non-volcanic mounts are scattered in this area including Kengkabang, Samiajang, Liang Pahang and Ulu Gedang.

The centre of the province is covered with tropical forest, which produces rattan, resin and valuable timber such as Ulin and Meranti. The southern lowlands are dominated by peatland swamps that intersect with many rivers. Sabangau National Park is a protected peatland area internationally acknowledged as sanctuary for the endangered Orangutan. Recently the peat swamp forests have been damaged by the Mega Rice Project, which unsuccessfully sought to turn large areas into rice paddies.

The province's climate is wet weather equatorial zone with an eight-month rainy season, and 4 months of dry season. Rainfall or precipitation is 2,776—3,393 mm per year with an average of 145 rainy days annually.[citation needed]


Central Kalimantan has numerous rivers from the catchment areas to the north in the Schwaner Mountains, flowing to the Java Sea. The major rivers include:

Rivers are an important mode of transportation and a primary location for settlement. With relatively undeveloped infrastructure, the province's economy relies heavily on the rivers.[citation needed]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Central Kalimantan is administratively divided into thirteen regencies (kabupaten)—each headed by a regent—and one city (kotamayda), the latter being Palangka Raya (the provincial capital). These are as follows:

Name Area in
2000 Census
2010 Census
2015 Census
Capital HDI[9]
2019 estimate
Palangkaraya City 2,399.50 158,770 220,962 259,205 281,096 Palangkaraya 0.808 (Very High)
East Barito Regency
(Barito Timur)
3,834.00 71,907 97,372 113,821 122,285 Tamiang Layang 0.713 (High)
East Kotawaringin Regency
(Kotawaringin Timur)
16,796.00 308,765 374,175 425,293 449,354 Sampit 0.712 (High)
Gunung Mas Regency 10,805.00 74,823 96,990 109,768 115,567 Kuala Kurun 0.707 (High)
Kapuas Regency 14,999.00 325,243 329,646 347,735 358,723 Kuala Kapuas 0.694 (Medium)
Katingan Regency 17,500.00 121,047 146,439 160,049 170,006 Kasongan 0.686 (Medium)
Lamandau Regency 6,414.00 47,969 63,199 73,757 79,647 Nanga Bulik 0.705 (High)
Murung Raya Regency 23,700.00 74,050 96,857 110,199 116,529 Purukcahu 0.679 (Medium)
North Barito Regency
(Barito Utara)
8,300.00 109,273 121,573 127,357 130,631 Muara Teweh 0.705 (High)
Pulang Pisau Regency 8,997.00 111,488 120,062 124,792 127,175 Pulang Pisau 0.683 (Medium)
Seruyan Regency 16,404.00 92,037 139,931 174,177 198,356 Kuala Pembuang 0.676 (Medium)
South Barito Regency
(Barito Selatan)
8,830.00 108,560 124,128 131,877 136,847 Buntok 0.701 (High)
Sukamara Regency 3,827.00 29,561 44,952 55,132 62,024 Sukamara 0.680 (Medium)
West Kotawaringin Regency
(Kotawaringin Barat)
10,759.00 168,472 235,803 277,416 301,563 Pangkalan Bun 0.729 (High)
Totals 153,564.50 1,801,965 2,212,089 2,490,178 2,649,803 Palangka Raya 0.709 (High)

In addition to the civil service, Central Kalimantan also recognises a traditional governing system led by traditional leaders known as Demang. The province is divided into 67 traditional law areas known as Kademangan, headed by Demang. The system is intended to culturally recognise and preserve the customs and heritage of the Dayak tribes.[citation needed]


A Russian company had been contracted to build railroads from Central Kalimantan to East Kalimantan for coal transportation, with an estimated cost of US$2.4 billion, that was expected to start in 2013 and be completed by 2017.[10]



Religion in Central Kalimantan (2010 census)[11]
Religion percent
Roman Catholicism
Not Asked
Not Stated

The population of Central Kalimantan is 60 % Muslim, 18.6% Christian (25% Protestant and 10% Catholic), 0.50% Hindu, 0.11% Buddhist, and 5% other.[11]

The religious composition have changed a lot from 1971, when 55% of the population was Muslim, 16% Christian, 1% Hindu and 28% Kaharingan. In 1980, Kaharingan was recognized as a form of Hinduism, but this didn't slowed down its decline. Proportion of Kaharingan adherents went down to 15.75% in 1990 and was reported at 5.89% in 2000.[12]

Ethnic groups[edit]

The three major Dayak tribes in Central Kalimantan are the Ngaju, Ot Danum and Dusun Ma'anyan Ot Siang. The three major tribes extended into several branches of prominent Dayak tribes in Central Kalimantan such as Lawangan, Taboyan, Dusun Siang, Boyan, Bantian, Dohoi and Kadori.

In addition to the indigenous Dayak tribes, there are also ethnic groups from other areas of Indonesia, including Malays, Javanese, Madurese, Batak, Toraja, Ambonese, Bugis, Palembang, Minang, Banjarese, Makassar, Papuan, Balinese, Acehnese and also Chinese.

Ethnic groups and religion as per 2000 census[12]
Ethnic group Islam Christian Hindu Other % of population
Banjarese 99% 0% 0% 0% 24.6%
Javanese 96% 4% 0% 0% 18.8%
Ngaju Dayak 43% 44% 13% 0% 18.0%
Sampit Dayak 82% 9% 9% 0% 9.6%
Bakumpai 99% 0% 0% 0% 7.5%
Madurese 100% 0% 0% 0% 3.5%
Katingan Dayak 37% 22% 32% 9% 3.3%
Maanyan 4% 86% 9% 1% 2.8%
Tomun Dayak 18% 56% 17% 2% 2.2%
Sundanese 99% 1% 0% 0% 1.4%
Dusun Dayak 9% 29% 63% 0% 1.1%
Siang Dayak 6% 40% 48% 4% 0.9%
Manyan Dayak 20% 70% 10% 0% 0.7%
Ot Danum 10% 51% 38% 0% 0.6%
Other non-Dayak NA NA NA NA 1.3%
Other Dayak NA NA NA NA 5.0%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2019.
  2. ^ Leo Suryadinata; Evi Nurvidya Arifin; Aris Ananta (2003). Indonesia's Population: Ethnicity and Religion in a Changing Political Landscape. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
  3. ^ Aris Ananta; Evi Nurvidya Arifin; M. Sairi Hasbullah; Nur Budi Handayani; Agus Pramono (2015). Demography of Indonesia's Ethnicity. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
  4. ^ BPS Provinsi Kalimantan Tengah/BPS-Statistics of Kalimantan Tengah Province. Provinsi Kalimantan Tengah Dalam Angka 2018/Kalimantan Tengah Province in Figures 2018 (in Indonesian and English). BPS Provinsi Kalimantan Tengah/BPS-Statistics of Kalimantan Tengah Province. Retrieved 13 September 2018 – via BPS Kalimantan Tengah.
  5. ^ Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
  6. ^ Badan Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2019.
  7. ^ Profile Central Kalimantan Province. Central Kalimantan Province Tourism and Culture Board. September 2001.
  8. ^ Riwut, Nila; et al. (2003). Maneser Panatau Tatu Huang. Palangkaraya: Pusaka Lima. ISBN 979-97999-1-0.
  9. ^ "Pembangunan Manusia". BPS Provinsi Kalimantan Tengah (in Indonesian).
  10. ^ "Russian Firm Signs MoU to Build $2.4 Billion Railway". The Jakarta Post. February 8, 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Population by Region and Religion in Indonesia". Badan Pusat Statistik. 2010.
  12. ^ a b Chalmers, Ian (2006). "The Dynamics of Conversion: The Islamisation of the Dayak Peoples of Central Kalimantan". In Vickers, A.; Hanlon, M. (eds.). Proceedings of the 16th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA): Asia Reconstructed, Jun 26–29 2006. Wollongong, NSW: Australian National University. hdl:20.500.11937/35283.

External links[edit]