Administrative divisions of Indonesia

Administrative divisions of Indonesia

The Republic of Indonesia is divided into provinces ( _id. Provinsi). Provinces consist of regencies ( _id. Kabupaten) and cities ( _id. Kota). Province, regencies, and cities, have their own local governments and parliementary bodies.

Since the enactment of Law Number 22 Year 1999 regarding Local Government (the law was revised by Law Number 32 Year 2004), the local governments enjoy greater role to administer their own area - however foreign politics, defense (including armed forces and national police), system of law, and monetary policy, are still being national government domain. Since 2005, heads of local government (governors, regents, and mayors) has been directly elected by the popular election.


Province ( _id. Provinsi) is headed by a governor. Each province has its own legislative body, called "Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah" (literally means "Regional People's Representatives Assembly"). Governor and member of representatives are elected by popular vote for 5 years term.

Currently Indonesia is divided into 33 provinces. Seven provinces were created since 2000. Among 33 provinces of Indonesia, 5 of them have special status:
* Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (formerly: "Aceh Special Region"), has greater role in local government, such as has its own Islamic syari'ah law (only for Muslim citizen), flag and song of province, local political parties are allowed, and any decision or law made by central government which directly affect Aceh's administration need to be consulted with the local government or legislative body.
* Yogyakarta Special Region, The Sultan of Yogyakarta is de facto governor of Yogyakarta since he is given priority when electing the governor. For centuries, Sultanate of Yogyakarta has reigned in the region. However recently, the central government propose a law that required the governor to be popularly elected, same as other provinces, while still giving the sultan a major powers. The proposal is still under debate as there are many rejection from the people of Yogyakarta including the local legislative body and the sultan himself.
* Papua (formerly: "Irian Jaya"), since 2001 has greater role of local government, including allowed to own flag and song of province, and the governor is required to be Papuan origins.
* West Papua (formerly: "Irian Jaya Barat"), has an equal status with Papua
* Jakarta Special Capital Region, is the capital city of Indonesia, and place of all national government bodies. The Governor of Jakarta has the power to appoint and dismiss the mayors and regent within Jakarta Special Capital Region. And the local government is allowed to have cooperation with other cities from other countries.

Each province is divided into regencies and cities.

Regency and City

Regency ( _id. Kabupaten) and City ( _id. Kota) are a local level of government smaller than a province, however they enjoy greater decentralization affairs than province does, such as provide public schools and public health facilities.

Both regency and city are the same level, having their own local government and legislative body. The difference between a Regency and a City lies in differing demographics, size and economics.Generally the regency has larger area than city, and city has a non-agricultural economic activities. Regency is headed by a regent ( _id. Bupati), and the city is headed by a mayor ( _id. Walikota). Regent or mayor and member of representatives are elected by popular vote for 5 years term.

Each regency or city is divided into sub-district.


Sub-district ( _id. Kecamatan) is area within regency or city. Head of sub-district is called "Camat"'. Camat is a civil servant, responsible to the regent (for regency) or to the mayor (for city).

In Papua Province and West Papua, sub-district is called District ( _id. Distrik), and is headed by a "Head of District" ( _id. Kepala Distrik).

Each sub-district is divided into Desa or Kelurahan.

Village: "Desa and Kelurahan"

The next level is that of the Desa or Kelurahan. Both Desa and Kelurahan are the area within sub-district, however Desa enjoys greater local matters than Kelurahan does.


In Indonesian, as in English, village (desa) has rural connotations, in the context of Indonesian Government Administration, a Desa can be defined as a body which has authority over the local people in accordance with acknowledged local traditions of the area. Desa is headed by "Head of Desa" ( _id. Kepala Desa), and elected by popular vote.

The term of "desa" varies between region. In West Sumatra, desa is called "nagari", in Papua is called "kampung", and in Aceh is called "gampong".


Though Desa and Kelurahan are part of sub-district, Kelurahan has limited power than Desa. Kelurahan is headed by a "Lurah". Lurah is a civil servant, and directly responsible to Camat. Kelurahan is part of Regency/City government bureaucracy.


Here is table showing number of current provinces, regencies, and cities of Indonesia.

ee also

* List of regencies and cities of Indonesia

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