Center of Jakarta
Center of Jakarta
Country Indonesia
Province Jakarta
Population (2010) 10,187,595
 • Density 15,400/km2 (40,000/sq mi)
 • Metro 24,094,000
Website Official website

Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Located on the northwest coast of the world's most populous island of Java, Jakarta is the centre of economics, culture and politics of Indonesia, with a population of 10,075,310 as of 2014.

Greater Jakarta metropolitan area, is the second largest urban agglomeration and 2nd largest city area in the world after Tokyo, with a population of 30,214,303 inhabitants as of 2010 census. Jakarta's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over the Indonesian archipelago, making it a melting pot of many communities and cultures.

Jakarta is officially a province with special capital region status, yet is commonly referred to as a city. The Jakarta provincial government administers five administrative cities and one administrative regency.


Andries Beeckman - The Castle of Batavia
Dutch Batavia built in what is now Jakarta, by Andries Beeckman c. 1656

Jakarta's first name was Sunda Kelapa. Before the Dutch came, it was renamed the city Jayakarta, starting in 1527. In 1619 the Dutch renamed the city Batavia. It was called Jakarta by the Japanese during World War 2. Its current name derives from the word Jayakarta. The origins of this word can be traced to the Old Javanese and ultimately to the Sanskrit language; जय jaya (victorious) and कृत krta (accomplished, acquired), thus "Jayakarta" translates as "victorious deed", "complete act", or "complete victory". Jakarta is nicknamed the Big Durian, the thorny strongly-odored fruit native to the region, as the city is seen as the Indonesian equivalent of the US city of New York (the Big Apple).

Major challenges for Jakarta among others are rapid urban growth that led to overpopulation and ecological breakdown, gridlock traffic and congestion, poverty and inequality, and flooding. The Indonesian capital is sinking up to 17 cm (6.7 inches) per year, which, coupled with the rising of sea level, has made the city prone to flooding. To help cope with the threat from the sea, the Netherlands will give $4 million for a feasibility study to build a dike around Jakarta Bay.


As the economic and political capital of Indonesia with so many different languages and ethnic groups, it is difficult to describe or define a common culture for Jakarta, as the city attracts many native immigrants, from the vast and diverse Indonesian archipelago, who also bring their various languages, dialects, foods and customs. This diversity of origins and languages leads to differences in regard to religion, traditions and linguistics. However ethnic Betawi are considered as the indigenous people of Jakarta.


Soto Betawi Jakarta Street Side Food
Soto Betawi Jakarta Street Side Food

As the capital, all varieties of Indonesian cuisine have a presence in Jakarta. The local cuisine of Jakarta is the Betawi cuisine, which reflects various foreign culinary traditions that have influenced the inhabitants of Jakarta for centuries. Betawi cuisine is heavily influenced by Malay-Chinese Peranakan cuisine, Sundanese and Javanese cuisine, which is also influenced by Indian, Arabic and European cuisines.

One of the most popular local dishes of Betwai cuisine is Soto Betawi which is prepared from chunks of beef and offal in rich and spicy cow's milk or coconut milk broth.

Jakarta has a vast range of food available at hundreds of eating venues and food courts located all over the city, from modest street-side warung foodstalls and kaki lima (five legs) travelling vendors to high-end fine dining restaurants. From rooftop bar to glamorous lounge, Jakarta has plenty of bars, cafes and clubs.

Since Jakarta is regarded as the 'melting-pot' and a miniature version of Indonesia, many traditional foods from far-flung regions in Indonesia can be found in Jakarta. Next to a myriad of Indonesian food and regional specialties from all over Indonesia, foreign food is also represented and modern fusion food can all be found in Jakarta.


Jakarta's economy depends highly on service sectors, banking, trading, financial, and manufacturing. Most of industries in Jakarta include electronics, automotive, chemicals, mechanical engineering and biomedical sciences manufacturing.


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