Population Trend

The latest Census of Population (POPCEN 2007) conducted by the NSO showed the Philippine population at 88,574,614 persons as of August 1, 2007, up from the 76.50 million in the 2000 census.

Census Year Census Reference Date Philippine Population
(in millions)
2007 August 1, 2007 88.57
2000 May 1, 2000 76.50
1995 September 1, 1995 68.62

Based on the NSO surveys in 2007 and 2000, average annual population growth was at 2.04%. While it was the lowest annual population growth rate recorded for the Philippines since the 1960s, it is still high if compared with other countries in the Southeast Asian region. Population growth rate for the period 2005 to 2010 is projected at 1.95%, based on the 2000 Census of Population and Housing.

Reference Period Ave. Annual Population
Growth Rate
(in %)
2000-2007 2.04
1990-2000 2.34
1980-1990 2.35
1970-1980 2.75
1960-1970 3.01

By region, CALABARZON (Region IV-A) had the largest population with 11.74 million, followed by the NCR with 11.55 million, and Central Luzon (Region III) with 9.72 million. The combined population of these three regions comprised more than one-third (37.3%) of the Philippine population.

Among the provinces, Cavite had the biggest population at 2.86 million, followed by Bulacan at 2.83 million, and Pangasinan at 2.65 million.

The rapid population growth requires substantial resources and responsibility. It has been a common knowledge that the steady growth in Philippine population has added to the country’s poverty incidence. Poverty incidence refers to the proportion of families (or population) with per capita income less than the per capita poverty threshold to the total number of families (population). Poverty threshold or poverty line, on the other hand, refers to the cost of basic food and non-food requirements (valued in pesos). The basic non-food requirements cover the non-food expenditure items of total basic expenditures.

The growth of the population has exerted pressure on the economy that even with economic growth and improved productivity, the benefits have not been felt at the grassroots level. Social and educational services remain insufficient, there are not enough sources of livelihood, health services are lacking and more people are suffering.

In his "Population, Economy and Poverty," University of the Philippines Prof. Ernesto Pernia said that the link between population growth and economic development was the subject of intense research from the 1960s to the 1980s. A common view was that the "rapid population was more likely to hinder than foster economic development." The negative effets are reflected in the reduced child care and human capital investments, and constraints on allocative efficiency, entrepreneurship and innovation. Thus, it is necessary for the government to adop a coherent population policy to alleviate such effects of rapid population growth such as poverty, congestion, environmental degradation and resource depletion. It also cited that the more poor people, the higher the taxes that the non-poor must pay just to maintain the quality of education, health services and infrastructure.

The rapid population growth rate is one of the main reasons hindering the country from attaining the MDGs since it diminishes the beneficial effects of economic growth and policy improvements. If not addressed, the Philippines’ population would reach 102.55 million by 2015 which could badly affect the Philippine economy and environment. Yet the government is doing little to address the issue.

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