Central Java is a province of Indonesia, located in the middle of the island of Java. Its administrative capital is Semarang. It is bordered by West Java in the west, the Indian Ocean and the Special Region of Yogyakarta in the south, East Java in the east, and the Java Sea in the north. It has a total area of 32,800.69 km², with a population of 36,516,035 at the 2020 Census making it the third-most populous province in both Java and Indonesia after West Java and East Java. The province also includes the island of Nusakambangan in the south, and the Karimun Jawa Islands in the Java Sea. Central Java is also a cultural concept that includes the Special Region and city of Yogyakarta. However, administratively the city and its surrounding regencies have formed a separate special region since the country's independence, and is administrated separately. Although known as the "heart" of Javanese culture, there are several other non-Javanese ethnic groups, such as the Sundanese on the border with West Java. Chinese Indonesians, Arab Indonesians, and Indian Indonesians are also scattered throughout the province.
The province has been inhabited by humans since the prehistoric-era.