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Comparison of the Demographic Aspects of Manila and Jakarta


Demographic trends and patterns are important indicators for any population. These are important into major way; reveal the facts about the core aspects of a society and present an opportunity for social change. As stated by Ghani (2010), Asia in the mid 20th century was sparsely populated. Over time, the population has growth tremendously. The data used will be sourced from official government reports as well as professional and academic reports. This essay will establish and compare the demographics of two cities in Asia, Manila in Philippines and Jakarta in Indonesia. The parameters to be used include population size, the age structure, ethnic composition, labor force composition, and gender ration and composition.

Manila demographic overview

Manila is a city in the national capital region of Philippines and it is made up of fourteen districts. According to the 2010 census results, manila has a population of 1,652,171 million people (NSO, 2010). This was an increase of 71,089 people from the 2000 national census. Of the total population, females composed of 51% and males 49% therefore; the sex ration of the city as at 2010 may was 96 males for every 100 females.

The age structure in the city is pyramid shaped, with the majority of the population being young people. According to Kim (2010), persons aged 20-24 years makes 10.7% of the population, 15-19 years compose 10.1% and 0-4 years compose 9.9% of the city’s population. The median age in manila is 25.3 years. The major ethnic groups in the city’s population are three; Tagalong, Bisaya, and Ilocano. 28.5% of the population are dependant teens (0-14 years) and a 3.7% of dependant elderly (65 years and above). The working age is between 15 years and 64 years and makes 67.8% of the population. The dependency ration was at 48% as at 2010.

Jakarta demographic overview

Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia. It is a province under the leadership of a governor, but referred to as a city from the government level. Officially, it is known as the “Special Capital Territory of Jakarta” (Burdett et al, 2007). The city’s main ethic groups are Javanese, Betawi, Sudanese, Balinese, Maluku, and Malayan. The population of the city of Jakarta according to the 2010 census was 9,588,198 persons. This was by an increase of 1.4 percent from the 2000 census.

Out of the total population of Jakarta by 2010, 23.8% were young people, and 3.23% elderly. The age structure in the city shows children between 0-14 years at 26.6%, 15-24 year olds at 17.1%, 25-54 year people at 43.2%, 55-64 year persons at 9.8%, and 65 year and above elderly people at 3.23%. The working age of between 15 years and 64 years comprises 66.2% of the total city population. The media age of Jakarta as at 2010 was 28.9 years. The sex ratio is 105 males for every 100 females.

Comparisons of manila and Jakarta demographics

The two cities present diverse and interesting demographic stats. First, the two cities are the capital cities of their respective countries, and census is done after every ten years with 2010 being the year of the last census in each. Secondly, they both have diverse ethnic groups making up the population of the city. In both manila and Jakarta, the majority of the population is young people below the age of 35 years.

In both cities, the working population is almost the same, and above 65% – manila 67.8% and Jakarta at 66.2%. In both, the majority of the population depending on the working population is children and the elderly, even though cases of youth unemployment do surface in manila (Ghani, 2010). In both cities, retirement age is 64 years and the elderly population is less than 4% therefore, both have a similar life expectancy.

On the other hand, Manila and Jakarta have highly significant differences. First, the population size of each city is very divergent, while manila has 1.65 million persons, Jakarta has 9.89 million persons. The median age in manila is 25.3% while in Jakarta, it is 28.9 years therefore; Manila has a much youthful generation. Jakarta has a more population of males than Manila with the sex ration being 96 males for every 100 females compared to Jakarta’s 105 males to very 100 females sex ration. The population of males in Jakarta is much higher than in Manila.

Demographics related challenges in Manila and Jakarta

According to Kim (2010), the majority of demographic related challenges are social issues. One of the challenges in both Jakarta and Manila is unemployment, which is largely associated with the young job seeking people. In Jakarta, the level of unemployment is 6.3% of the 5.14 million working population. In Manila, unemployment rate is at 7.61% (Setiadi & Tambunan, 2007). Despite the rather minimal unemployment rate, the levels of poverty in both cities remain high. In Manila, 11% of the working population is classified as “extremely poor” living on a less than $1.25 budget per day.

Crime is another major challenge in both Manila and Jakarta. According to Asra (2000), the effects of unemployment with continued urbanization results to criminal activities with the poor and unemployed seeking an alternative source of income for sustenance. Closely attached to crime and unemployment is homelessness. However, this vice is more pronounced in Manila than in Jakarta.

In both cities, the majority of the population is less than 35 years old. According to Burdett et al (2007), the birth rate has been increasing on an annual basis. Despite the population growth, the cities’ infrastructure and resource remain constant. The result is poor living conditions with the rate of building made of temporary materials increasing, increased pollution, and decline in living conditions. However, this will be a trend only among the cities’ poor as for the rich, the gap between the rich and the extremely poor will continue to widen (World Bank, 2002). In the future, because life expectancy is at about 74 years and the retirement age is 65 years, it is expected that dependency ratio will increase with the number of elderly people to take care of increasing, if no contingency measures are put in place.


Manila and Jakarta present to interesting demographic scenarios. The population of manila is 1.65 million persons and Jakarta is 9.59 million persons. In manila, the majority of the population is women at 49% and 51% respectively. The median age in manila is 25.3 years and the sex ratio is 96 makes for every 100 females. In Jakarta, the majority of the population is men. The median age is 28.9 years and the sex ratio is at 105 makes for every 100 females. In both Jakarta and Manila, the elderly are very few, forming less than 4% of the population. The majority of the population is less then 35 years old and the working population is more than 65%. Each city has ethnic diversity with people from all over the country. The challenges associated with demographics in these countries include unemployment, crime, pollution, and strained resources.



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Biro Perancanaan Statistik (BPS) (2000b) Demographic Change in Indonesia’s Megacities Jakarta World Bank (2002), Indonesia Urban Sector Review: Urban Sector Operation Strategy in an Era of Decentralization Unpublished report. Jakarta

Burdett, R. and Rode, P. (2007). The Urban Age Project, in Burdett, R and Sudjic, D. (Eds) The Endless City, Phaidon Press Limited, London.

Friend, T., (2003). Indonesian Destinies. Harvard University Press. p. 329.

Ghani, E. (2010). The Poor Half Billion in South Asia: What is Holding Back Lagging Regions? Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Kim, J. (2010). Past and future of the labor force in emerging Asian economies. Manila: Asian Development Bank. (ADB Economics Working Paper Series No. 218). Retrieved from http://www.adb.org/documents/working-papers/2010/economics-wp218.pdf on 1 may 2014

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Rakesh, M. (2004). Fiscal Challenges of Population Aging: The Asian Experience. Symposium on Global Demographic Change: Economic Implications and Policy Challenges. Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Setiadi, H. and Tambunan, R.P. (2007). Urbanization and Urban Environment Quality in Jakarta. In: 1st Joint Seminar UI-UKM, Current Research in Natural and Mathematical Sciences: Collaboration Opportunities at UI and UKM, Depok 19-20th June 2007.

Shatkin, G. (2007). Collective action and urban poverty alleviation community organizations and the struggle for shelter in Manila. Aldershot, England: Ashgate.

Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010. 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office (NSO) of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov.ph/sites/default/files/attachments/hsd/pressrelease/National%20Capital%20Region.pdf on 30th April, 2014.

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