Ethnicity used to be a political taboo in Indonesia, a country with more than 600 ethnic groups, but this has changed since the advent of the Reform era (1998). The government of Indonesia (through Statistics-Indonesia) included a question on ethnicity in its 2000 population census, and continued in the 2010 census. This paper produces the first estimates of ethnic diversity at the national, provincial, and district levels using tabulations provided by Statistics-Indonesia based on the full enumeration data set of the 2010 Indonesia Population Census. It analyzes three measurements of ethnic diversity: the percentage of the largest ethnic group, Ethnic Fractionalization Index (EFI), and Ethnic Polarization Index (EPOI). This paper provides a quantitative start for further studies to link ethnic diversity with many social, economic, and political variables, including studies on the dynamics of ethnic diversity. We conclude that Indonesia is relatively ethnically fractionalized, though not as polarized. Among provinces and districts, we have seen a continuum ranging from ethnically homogeneous to heterogeneous, from the least fractionalized to the most fractionalized, and from the least polarized to the most polarized province or district. Variation in ethnic diversity is also seen across islands although provinces and districts in the Island of Java are more likely to be homogeneous, less fractionalized and less polarized than provinces and districts outside Java Island.
- Ethnic Fractionalization Index
- Ethnic Polarization Index
- ethnic diversity
- largest percentage of ethnic groups