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Indonesia is divided into provinces (Indonesian: Provinsi). Provinces are made up of regencies and cities. Provinces, regencies and cities have their own local governments and parliamentary bodies.

Since the enactment of Act Number 22 of 1999 on Local Government[1] (the law was revised by Act Number 32 of 2004[2]), local governments now play a greater role in administering their areas. Foreign policy, defence (including armed forces and national police), system of law, and monetary policy, however, remain the domain of the national government. Since 2005, heads of local government (governors, regents and mayors) have been directly elected by popular election.[3]

First level

A province is headed by a governor. Each province has its own regional assembly, called Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah (literally meaning "Regional People's Representatives Assembly"). Governors and representative members are elected by popular vote for five-year terms.

Indonesia is divided into 34 provinces.[4] Eight provinces have been created since 2000. Five provinces have special status:

  • Aceh (also known as Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (formerly: Aceh Special Region), has greater role in local government, which includes its own Islamic Sharia law (for Muslim citizens), flag and provincial anthem, local political parties are allowed, and decisions or laws made by the central government which directly affect Aceh's administration must be referred to the local government or legislative body.[5]
  • Yogyakarta Special Region. The Sultan of Yogyakarta is de facto and de jure governor of Yogyakarta since he is given priority when electing the governor. For centuries, the Sultanate of Yogyakarta has reigned in the region.[6] However, recently the central government proposed a law that required the governor to be popularly elected as in the other provinces, while still giving the sultan significant political power. Since 31 August 2012 The Law of Specialty of Yogyakarta Special Region has been approved by Central Government and according to the Law, Yogyakarta refuses to be a province but it is a region at province-level.[7][8][9]
  • Papua (formerly: Irian Jaya), since 2001 local government has a greater role. The governor is required to be of Papuan origins.[10]
  • West Papua (formerly: Irian Jaya Barat), which had split from Papua in 2003. A 2008 regulation by the national government confirms that special autonomy status also applies to West Papua.[11]
  • Jakarta Special Capital Region, is the capital of Indonesia. The Governor of Jakarta has the power to appoint and dismiss mayors and regent within the Jakarta Special Capital Region. The local government is allowed to co-operate with other cities from other countries.[12]
Provinces of Indonesia

Second level

Regency (kabupaten) and city (kota), collectively known as daerah tingkat II,[13] is a local level of government beneath the provincial level. However, they enjoy greater decentralisation of affairs than the provincial body, such as provision of public schools and public health facilities.

Both regency and city are at 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 a larger area than the city, and the city has non-agricultural economic activities. A regency is headed by a regent (bupati), and a city is headed by a mayor (wali kota). The regent or mayor and the representative council members are elected by popular vote for a term of 5 years.

Third level

Regencies and cities are divided into districts, which have several variations of terms:

  • Kecamatan headed by a camat. A camat is a civil servant, responsible to the regent (in a regency) or to the mayor (in a city). Kecamatan are found in most parts of Indonesia.[14]
  • Distrik headed by a kepala distrik. Distrik are only found in the provinces of Papua and West Papua and are the equivalent of kecamatan in the rest of Indonesia.[15]
  • Kapanewon (subdivision of regency), headed by a panewu, and Kemantren (subdivision of city), headed by a mantri pamong praja.[16][17] The terms are used in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, and are the equivalent of kecamatan in the rest of Indonesia.

Fourth level

Districts are divided into desa (villages) or kelurahan (urban communities). Both desa and kelurahan are of a similar division level, but a desa enjoys more power in local matters than a kelurahan. An exception is Aceh, where districts are divided into mukim before being subdivided further into gampong.


In Indonesian, as in English, a village (desa) has rural connotations. In the context of administrative divisions, a desa can be defined as a body which has authority over the local people in accordance with acknowledged local traditions of the area. A desa is headed by a "head of village" (Indonesian: kepala desa), who is elected by popular vote.

Most Indonesian villages use the term "desa", but other terms are used in some regions:


Although desa and kelurahan are part of a district, a kelurahan has less autonomy than a desa. A kelurahan is headed by a lurah. Lurahs are civil servants, directly responsible to their camats.


The following table lists the number of current provinces, regencies and cities in Indonesia.[20]

Level Type (Indonesian) Type (English) Head of government (Indonesian) Head of government (English) Number
I Provinsi Province Gubernur Governor 34
II Kabupaten Regency Bupati Regent 416
Kota City Wali kota Mayor 98
III Kecamatan, distrik, kapanewon or kemantren District Camat, kepala distrik, panewu or mantri pamong praja Head of district 6,543
IV Desa or kelurahan Village Kepala desa or lurah Head of village 75,244

See also


  1. ^ "DTE 46 / August 2000: What is regional autonomy?". Dte.gn.apc.org. Archived from the original on 31 December 2011. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ "UNDP Indonesia". Undp.or.id. 25 June 2009. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ "New Order-Style Elections for Indonesian Governors Get 2nd Look". The Jakarta Globe. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  4. ^ "INDONESIA MAP - 33 Maps of Indonesia Provinces - PETA INDONESIA". Indonesia-tourism.com. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ "The Governing of Aceh". Jaringan Komunitas Masyarajat adat Aceh (pdf). USAID. 1 August 2006. Chapter IV, Article 8. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ indahnesia.com. "Provinces of Indonesia - Yogyakarta - Motto: Tut Wuri Handayani - Discover Indonesia Online". indahnesia.com. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ "Yogyakarta Debate Moves From Street to House". The Jakarta Globe. Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ "Wisdom Is Key in Yogyakarta's Status Controversy, Taufiq Kiemas". The Jakarta Globe. Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  9. ^ "Minister sticks to direct election for Yogyakarta governor". Antara News. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 2012.
  10. ^ "Pasal 12 Ayat 1 Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia No. 21 Tahun 2001 Tentang Otonomi Khusus Bagi Provinsi Papua" (PDF). Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ Peraturan Pemerintah Pengganti Undang-Undang ("Government Regulation in Lieu of Law") No. 1, 2008.
  12. ^ "CIA - The World Factbook". Cia.gov. Retrieved 2012.
  13. ^ "Indonesia Regencies". www.statoids.com.
  14. ^ https://www.lhokseumawekota.go.id/aturan/PP_Nomor_17_Tahun_2018.pdf
  15. ^ RI, Setjen DPR. "J.D.I.H. - Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat". dpr.go.id.
  16. ^ "Perubahan Nomenklatur Kelembagaan Kabupaten/Kota di DIY" (in Indonesian). Pemerintah Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta (Regional Government of the Special Region of Yogyakarta). 2 December 2019. Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ a b Muryanto, Bambang (3 December 2019). "Yogyakarta to restore archaic administrative naming convention". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ In other places, "dusun" is an administrative division form below "desa".
  19. ^ In other places, "kampung" is equal with "dusun", except in Bungo, Jambi.
  20. ^ "Rekapitulasi Jumlah PPID Provinsi, Kabupaten DAN KOTA - Republik Indonesia" (PDF). Depdagri.go.id. Retrieved 2018.

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