The People of Indonesia, Principal Cities
capital of North Sumatra, Palembang, Semarang, Surabaya, Medan
In 2000, 41 percent of Indonesia’s population lived in urban areas, compared to 22 percent in 1980. During the late 1990s, the urban population was growing at an estimated 4.2 percent per year, more than twice as fast as the rest of the country. Jakarta, the capital and largest city, is the main center of industry and commerce. Jakarta’s metropolitan area has a total population of 9.3 million (1997). The city’s urban sprawl has extended into the neighboring province of West Java, which has also experienced an increase of population and industry.
Surabaya, the second largest city, is the capital of East Java and an important industrial center and port. The third largest city is Bandung, the capital of West Java and the center of Indonesia’s high-technology sector, including the aircraft manufacturing industry. Bandung is also home to the important Bandung Institute of Technology.
Indonesia’s other large cities include Medan, the capital of North Sumatra and the center of a growing industrial area based on agriculture and low-cost energy; Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra and an important trade center for oil and other goods; Semarang, the capital of Central Java and a major seaport and commercial center; and Makassar (formerly known as Ujungpandang), the capital of South Sulawesi and a major gateway to eastern Indonesia.
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