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254 255 MOHR: Soil and Population Density

MOHR: Soil and Population Density

very poor, utterl y deserted areas mentioned litt le e lse as yet in the way of newly form ed so il factor. Witn ess the following facts: S lawi and
nutmeg and mace. Curiously enough, all t hese material. Such juvenile volcanic ash-soi ls are Tegal derive the!r fertility from the youn g vol-
isla nds are volcanic. Buru, Ceram a nd Misool a bove, also fairl y prosperous plains. extraordinary ric h. Is it an y wonder, then, that ca no, Siamat, vIa the river Ka li Gung; Pur-
are much larger, but not volcanic, and these the The above ma y be s ummarized as follows : It is true that a people ri sk the dangers of anothe r eruption and bohnggo and Sukaradja lie on that same moun-
company ignored. fall of rain may be a bl essing to an agricultural ar parched eagerly choose suc h land to settle on? tain's so uth ea stern spu r ; K laten has the fin est
In the Small Sunda Islands group we have Bali from drought, but it is eq ually true that in the tropical zone Now steep slopes are a lways more difficult to Me:api-soil, Tulungagung has the same fin e soil
dominated by Mount Batur, Lombok by Mount in the na rrowe r sense of the term - the zone in w hic h the bring under cu ltivation and a lso to live on than d erived from K lut and Probolinggo gets it from
Rinjani . These two volcanoes have provided Netherla nds Indies a re situa ted - too much ra in is bad plains; it is therefore that the more level river- the La mongan volcano. On th e oth er hand
a nd . further, that a bundant rainfall is t he cause o f continu-
their respecti ve territories with first-rate juvenile a lly increasing impoveris hment of the soil. The o nly regen-
lowlands at the foot of the volcanoes are pre- Ambarawa a nd Sa latiga are on old er volcanic
soil, on which has arisen a dense , prosperous and e ra tio n o f the soil tha t s pells radical improveme nt is that ferred to the ir s lopes. Moreover as a rule the soi l ; Blora,. Tj epuh , Tuban , Bodjonegoro and
highl y cu ltivated population. Sumba, on the produced by v olcanoes. \ Vitho ut active volca noes the plains get more sunshine ; this is ~ matter ~f di - Lamongan 111 a tertiary area , far away from the
other hand, has had very little volcanic influence, fulure ca n o nl y mean retrogressio n. But re trogression may rect importance to the vegetation b ut it is a lso nearest v?lcano. At Paree the soi l is composed
its dreary , desert-li ke wastes being composed be greatly reta rded a nd counteracted by human action. indirectly significa nt, for the re~son that the of Klut-eJecta; these are not fin e as in Tulunga -
chiefly of bare, calcareous roc ks. All there is of This last is the s ple ndid task of the science of agriculture. ferti lity of the soil is promoted thereby. g ung, but .more sand y a nd st ony. Not
good soi l is washed or blown from the hi ghlands Much has already been ac hieved alo ng this line, a nd Th e .following di stricts in West Java (see ~ o eas.y to lrnga t e eIth e r, a nd , besid es, ra th er too
proba bly much more will be achieved in the future.
in to the lowla nds a nd hence we find , besides the ta ble) llius trate the above. Th e most juve nile Juvend e. Hence the fi gnre f or each district can be

Volcanoes Di stricts on slopes Population Re ma rks

THE RELATION BET\\TEEN SOIL AND POPULATION The Gede h-soils a re no longer full y juveni le . The dis-
Gedeh ( 1) Tjibadak 296
Pat je t
3 12
tricts ( I) . (3 ) a nd (4) include a lso man y older no n-
Gedeh-sails. (5 ). e ven if the capita l is excluded . is
by (4) Tjibeber 315 hig h on account of the vici nity of this large town
(5) S uka bumi 562' (vegeta ble a nd flower culture).
E. C. J. MOHR, Ph.D.* Tangkuba n (6) Tjika langwet a n 198 The nor t hern s lopes of th e T a ngkuban P ra hu a re a l-
Pra hu (7) Purwa ka rta 189 ready rather senile; rejuve nescences have taken place
E xtension A gronomist, Colonial Institute of Amsterdam !' late Director , 9eneral (8) Segala hera ng 19 1 to th e South in the direc ti o n of (9) a nd ( 10 ) . (9 ) li es
A gricultural E xp eriment S lalion , Builenzorg; lale .Geol9gls1 and .Ped~logtsl, Depl. (9) Le mba ng 441 hi gher. With pata t ae and vegetable culture; ( 10) has
of A griculture, BILiten zorg; Special Professor of S OLI Sc tence, Unwerstty of Utrecht. ( 10) Tjima hi 37 1* more plallls a nd , moreo ver, has t he ga rrison as a n
o utle t.
1. JAVA. If we examine the la rge volumes Gunt ur (I I) Leles 4 52 ~ ot h dis tricts have sawa hs wi t h s ple ndid yields i be-
If we wis h to ma ke a study of the rela tion be- conta inin g the Ce nsus Returns for 1930! we fin d ( 12) T rago ng 514 Sides fis h culture.
tween popula tion density a nd soil , we must con- that t o each o f its several pa rts dealing WIth Ga lunggung ( 13) Ga ru t 552* (13) and (14) have m ore pla ins t han (IS) and (16).
fin e ourselves t o regions wh ere th e distributi on West J ava (I) , Ce ntra l J ava (II) a nd East Java (14) T asikma laya 637' (16) lies high a nd is accide nted. incl ud es a lso no n-
is not de pendent , or a t least not a ltogethe r de- plus M a dura (III) is a ppended a map. on \ .hlch ( IS ) Tjiawi 476 Galunggung-soils, but all soils a re volca nic.
pend ent, on mea ns of subsist a nce which a re the country is divid ed into admil1lstratlOna l
( 16) Singapa rna 3 17
enti rely, or a lmost entirely , inde pende nt of th e units ca lled district s and coloured in e ig ht shades Tj e rim ai ( 17) M adj a le ngka 530* ( 17) a nd ( 18) have more lowla nds. Besides rice. sugar
na ture of th e soil , such as tra de (import-tra d e, indica ting popula tion d ensity . Those who do
( 18) R adjaga luh 520 is already c ulli va ted here. But (17). li ke ( 19) . (2 0 )
export-tra de, tra nsit-tra de); mining ; industry ( 19) Tjili m us 368 a nd (21) , a lread y includes some bad tertia ry a reas.
not know Java a nd its soil will lea rn little fr? m (2 0) Kuninga n 354
based o n mined raw ma t eri a ls, or on ma te ria ls those maps and see nothing but colours showll1g (2 I) Telaga 437
brought from a di st a nce a nd th e like. \IIIe must that th e popula tion is ve ry dense in and arou~d
confine ourselves, then, t o specific ally agriw itural the big cities, and furth er, tha t there .are c~rtall1
, These fig ures for the dls tncts have been recalculated afte r deduc tlOn of the popula tion of the municipalities and towns
areas, where a gric'u/t lIYe (tn d /lOrtic·ltitn re and districts where there are less than 75 ll1habltants a nd naturally the a rea of these. '
f orestry are t.he 01l1y, or at least by f or the 1II0st i·l/1.- per km' ; many where th ere are between 150 and
portant, meall s of earning a living . soils, not even turned brown yet, a re to be found explain ed O~t th e. ground of tIl e nature of the soil
500 and severa l with between 500 and 1000 al - 111 (9) to (14); most weather-worn and lixi v iated combtned wtth cltmattc couditio1ls. But th ere a re
As the Netherla nd s Indi es is still a t the present tho~ gh they do not include a la rge city. But as
time largely an agricultura l region of this kind , (by heavy rain s !) are those of (6) to (8). Note- exceptiona l cases too. For instance : the hig h
soon as we begin to notice the topography and \~o.rthy are the corresponding popu lation den - figure f~r Pek~lon gan and th e surrounding
it is a pa rticu la rl y suita ble obj ect of stud y in geology of Java, th e climate and the SOl i t y pes of
connection with our problem. Thanks to the s ItIes of th e s l:lrrou.~ding~ of the large r towns such country IS certa1l11y due to the batik industry
the different pa rts of the island, these ma ps be- as SU.ka bUI:ll, !Jlmahl, Garut, Ma dj a leng ka , loca ted .there, a nd tha t of Kudus t o the na ti ve
exce llent Ce nsus, t a ken in 1930,' we know fa irl y
we ll wha t th e population is in different parts of g in to t a ke on a grea t er significa nce for us. . to whIc h TJandJur (500) Buitenzorg (577) and clgaret .lndu ~ try. More sig nificant sti ll in this
In general we may assume that whe re the ~Oll Mr. Cornelis (550) may be added. Such a cor- connectlOn IS th~t b e twe~n .Slawi and Tegal
the archipelago. These fi gures show th a t the is good a nd fe rti le, agricultura l crops wlll bring
d ensity va ries from less than on e t o more than a respondence mig ht in dicate that the said figures t~ere bes th e Adl\verno dIstrict, complet ely ir-
in a rich harvest with th e result that th e popu- were du e more to the vicinity of a large town . ri gated but n ot includin g a single large town .
thousa nd souls per km 2 • In othe r words th e lation wh ich cultivated th em is not only satisfied
differences are enormous. H e nce to treat th e But tha t would mean that in Central and East The populatlOn d enSIty th ere is 163& - the high-
with past success, but is, furth er, insP.ired. to Java and e lsewhere, too, the same figures would est of any country di strict in the Neth erland s
wh ole arch ipe lago as if it we re a uni form area brin g more a nd more land under cultlvatlOn .
a nd could be studied as s uch is out of the q ues- be found in th e ne ig hbourhood of large towns. Indi es. Without Slamat's good' gifts such a
If on the othe r hand the ha rvest is poor, th e ThIS IS, however, by no means the case. Take numerous population would be out of question
tion. tenuency will be to cultivate more intensively
For, whi le the ave rage for the whole t erritory the following districts, for instance (capitals there.
or to move away to another place where more excluded): As a matter of fact th ese good gifts of Siamat's,
is put at 31.89, we find Java and Mad ura run-
nin g up to 316.11 and on the other hand, the s uccess may be anticipated. and also those of the Dic ng volcanoes were car-
On the island of J ava - and as we shall see S lawi 797 Ambarawa 368
Outer Provinces fa lling to 10.73 - a s urpri sing Tegal 1052 Sala t iga
ried southwards with th e wa'te rs of' the river
later , this really applies to the whole of th e 387
contra st indeed. And within the Oute r Prov- P e ka la ngan 1486 Ba yalali 360 Seray u to the sea . . And th e sea gave them back
Neth erlands Indies - experience has shown that to th e la nd in th e form of sand and dun es along
inces themselves we meet with very great dif- the 'most f ertile soil types are related to volcanoes.
Purbalingga 7I 2 Sragen 35 3
ferences. For Ba li a nd Lombok th e figure is S uka radj a 746 Bla ra 305 the coast from Maos on far to th e E astward .
\II.Ie find th em on their slopes, at their base and Kebumen 795 Tj epuh 236 Further on other rivers worked to the same end
175.18, for Ce lebes 22.39 , for Suma tra 17.43 and in th e basins of rive rs, the wa ter and si lt of Purworedjo 8 37 Badjanegara 232 with the result that a lon g the who le South coast
then aga in there is Borneo with 4.02 a nd N ew whic h comes from a volcano. B ut s uch volcanoes Kl a ten 1023 Tuban 3 12
Guinea with 0.73. H ence we wi ll consider the from Maos t o Djocja a ll the coasta l districts
must be recellt must have been active within th e Kudu s 900 Lamonga n 341
islands and is la nds groups separately first and Tulungag un g 77 0 Paree 335
show an average den sity of between 500 and
most recent ieological period or be active still. 900. Eastward and westward Siamat could
then finally compare these very greatly va rying Old v olcanoes are covered with more or less Probalinggo 710 Bondowoso 278.
territories with each other. hardly shed it~ beneficence because of the pres-
worn-out , se nile soil, which, still cultiva ble and A lthou gh, as we have seen, th e fact that it ence of older hIghlands. Hence we find districts
physica lly good for vegetation, is very much contains a fairl y large town , does influence th e there with only from 300 to 400 inha bita nts per
* Reprinted from Com ptes R elld ll S d ll Congres 11ller lla- impoverished . On a nd round a recent volcano
l1'o1lal de Gengra phie, A msterdam , 1938, Tome D e uxieme, density of the population of the district, yet in km.'
Sect ion IlI e. pp. 4;8-493 ( 1938) . the so il is usuall y composed of or d erived from Java the nature of the soil is a more important Th e country surroundin g th e l\IIerapi is an -
1 The Report is being published in a series of v olumes, the volca nic ashes and sand, in fact often contains
fiTst of which a ppeared in 1933 .
256 257 MOAR: Soil and Population Density
MOA R: Soil and Population Density
doardjo (455), Modjoasri (541), Porong (696), thi s reduction of rainfa ll must not go too far.
bacco c ulture in t he Native States). On the Gempol (656), Bangil (479*) . Bot h to the North I t must not Rroceed t o the point where there is
other remarkable case. This volca no, t he last east ern ba nks of the ri vers Kali Denkeng a nd
eruption of which was only seven years ago, has a nd to the South of this series th e fi gures are be- insufficient moisture for the food crops, so that
Ka li Solo the de nsity sud denly drops from more low (400), and in the ter tiary marls of the ad- these might consequentl y suffer a nd fin all y die
recent ly sent its ashes, sa nd a nd sto nes more. t ha n 800 to less than 50.0 - much less ash from from droug ht.
especiall y in a weste rly to so ut h-westerly dI- jacent Gunung K endeng even below 200.
t he Merapi reached thiS a rea. Nor oes t he Above we spoke of th e benefi cent effect of In order t o correct unfavo urabl e conditions
rect ion' to t he North lies G unung Merbab u, density exceed 500 in the highla nd s to the N~rth . volcanoes. But not a ll volcanoes are the sa me. in regard t o wa t er s upply, th e c ulti vat or, in th e
barring th e way and to th e £.ast a rin gwall, o,:",eci The proximity of the la rge to\~' n o~ S ura~arta T he above mentioned ones all provide basic present case th e na ti ve of the Netherla nd s Indies
wh ich only light , powde red eJ ect~ can be carne does not see m to infl uence t he situatIO n ; nelt~e~ a pplies irrigation. The table below will se rve
to cover t he land as aeria l deposits. Round the rock, with muc h lime, magnesia, iron, potassium,
does Magela ng affect the surroundll1g co untl y, phosphoric acid in them. But volca noes often to make clearer the effects of this irriga tion :
foot run the rivers which sort ~ut th e you ~g a ll depend s on th e volcanic prod ucts - ~n the Here we not e:
produce acid rocks containing muc h silicic acid,
fertile soil-ingred ients a nd deposit .them aga ll1 soil ; and rive rs act as frontierlin es even 111 t he in (1) . There a re two reasons for the fact that
as a lluvia l types of soil still more fertile tha n t hat little lime a nd little iron. The soil derived from
matte r of density of popu la tIOn. s uch rocks is in general ph ysically less loose and it is impossibl e to use irrigation as a mea ns for
fou nd on the moun ta in slopes ; to th e 'West runs
often very sticky and heavy; chemically less rich, providing the lacking food crops.
too. In J ava the re is only one region in which a. The la nd is convex in a ll directions co nsist-
such roc ks occur to any great extent, namely ing of ridges and hill ocks, on which irrigation
Bantam. Where they predominate the fertility water ca nnot be broug ht. For exa mpl es from
of the soil, hence the agricultura l returns, hence Bantam see above. Lime platea ux in South
the density of the pop ula tion is natura ll y less Pria nger, na mely, Djampangkulon 64, Si ndan -
than it would have been if the rocks had been of barang 42, Bungbulang 57, Pameung peuk 55 ,
t he sa me nature as those derived from Galung- Karangnunggal 88, Tjikatomas 92, Tjidjulang
g ung or Siamat or Merapi or Klut. The fol- 79, fall under the same head . Also Tjilatjap
lowing districts illustrate this: Pamarayan 291 , 175, one of the lowest averages in Ce ntra l J ava,
Ra nkasbitung 173, Lebak 79, Parung kudjang and Panggul 139 in South Kedi ri as well as th e
66, Tjilangkahan 47 a nd Tjibaliyung 20 - this Southeastern part of Genteng 111, a lmost un -
last being the lowest figure for Java. inhab ited.
The poverty of the soil in these last mentioned b. Water ca n be brought up, but this water
districts is due partly to the fact that the bleached itself comes from areas where the soil is poor
Bantam tuffs are a lready primarily poor in plant a nd th erefore it contai ns little plant food or none.
food, and partly to the climate. There is a yea rly A case of this ki nd ha rdly ever occ urs in Java,
rainfall here of between 3 a nd 5 m a nd this leaches but in the Outer Provinces (Sumatra , Borneo
the soil thoroughly. With StIch a rainfall the soil a nd New G uinea ) it is fairl y common . Con-
must be very jllvenile to prod1ice enough food for the c1usion: irriga tion is useless.
population, a nd si nce there are few instances of In (2) . If irrigation is applied in a reas where

In general In ge neral In ge neral

100 mu ch rain water s ufficient ra in water too lillie rain water

Soil grows poorer soil grows poor in the long run; some vegetation s uffers and finally dies
years there is drought from drought

Irrigation to provide pIa,,' food Irrigation to i,lSure Irrigation to provide wa ter

successful harves t
im possible possible effect va ri able impossible possi ble

popula tion sparse population fairly population density medium population sparse population dense
to very dense to very dense

( I) (2) (3) (4 ) (5 )
suc h juvenile soil in t he world , it is safe to say the soil is worn out and poor as a result of much
that areas where heavy rain falls througil01tt the rainfa ll a nd th e water introd uced is derived from
yea1 are as a mle b1tt sparsely pop1llated. E ven young highlands (volcanic peaks), very great
soil which was originally very rich, on the slopes s uccess is sometimes achieved . Insta nces of this
_ F IGURE 71 (see p. 256)-
of a volcano for insta nce, must , under such are: Buitenzorg 577 *, Sukabumi 562 *, Tasik-
climatic circumstances, decrease in fertility so malaya 637 *, Madyalengka 530*, etc.
grea tly, as soon as the virile stage is passed and In (3) . If the soil is already old and more or
it has become more or less se nile, that the popu- less worn out, th e case is in line with tha t in-
Typica l too in thi s connection is the co urse of lation decreases t oo. The northern slopes of dicated under (2) and then irrigation is certai nl y
th e Progo to the So uth the Opak, t o th e East the river 'Bra;l las, especially there. where, near
the Denk~ng and Solo rive rs. T o the No~th the Dieng hig hla nds are a case in point : on these beneficent, especia ll y as a means of suppl y ing
Blitar, the ejecta from Klut enter ItS. waters, .to slopes and adjacent to the very densely populated pla nt food, eve n when the rainfa ll is not ove r 4 m
t here is none. And now for t he comparative be sorted or mixed a nd then. depos ited aga ll1 .
density of the population (see Fig. 71). lowla nds of Pekalongan (lvViradessa (979) , a nnua ll y but abo ut 2 m. In regions where the
The ex tensive higher portIOns of Sn;ngat, Pekalonga n (1486*), Batang (601 *), K edung- average yea rly rainfall is sufficient in th e lon g
To the South a nd South W est, where the Ngadi luweh and Paree a re as yet too a nd on
yo ungest sa nd and block strea ms came w~ see a wuni (929)) li e Doro with 142, Bandar with 246, run but an occasional year of drought has t o be
acco unt of excessive sa nd , gravel a nd stones to Bawang with 238, and th e yea rly rainfall there reckon ed with, irrigation is undo ubtedly a
density ra nging betwee n 543 and 653 (1), more bring the ave rage higher tha n abo ut 400. Along
to the South on the allu via l soil, from 800 to is 3Y. to 7 m! The northern slopes of Tang- blessing as a defense aga inst crop-fa ilure, in that
t he Brantas the fi gure is higher (Tulung Agung kuban Prahu a lready menti oned in t he first it ensures a satisfactory water supply anyhow.
900' westwards from here, across the Progo (770*),' Ked iri (490*), but then come Pa p: r table show population density fig ures below 200
va ll~y , 378 to 500, and t hen a long the coast the (610)' Wa rudj ajeng (72 1) ; Kertosono (609. ),
These conditions are found in many districts
on acco unt ' of this same excessive rainfall. where the population density figures a re betwee n
fi gures rise once more. On th e east ern slopes D' on;bang (672*), Mod joagung (637); ModJ ~­ We may say, then, that the above italicized 250 and 450.
t he density is 600, a bove these 400 a nd on th e k~rto (556*), Krian (703) , Taman (617), SI- line may be expa nd ed as follows: Within certain
saddle betwee n Merapi a nd ]\II erba~ u , where In (4). It is impossible to crea t e a water
there is extensive forest reserve which more- , An asterisk means that. as mentioned bef?r~. the ~g~{~
limits, the less rainfall the more fertile the soil and supply where there simply is no wa t er avai la ble.
over t he yo ungest ashes did not reach , only 245. in Question has been arri ved a.t after the Pd9Pu.a~Hhn a n be~n the denser the population. This fertility is more But this co ndi t ion of things is not found a ny-
At th e foot th e figures rise to 800 or even to area of the (main lown) cap it al of the lstnc ave stable, less apt to be a passing ph ase. Naturally where in Java. In the most arid parts of t he
subtracted from the total popula tion and the total area.
more than 1000 (Kia ten , the ce ntre of the to-
MOHR: Soil and Population Density 258

island there is an average rainfall of 800 mm . less than 30% of the total area and the sawahs
There are years occasionally when it is only 400 less than 9%.
mm or even a little less, but these are exceptions. 2. In all districts where the density of the
Yet there are parts of Java in the extreme population is more than 800 the land under culti-
North East of the island which cannot be ir- vation is more than 50 % of the tot I area and
rigated, or rather, where there is no irrigation the sawahs more than 40%.
and where no rain falls for six, or sometimes 3. Between the high figures there appear
eight months. One of these is the Sumberwaru also very low ones, a nd , contrariwise, high ones
district, where the population is 87 per km2, al- occur among groups of low ones; this fact is ex-
though the soil would surely be fertile, if only plained by difference in soil types.
there were water. On the Small Sunda Islands The comparatively low fig ures in the right-
are areas of this character, which are more ar id hand upper section indicate that there agri-
st ill and more thinly populated. cultural ret urns are small. This is due to the
In (5). In cases where it is possible, thanks fact that the soil is poor (Bantam) or bad (on ~ LAND UNDER CULTIVATION:

to high mountains in the hinterland, to bring marls), or else the irrigat ion is still insufficiently 10 " 20 PERCENTAGE OF THE TOTAL SURFACE
irrigation water to a relative ly arid region where organised as in N.W. Batavia, for instance; al- ~s so 55
the soil is rich we find the greatest fe rtility. though the population has done the best it co uld ,
Along the North Coast of East Java, where the und er the circumstances. 9r
rainfall is less than l Y, metres, it is irrigation, The high figures found in the right-hand lower
a nd the very extensive c ultivation of sugar, section show that in those parts irrigation was 9.
which this has mad e feasible, which are respon- generally out of the question, as on the island Z
s ible for the density of the population in Pasuruan of Madura. The population was forced, by want, o as 19,
(656*), Probolinggo (710*), and Sitobondo (510*).
Back of these and at a s lightly higher a ltitude
to make use of every square foot of land . There
are no more forests, nor wood for fuel. The ~
~ 80
are districts which are not irrigable and which in people are partly dependent on salt-making and ~
spite of the fa ct that they get a little more rain , other industries for a living. They make what ~ 75
show a very much lower ave rage population they can out of growing maize. Manuring the ~?
density. There are: Tengger (Pas.) 149, Teng- ground is no use as the water supply is the
~ 70
ger (Prob.) 127, Gading 130, Pradjekan 115. minimum factor. Z
The population of the last na med is practically Where we find compa ratively high figures in :J
speaking all settled along the river Sampean. the left-hand lower section, that means that the o G5
Sugar-growing, which is economically de· districts concerned are situated in the lim e area Z
pendent on high yield of ca ne and high returns of the Gunung Sewu. It is difficult to layout ~ 60
of sugar, is chiefly restricted to areas falling rice fields there, as it is in Madura, but the lime- 0
under (5) with naturally rich, volcanic soils; and stone soil is not unfertile. Besides the popula- W 5S
because it in volves so much hand- labour, it ac- tion can, if need arises, migrate to the rich agri- \!J
centuates the population figures st ill further.
The topography of a district does the same,
in the sense, that much level ground increases
cultural lands of the Native States of Central
Where in the upper portion of the graph, be-
~ ~5

the average, whereas a rather hilly region tween 20 and 55%, several high figures are found W
decreases it, especially where large tracts among low ones then these apply to districts ~o
of this highland country are wooded and re- where the soil is fertile, but which include a large ;,;
served in the interests of irrigation. amount of forest reserve, which means that a com- oJ JS
All the various factors so far discussed com- paratively small a rea is under cultivation. Areas W
bine to produce a striking correlation between where large tracts of highlands are occupied by ~ 30
the density of the population and the percentage European plantations, are also thinly populated
of the surface of a district, that is under cultiva- and show densities between 200 and 400. ct
tion; a nd , secondarily, how much of this has We see, then, that it is possible to trace and illS
been made into sawahs, i.e. wet rice fields. The point out the correlation between the density of w
graph on p . 259 shows the mutua l relation of the population in any given district and (a) the ~ 10 '1.,..
\!J • 87
these two factors in a considerable number of nature of the soil and (b) hydrographic conditions,
districts. The population figures are those (c) the resulting use of the soil and (d) the ii: IS
quoted in the Census Returns for 1930. The agricultural returns. ,)'
percentages are from the tables given in the To go into the question of these returns in
Agricultural Atlas published by the Govern-
ment in 1926. The hyperbolic curves indicate
what percentage of the total area is occupied
by sawahs. Comparatively low figures are
marked by a square, hig h figur es by a circle.
detail would take us too far afield. Suffice it to
say the average yield of padi, when the harvest
is successful, ranges between 8Y, and 44 piculs
per bahu; a and that, since density of the popu-
lation depends on the amount of available food,
which, again, depends on the yield of the culti-
0 5 10 15 20
l:.- Ja JS ~o 'ts sp 5S 60 GS 70
75 80 es
The graph shows that vable land. i.e., the sawahs, these yie ld, fig ures LAND UNDER CULTIVATION:
•• 100

1. In all districts where the population is less must correlate with the different densities. Be-
than 100 per km2, the land under cultivation is low are fi gu res for a series of adjacent districts:
- FIGURE 72 (see p. 258)-

Padi yield Population Padi yield Population

Districts pieul per balm density Districts picul per bahu density

Pandeglang + Tjimanuk 3572 293 Modjoagung . 44 637

Menes 2872 136 Ploso 19 274
Parungkudjang 2172 66 Ngimbang (Mantup) 14 163

Burniaju 3572 441 Krian (+ Bulang) 3872 703

Madjenang 2372 149 Gunung Kendeng 15 412
260 26 1 MOHR: Soil and Population Density
MOHR: Soil and population Density
basic. Hence the population figures for these EAST COAST OF SUMATRA WEST COAST OF SUMAT RA
We must be careful, however, in interpreting
these figures, as often possibilities for occupancy
volcanic areas may be expected to correspond
more nearly to those for Bantam tha n t o those
for the rest of Java. In the non-volcanic areas '"
." '"c
u '"c:
exert a greater influence on the density of the
"'" ~] ~ b] ~
cc'" - '"
population than the differences in the yielding in Sumatra, where poor clayst ones, ' and still , '"
power of the soil.
poorer quartz sandstones constitute the greater Coastal "
I=l ......
.- ~
~ ~ E
(J ~

.=" £
ct:;::: Sub-sections
just inland
~ ·o
'iii (J

Z ~!3
cc- Sub-sections
just inland
Sub-sections .- 00 .- 00
It would be difficult to point out districts in part of the parent material of the soil, the popu- .~ s:: "". t:.o.
I c:_ .~ ~ from coast .~ c 1 c:
"". t:.£l. _ .~ c from coast
Java where there is no volc~nic influence .at all. lation may be expected to be considerably less @0 0. c: " c: 0 c: 0 o. c: " " 0

Those in the Southern portIOn of the PrIangan dense. And so it is in fact . Striking examples u &::0 5
"u ~" ~:aa "u
Residencies and those North of the Salatiga- of this are to be found both along the East coast
> u" '0
> U >
(a) .S (b) (a) (b )
Modjokerto line approach ~ost ne':lrly t o .t his a nd the w.est coast of the island. --- - --
condition. In the form er, which are tn a t ertiary In the form er lies Mt. M erapi, which had sev- Natal - 8
marl and limestone area, the density remains eral v iolent eruptions a century ago a nd has Tam ia ng - 17 Ophir + 14
less than 100; in the latter, which include many since ejected a considerable a mount of fairly Lower-Langka t + 34 Manindjau ++ 72
teak forests on rid ges of calcareous rock and basic ash in numerous lesser eruptions. The 52- 48 ++ Upper-Langkat 2.17-220 +++ Old-Agam
marl, the averages r~nge between 130 and 300. sub-section in which the soil profited most by Lower-D eli +++ 208- 139 169 +++ Fort v/ d. Capellen
These fi gures never rIse t o the level of those for this action is Oud-Agam (in which Fort de Kock 84 +++ Upper-Deli Pariaman ++ 169

better volcanic areas; on the other hand only is situated), where the population density in
Serd a ng ++ 86 152-132 ++ Padangpandjang
1930 was 237, or not counting the ca pital, 220 -
Pada ng-Bedage i + 79-69 Padang + 204- 139
volcariic regions where soil has already become Batubahra + 57 99-94 + Solok
senile all over show fi gures as low as 300 or less. the highest figure in the whole of Sumatra. The 66-62 + Sime) ungun Painan + 38
Fort van der Capellen sub-section, to the South Asaha n + 36-35 13 + Muaralabu
2. THE SMALL SUNDA ISLANDS. Bali East of Mt. Merapi, also shared the beneficent Lab ua nbat u - 14 Kerintji ++ 18
and L ombok. It would be too soon to apply the influence of this volca no on the soil and there Bagan Si Api-api - 4 .5-2 . 1 9 - Muarabungo
standard for Java to these two I slands. For the density is 169. T o the North East is Suliki Muko·muko 5
organised European Government, which J ava with 92 and Pajakumboh with 48. Beyond these
has known for several centuries, was introduced sub-sections the influence is no longer disce rnible
on these islands less than half a century ago. and we find Bankinang with 18, Kamparkiri whehredthehrefore the SOIl IS more worn-out and ~~hf~t i~ ~~e ridges jufst menti<?ned include some
dIeac .e ' f as no su b -sectIOn. .
With a n average . e course 0 weatherIng p d I
The standard t o be a pplied is that of the Outer with 2.7 and Siak with 0.9, the soil getting more
e n ~ lt y 0 more than 90. If we look at th luvlal deposit rather better t han ~~ uce an a -
Provinces, and accord ing to that Bali and Lom-
bok fall into the class of the most densely popu-
and more exhausted and the inhabitants fewer
and fewer, those that are left having settled ex-
~entnsula. of sout~western Celebes and rega rd Con~eque.ntly ~ultivating rice can b: ~:dagte.
~a':::ed U£lt, w\see tn t~e So uth the grea t volcano pay tn
and 35'thiS region . Th e Yle . Id ranges between e 110
lated areas, thanks to the predominant influence clusively along the river banks sur rounded by
of yo ung volcanoes a nd excellent irrigatio n. The M om po ata ng, tn the ce ntral region from Plc'IP' Jba hu , t.he average being 201{ pic
a n almost uninha bited country. . a h u. n ava thiS
sub-section of Gianjar has more than 450; the The following table presents two series of sub - N~:~h ~~ PTre-~~re basic I.e u c~te rock, and in the be b5 pic
P h' h . '
average would certainly

figures for the other southern sub-sect!ons range sections (a) along the coast a nd (b) just inland
e ora Ja volcal1lc highlands. For this in the' Ig er , tn ~om e parts of East J ava, and
between roughly 190 and 380; according to the from this. If the soil were equally good or equally f:~b~~t a7thole the population density average d bl d Padang Highland s we sho uld find it
a mount of sparsely populated, wooded highlands ou e .
bad in all of them they would probably not vary The rest of the South an d East D' .. .
or arid limestone tracts they include. The For the Minahasa the hi hi I .
greatly in population density. As it is the in- very sp I I IVlSlOn IS
Northern portion is very much affected by the fluence of recent volcanism is plainly apparent. siderati~~set~ePsouPbu da.t e~: If whe leave out of con-
. - IVlslon were th I
very dry East monsoon; owing to the fact that
for six months of the year there is no rain, the
We might enumerate all the divisions and
sub-sections in Sumatra and we should find that
thl-average de~slty IS less than 5 inh. p . km2 h~bft~nan~ oil wells, there are 515,Og~e s';;~lscf~_
E he populatIOn of this island has been u .d d 't g good 360,000 km2, which mea ns a
popula tion density is only just above 100.
We may say that in general during the East
almost in every case the comparative density or
otherwise of the population could be accounted thi~o~::~Ju.l: ~r a~out
d I
thirty years and
as tncreased considerabl N
du~i~; ensl y of 1.4: Extensive forests and fields f
grass vegetatIOn cover the m . .0
le~~~\t~~\~ro~vth a~
monsoon the northern slopes of the Small Sunda for by the nature of the soil, and especially by plains a nd marshes All th O ounta ms, . hills,
Islands suffer from drought without any chance the presence or absence of recent volcanic in- will . continue for a \J'hile cultivated Th . . .IS country IS un-
i~ ~en:N;~~~: ~~ ~~~e
of irrigation worth mentioning; with the result fluence . Yet there are exceptions, besides of ere bank f t'h . e populatIOn hves only along the
soil good ci;:f:edvr the so e flvers.
cent volcal1lc material will b~ relativel;o:;: re
that the population is less dense here than on the course such cities as Palembang, which is greatly
southern slopes, even in cases where the soil is affected by commerce and shipping interests. h
grea ter than that in areas where the '1' uc
derived from exactly the same parent material.
The Small Sunda Islands lying directly East-
There is Kerintji, for instance, which is not suf-
ficiently densely populated for a sub-section with
poor that th e I' . SOl IS so
grea test difficultyP:~\v~e;t~~fvi~;ef~~i~e the
lar~ partly. or entirel~h~~ic~~~ca
popu atlOn which ma b II d '
ward of Bali and Lombok are all much less a fine volcano in it. We may reasonably expect paratively plentiful Th y e f.a e com-
~ifea~~:t ~~2v:fi~u8r~; ~i~dve~fieve.
(7~~ Te~n~~~ (~~f
densely populated, but then for the most part that its density average of 18 will rise in the 5. In BORNEO there' t .
they have not the same favourable young vol- course of time especially since the country has and active volcano. vVe 1~:yO th slfngle young
canic soil or the same irrigation possibilities. been opened up during the last decades by means to find the avera d ' ere ore expect
They lack proper lowland tracts. There is not of new trunk roads. The fact that on the East lower than it is i~e eithnslt~ of the population
In point. of fact the figu~~ fo~mD~~~hoB Celebes.
k 7. Finally we come to NEW GUINEA W
a single volcano in Sumba, Rotti or Timor. The
population density ranges between 73 in Mau-
coast the averages mentioned are less than on
the West coast is accounted for the prevalence a whole IS 4 I th \V .. . orneo as
10nnO\~ of no ~oung volcanoes in the secti~n be~
mere (Flores), which is very dry but possesses in the former region of European plantations we find Sin 'k n e est,olvlslon (average 5)/,) aregf~ g to t e N~ therl a nds. Old volcanic rocks
young volcanoes, and less than 10 - the mini- occupying large tracts of tobacco and rubber But th ~ ~howtng an average of 16)/, soil a~n10~Pto~adlcally. The p.arent rocks of the
mum _ as in the almost desert wastes of lime- land, whereas in the latter we find chiefly native ence th:~~ ~~~:!~I;~tIO~ has disclosed th e pres~ and older ; th: 7e~~~i~art de~lmentary, tertiary
stone country in East Sumba. rice fields. material of the soil p~tnt:. of o~d hvolcanic ,Parent North coast and the S~~th Ees~ areas are the
3. SUMATRA's soil is very different from 4. In CELEBES co nditions are very largely
this; hence its figur~ is ~n
have non e at all and h '
as but h.t tl e of
e apa ng a nd Stntang
plains we find h
This I '
as coast . In the
ehavy but not really fertile clay
that found in Java. There is ha rdly a spot in the same as in Sumatra. There too we find rise above about 2y,ereffhe l1!Sver a nd nowhere popul=~i~ atnJ wythe average density ~f th~
Division of Borneo (~~
Java where young volcanic influence is not pres- n oes not exceed anywhere 2 th
ent to some degree; the soil in Sumatra is for the
yo ung volcanic areas, na mely in southwestern
Celebes, in the Mina hasa and also in the Toradja
e outh and East
a rea t.ha t is better tha~rate 3)/,) includes one O~7e;.age (not counting the smaller islands) bei n;
most part much older and th e recent vulcanism country. The best of these three as far as soil S unge l with a density of ~7e r~t, .na mely Ulu
ll~die: ~r~l~~~la~~r
so common in J ava only occurs here at three or
four poi nts, to be specific - the southern portion
goes is southwestern Celebes a nd there we con- ~onsoon ;this region is in th ~mnhg the East To sum up, then we might t t
the U;llOfe of the N;therlands
sequently find the population density risin g rIdge of m ' e ratn -S ad ow of a
of the Lampongs, the highlands on the border
of Pa lemba ng a nd Benkulen, the Pada ng High-
above 100 in several sub -sections, na mely, Pang- fo~r ridgesOr~~t~!~: ~~~~~~, at~eNrieEs of tdhrhee or d
an Thn act for the tropics in ge neral, as follows:
soil e rIc.h er fhe rocks, or parent material of th~
kadjene, Goa, T aka lar, Djeneponto and Bon- enJ oys . a d e fi l1lte
. Iy dry season
lands and the Batak country. Nor is recent taeng. It is noteworthy, that these are the - . .h'anh . ence win' b~e 11 ~ a nt-~<?od, the mme fertile the soil
exceptIO n on this island A w IC IS. an
vulcanism as it occurs in Sumatra the sa me as regions where the East monsoon lasts longest a nd less leached a nd mor e f'er t I'le.
s a Fresult the so t!thIS are th e' v n ~me lary to baSIC volcanic rocks
th at of J ava; for as a rule more acid effusiva ca me is driest. T he South East coast (Bulokomba, urth ermore e ery est; next tn order come the more
to the surface here and onl y very little of the Sindj ai and Wadjo) which gets more rain and
'1 picul = ,....., 5/8 q uintal. and 1 bahu =,....., 7/ 1 0 ha.
MOHR: Soil and Population Density 262

acid rocks ; then limestone with admixtures; then on the isla nd of Halma heira and also Ternate,
marls, which often produce chemically rich but a ll three possessing young volcanic soil and hav-
physically unmanageable, heavy clay; a nd fi- ing a n average population density of 4.4 - 11.9
nally quartz sandst one that makes only poor a nd 31.6 respectively, are too thinly populated
soil. . in view of the nature of their soil. One suspects
The more disintegrated the rock materia l be- that this is due t o the bad health prevalent
fore subjected to chemical weathering, the more a mong the people. As hygienic conditions im-
quickly it is tra nsfor med into soil - rich soil. prove, the plains are better drained, and re-
In this respect there is nothing so good as vol- forestat ion proceeds in the hig hla nds, a nd so
ca nic ash. Solid and compact rocks weather forth, this part of the Moluccas will be able to
slowly. offer a living to a la rge r population, though it
H eavy ra infall at a high temperature not o nly may never become a seco nd Bali.
wets the soil but leaches it out as well. If the What one volca nic eruption can acco mplish
latter forms slowly, it is leached out th.e moment may be see n in the Lampongs (S. Sumatra).
it is formed and is therefore poor. It is on ly Before 1883 (eruption of Krakatau !) this was a
where the weathering t a kes place quickly and poor country without much vitality; after that
the soil is formed rapidly that rich, fertile soil as date it showed remarkable signs of new life both
a temporary phase teven if this lasts for seve ral in regard to na tive a nd European agriculture.
centuries) is possible in the tropics. H ence, only Agriculturally speaking Madura is. on the
on volca nic ash, sa nd or tuff. In the course of borderline of overpopulation. In that island the
time even such soil becomes impoverished by salt industry must be depended on to keep the
leaching. population a live and every yea r migrations to
A dry monsoon retards leachi ng a nd impover- J ava are necessa ry, just as the people are forced
ishment; little rainfall does this even more. by ci rcumstances t o migrate to Burma from ce r-
Fertility depends then on whether or not it is tain parts of British India. The Madurese do
possible to irrigate. Where irrigation ca n be not migrate to Borneo, Central-Celebes, Ceram
achieved, the maximum fertility can be ob- or New Guinea, however, for, to put it bluntly,
tained. The fertility is enhanced by plenty of this \yo uld not pay. It co uld only pay if one of
sunshine and warmth . two things happened. Either a volcano would
T he Net herlands Indies demonstrates all this have to suddenly become active in those regions
with its population figures ranging from 0 to a nd cover the la nd far and wide with a fertil e
more than 1600 souls per km2 • Java has the layer of ashes; or the cultura l sta ndard would
highest averages, East J ava a nd Ce ntra l J ava have to rise to such a degree that these co un tries
showing relatively higher figures than West Java, came to occupy the same agr icultural level as,
which possesses fewer active volcanoes and a for instance, the Netherlands, where the poorest
higher rainfall. East Java, Bali, Lo mbok a nd soil ca n be made ferti le by the use of mineral
even S.W. Celebes sho uld be grouped together ferti lisers or manure of home or foreign manu-
as possessing ma ny cha racte ristics in common. fact ure, a nd where a ll the best agricul t ural
Sumbawa a nd Flores fall o ut of line somewhat. methods are applied . But these a re dreams that
We may t herefore perhaps expect that these could only be realised in a far distant future-
isla nds will be a ble to develop co nsidera bly in perhaps they are not realisable at a ll. For th e
the future, if and when reforestation of the hills present, then, a nd for ma ny a long year to come,
and irrigation of the plains have bee n success- . t he fatt rema ins that in the Netherlands Indies the
fully carried out. The Minahasa, too, will be poplllation density is a flt1!ction of the natllYe of the
able to support a large r population in the course soil, and this is a fmtction of the presence of active
of time. The sub-sections of Tobelo and Dja ilolo volcanoes.