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World's 4th Most Populous Country to Get New Capital

Indonesia's president plans to move capital away from crowded Jakarta
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2019 9:20 AM CDT
The central business district skyline is seen during the dusk in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, April 29, 2019.   (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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(Newser) – Quick, name the capital of Indonesia. If you said "Jakarta," you win, but not for too much longer. The president of the world's fourth most populous nation has set in motion a plan to move the capital away from Jakarta and, in fact, away from the entire island of Java on which it sits, reports the Jakarta Post. It's not yet clear where the new capital will be located, and the wrangling is expected to take a decade. Jakarta is overcrowded and prone to flooding and sinking, thanks to the aggressive extraction of groundwater, per Reuters. President Joko Widodo also thinks too much of the island archipelago's wealth and power is concentrated in this one place.

“We want to have a capital that represents the nation’s identity and improves the efficiency of the central government and establish a smart, green and beautiful city,” says the chief of the nation's planning agency. The island of Borneo is one leading contender for the new capital site, reports the AP. Indonesia has about 260 million people, and more than half live on the island of Java. About 40 million live in or around Jakarta itself, and traffic congestion is notoriously bad. (Read more Indonesia stories.)

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