High population density imparts an urban quality to all of Java, including the rural areas. The majority of the population lives in small villages and towns and approximately 25 percent lives in cities. Population is evenly distributed and villages are often separated by no more than a few hundred meters. Villages are never more than 8 kilometers from a town. Although there are a number of towns and cities in Java, the only cities with true urban and industrial characteristics are Jakarta, Surabaja, and Semarang. Landholdings are small and fragmented.
The typical village house is small and rectangular. It is built directly on the ground and has a thatched roof. The inside has earthen floors and its small compartments are divided by movable bamboo panels. House styles are defined by the shape of the roof. Village houses that reflect urban influence have brick walls and tiled roofs. Large open pavilions at the front are typical of houses of high-ranking administrative officers and members of the nobility.