Batam

Batam

Batam is the largest city in the province of Riau Islands, Indonesia. The city administrative area covers three main islands of Batam, Rempang, and Galang (collectively called Barelang), as well as Bulang to the west and several small islands. Batam Island is the core urban and industrial zone, while both Rempang Island and Galang Island maintain their rural character and low-density population; they are connected to Batam Island by short bridges. Bulang Island and the islands to its north forming Belakang Padang District lie to the west of Batam Island but are also administratively within the city. Batam is an industrial boomtown, an emerging transport hub, and part of a free trade zone in the Indonesia–Malaysia–Singapore Growth Triangle, located 20 km (12 mi) off Singapore's south coast.[3][4][5] According to Statistics Indonesia's 2020 census, Batam had a municipal population of 1,196,396,[6] making it the third largest city in the region of Sumatra, after Medan and Palembang.[7] The official estimated population as of mid-2022 was 1,269,413.[1] It is the closest part of Indonesia to Singapore, at a minimum distance of 5.8 km across the Singapore Strait. During the 2010 national census, Batam was the fastest-growing municipality in Indonesia the decade prior, with a population growth rate of 11% per year.[8] In 2017, the island suffered severe job losses; some 300,000 workers were laid off.[9]