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Papua is a province of Indonesia, comprising the northern coast of Western New Guinea together with island groups in Cenderawasih Bay to the west. It roughly follows the borders of Papuan customary region of Tabi Saireri. It is bordered by the sovereign state of Papua New Guinea to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the north, Cenderawasih Bay to the west, and the provinces of Central Papua and Highland Papua to the south. The province also shares maritime boundaries with Palau in the Pacific. Following the splitting off of twenty regencies to create the three new provinces of Central Papua, Highland Papua, and South Papua on 30 June 2022, the residual province is divided into eight regencies (kabupaten) and one city (kota), the latter being the provincial capital of Jayapura. The province has a large potential in natural resources, such as gold, nickel, petroleum, etc. Papua, along with five other Papuan provinces, has a higher degree of autonomy level compared to other Indonesian provinces.
|Province of Papua|
Bumi Cenderawasih (Indonesian)
"Land of Paradisaea"
Karya Swadaya (Sanskrit)
"Work with one's own might"
|Established||27 December 1949|
|Under Indonesian administration||1 May 1963|
|Latest partition||30 June 2022|
and largest city
|Divisions||8 regencies and 1 city|
|• Body||Papua Provincial Government|
|• Acting Governor||Ridwan Rumasukun|
|• Vice Governor||Vacant|
|• Total||82,680.95 km2 (31,923.29 sq mi)|
|• Rank||7th in Indonesia|
|• Density||13/km2 (32/sq mi)|
|• Ethnic groups||Papuans, Ambonese, Bugis, Butonese, Evav/Kei, Javanese, Makassar, Minahasa, Toraja|
|• Languages||Indonesian (official),|
Papuan Malay (lingua franca) and others
|Time zone||UTC+09:00 (Indonesia Eastern Time)|
|ISO 3166 code||ID-PA|
The island of New Guinea has been populated for tens of thousands of years. European traders began frequenting the region around the late 16th century due to spice trade. In the end, the Dutch Empire emerged as the dominant leader in the spice war, annexing the western part of New Guinea into the colony of Dutch East Indies. The Dutch remained in New Guinea until 1962, even though other parts of the former colony has declared independence as the Republic of Indonesia in 1945. Following negotiations and conflicts with the Indonesian government, the Dutch transferred Western New Guinea to a United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA), which was again transferred to Indonesia after the controversial Act of Free Choice. The province was formerly called Irian Jaya and comprised the entire Western New Guinea until the inauguration of the province of West Papua (then West Irian Jaya) in 2001. In 2002, Papua adopted its current name and was granted a special autonomous status under Indonesian legislation.
The province of Papua remains one of the least developed provinces in Indonesia. As of 2020, Papua has a GDP per capita of Rp 56.1 million (US$ 3,970), ranking 11th place among all Indonesian provinces. However, Papua only has a Human Development Index of 0.604, the lowest among all Indonesian provinces. The harsh New Guinean terrain and climate is one of the main reasons why infrastructure in Papua is considered to be the most challenging to be developed among other Indonesian regions.
The 2020 census revealed a population of 4,303,707, of which the majority were Christian. The official estimate for mid 2022 was 4,418,581 prior to the division of the province into four separate provinces. The official estimate of the population in mid 2022 of the reduced province was 1,034,956. The interior is predominantly populated by ethnic Papuans while coastal towns are inhabited by descendants of intermarriages between Papuans, Melanesians and Austronesians, including other Indonesian ethnic groups. Migrants from the rest of Indonesia also tend to inhabit the coastal regions. The province is also home to some uncontacted peoples.
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