Bali is facing a population boom. The latest data from the provincial agency showed that the number of residents on the island has reached 4.22 million, an increase from 3.89 million two years ago.
“Currently, the island’s population has reached 4.22 million. This is a remarkable increase. I’m sure that it is not only due to the birth rate, but also urbanization. Many people move to Bali because of its promising economy,” Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika told the press on Friday.
Previous data from the Central Statistics Agency showed that in the ten-year period 2000-2010, Bali recorded its highest population growth of the last 50 years, growing 2.15 percent from 3.15 million to 3.89 million.
The growth rate during the previous four decades had never exceeded 2 percent. Between 1961 and 1971, the island’s population increased by 1.75 percent, while between 1971 and 1980 it increased by 1.69 percent. During the period 1980-1990, growth slowed to 1.18 percent, and during the next decade, 1990 to 2000, it grew 1.26 percent.
Over five decades, population growth has reached 118.5 percent, going from only 1.78 million people in 1961 to 3.89 million people in 2010.
In the latest decade, growth peaked, while the slowest growth was between 1980 and 1990.
With the island’s total land area of 5,636.66 square kilometers, or only 0.29 percent of the total area of Indonesia, population density in Bali is now 673 people per square kilometer, while the national average is only 124 people per square kilometer.
Pastika said that the rising population had become a challenge for the island, and that the local people would have to improve to be able to compete with those from outside Bali.
He stated that the provincial administration continued to implement programs to develop the island’s economy, as well as improving people’s livelihoods and reducing poverty.
“Our economy keeps growing. At least this indicates that we are improving, although we agree that we need to further minimize the economic gap between the island’s areas,” he added.
Next year, the administration will continue to improve its performance in eradicating poverty and improving people’s economic strength through larger budget allocations for its programs. This move is expected to further accelerate the island’s economy.
On Friday, the legislative council ratified the provincial budget for next year, which amounts to Rp 4.2 trillion ( US$435 million ), an increase from last year’s Rp 3.4 trillion.
One of the administration’s leading programs that will continue to be improved is the integrated agricultural program ( Simantri ). Under this program, the administration will establish 100 farming groups, each of which will be supported by a grant of cattle and other facilities worth Rp 200 million.
Besides Simantri, other priority programs, including the JKBM health insurance for poor people holding Bali identity cards, the program to help poor villages called Gerbang Sadha and Jamkrida Bali Mandara, the credit scheme for small and medium enterprises, will also continue to be implemented.