Indonesia remains Java-centric despite Jokowi’s infrastructure campaign
JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post / ANN): Despite the emergence of new urban centers on other islands, Indonesia’s population of over 270 million remains concentrated in Java while other islands still fail to catch up the development carried out on the most populous island of the country.
Java had a population of around 151.6 million, or about 56.1 percent of the population, as of September last year, according to the latest population census from Statistics Indonesia (BPS).
In contrast, the population of Kalimantan, which is four times the size of Java, accounted for 6.15% of the total population.
“Inequality in development is one of the factors behind the unequal distribution of the population,” BPS researcher Nashrul Wajdi told the Jakarta Post on Saturday.
“Java remains a ‘magnet’ for migrants from outside the island.”
The concentration of the population follows the uneven distribution of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Java’s economic output accounted for 58.7 percent of the country’s GDP between January and March, followed by Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali and Nusa Tenggara, as well as Maluku and Papua.
The government sought to change the distribution of the population with the transmigration program, from the days of the Dutch colonial government to that of the administration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
Between 1971 and 1990, Java’s population share declined by about 2 percentage points, and that of Sumatra and Kalimantan increased.
However, the pace of population distribution shifting to islands outside of Java has stabilized since 2000, with Sulawesi, Bali and Nusa Tenggara slowing down.
“The rapid trend of migration out of Java prior to the 2000s was a result of the transmigration program to design population redistribution,” said Chotib, a mobility researcher at the School of Demographic Institute of economics and commerce from the University of Indonesia (UI). the post office.
“After the 2000s, migration out of Java was more natural in response to economic opportunities in the destination region.”
In 1949, then-president Sukarno sought to get 48 million people out of Java for 35 years, according to Nashrul. But even after extending the period from 1905 to 2010, the transmigration program had only migrated 7.9 million people.
“As long as there are inequalities in social and economic development, restriction and configuration [policies] linked to the mobility of the population seem to have a very low impact on migration, âNashrul said.
Nashrul added that the change in the distribution of the population was not necessarily due to migration, as other factors such as fertility and death rates also played a role.
President Jokowi has implemented larger programs to develop infrastructure on islands outside of Java. Under his leadership, the government developed major road projects such as Trans Papua, as well as roads in the outlying areas of Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Sumatra.
It has also developed new industrial zones, also called special economic zones, on islands other than Java. But the infrastructure campaign has yet to show significant impacts.
Migrants across provinces were found to be more sensitive to what researchers call ‘pull factors’, which are conditions such as higher per capita income and better job opportunities. jobs that make a particular destination province more attractive than its home province.
Provinces with higher per capita income tend to have a larger influx of migrants than the population, such as Jakarta, East Kalimantan, Riau Islands, North Kalimantan and Riau. Conversely, the proportion of migrants arriving is lower in provinces with low per capita income, such as East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and West Nusa Tenggara.
For recent migrants, whose current place of life is different from that of five years ago, nearly 62% worked in the service sector, followed by industry and agriculture, according to the national survey. social and economic 2019 (Susenas) with 320,000 households by BPS.
Although the majority of migrants have worked in the labor market, more than a third have not. Lifetime net migration to total population, which indicates a province’s population growth due to migration, was highest in the Riau Islands at 50%, followed by North Kalimantan, according to the survey.
The Riau Islands have the Batam Free Trade Zone and North Kalimantan is the largest oil and gas producing province. In addition to the expected higher incomes, the pattern of migration between provinces was also associated with distance, as evidenced by migrants to the provinces of the western part of Java and Kalimantan who came mainly from the eastern part of Java, found BPS.
In Bali, for example, 53.9% of migrants to the province came from East Java, followed by East Nusa Tenggara, Central Java, West Nusa Tenggara and West Java.
In Aceh, 60.2% of the migrants came from North Sumatra, followed by Central Java and West Sumatra.
âIn our case, the problem is with the infrastructure,â Nawawi, a demographics researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), said in a telephone interview on May 17.
âShipping, especially ports, has been sidelined all this time, with the exception of a few towns. This was a mistake in the design of development in the past, which was too Java-centric for connectivity to other regions to be forgotten. “
The government’s plan to develop a new capital in the northern regions of Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara in East Kalimantan has renewed hope of encouraging more people to settle in the province.
Nawawi said the new capital could only induce temporary migration if it only moved the center of government without generating a new economic center. On the other hand, Chotib said that the new capital should accelerate the balance of the redistribution of the population.
Either way, pursuing a redistribution policy without improving the distribution of the economic pie risks perpetuating the cycle of population concentration, as provinces with the highest population density tend to have per capita income. higher.
âThe consequence of a population that is too concentrated in one region clearly has an impact on the distribution and rate of economic growth between regions,â Chotib said.
“Of course, provinces with more concentrated populations will have more attractive economic activities, which will lead to faster economic growth.” – The Jakarta Post / Asia News Network