Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 31st
- Asia: 19th
- Indonesia: 1st
Population in City Area, 2019-09-05
- World: 17th
- Asia: 12th
- Indonesia: 1st
Jakarta Urban Area Population Graph
Jakarta Population Review
Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia with a population of 10.8 million people in the urban area. Officially called the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, it is the largest city in Indonesia and is located on the northwest coast of Java—the world’s most populous island. Although Jakarta is the smallest of the Indonesian provinces at only 699 square kilometers, its urban area actually spans across 6,392 square kilometers and is the second-most populated urban region in the entire world, after Tokyo.
Jakarta is the epicenter of the country’s economy, culture and politics and it’s higher standard of living when compared to the rest of Indonesia, combined with its business opportunities has made it an appealing location for millions of people from multiple cultures. Jakarta is nicknamed the “Big Durian”, a playful reference to it being the Indonesian equivalent of the “Big Apple” (New York City).
A sinking city
Jakarta has the unfortunate title of being the fastest sinking major city in the world. Every year, the city sinks 10 more inches and the ocean levels around it continue to rise. What this means is that the city of more than 10 million people continues to face catastrophic flooding that displaces tens of thousands of people and further aggravating the city’s poverty issues.
In 2019, the country’s government announced that they are planning to move the country’s capital to the province of East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. This has been something that has been talked about in Indonesia since 1957, but the situation has now become dire. Models are now predicting that, by 2050, 95% of North Jakarta could be underwater.
A dropping poverty rate
In 1998, Indonesia introduced reformations to help with widespread poverty issues. The city recorded its third lowest poverty rate in 2020, with 3.42% of the population living under the international poverty line. The lowest poverty rate of 3.14% was recorded in 2001. The majority of the city’s poor live in North Jakarta, with over 98,000 people recorded as living under the poverty line. Unfortunately, this is also the part of the city most dramatically affected by the rising sea levels and the city sinking.
Jakarta is also experiencing widening income disparity that has been primarily attributed to inflation. A profit-sharing program that will allow Jakarta’s poor to start businesses and retain 80% of their revenue, while the other 20% goes to the government, is just one of the reformations put in place that the governor of Jakarta hopes will see the city’s poverty rate drop to below 1%.
A ballooning population
Jakarta’s already inflated population is predicted to continue growing, with estimates showing the city’s population to have reached 13.6 million by 2035. Originally a small city, Jakarta’s population doubled from 1960 to 1975, going from 2.6 million people to 4.8 million. Greater Jakarta currently accounts for 11% of Indonesia’s total population and will be one of the world’s biggest megacities by 2035. The country long had a family planning program in place to help with population control. When this began to stagnant in 2001, it was abandoned. However, one of its key successes was it halved the fertility rate from 5.2 to 2.6 per woman.
A religiously and ethnically diverse city
Like many megacities, Jakarta attracts people from many diverse backgrounds. As of 2010, Jakarta’s population breakdown was 36% Javanese, 28% Betawi, 14% Sudanese, 6% Chinese, 3% Batak, and 2.8% Minangkabau, with the remaining percentages split between Malays, Indos, and others. While the official language of the city remains Indonesian, many elderly people speak Dutch of Chinese, and English is also widely used for communication—especially in Central and South Jakarta.