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Understanding Changes in the Philippine Population          Filipino Version
by Jose Ramon G. Albert, Ph.D 1

Understanding Changes in the Philippine PopulationCountries have long recognized the need to know the number of their respective populations. Even in ancient times, rulers counted their subjects, either for taxation or military recruitment purposes. The conduct of population censuses are even recorded in the pages of holy texts.2 In modern times, most countries continue to conduct population censuses to obtain not only population counts, but also other characteristics of the population (e.g., educational attainment, migration, gender disparities).   A few countries, such as the Netherlands and Germany, use population registers and sample surveys to generate population statistics.

In the Philippines, the enumeration of population was obtained throughout different epochs in Philippine history, including the pre-Spanish Philippine period 3, the Spanish colonial times 4, and the American period. Population counts have been generated from indirect estimation using administrative reporting systems5, and population censuses6.

In April 2012, the National Statistics Office (NSO) released the results of the 2010 Census of Population and Housing (CPH). And what does the 2010 CPH tell us? As of May 1, 2010,

As we look at CPH results across time, a major question worth asking is, Bumabata ba or tumatanda ba talaga tayo bilang isang bansa?  (Are we, as a nation, getting younger? Or older?)

Philippine population pyramid shows a fairly young population despite a narrowing base

As shown in Figures 1 and 2, the shape of the population pyramid for the Philippines has not changed significantly  since 1970 . It is still a  typical  pyramid though with a  narrowing base  in the 2000 decade. 

From 1970 to 2010, the proportion of population in the older age group had   increased at a faster pace  than the proportion in the younger age group! But the younger age group continues to have the significantly larger share in the population!

The median age in the Philippines continues to increase

The median age of population of the country has continuously increased from 17 years in 1960 to 23 years in 2010, still one of the lowest in Southeast Asia (Table 5).

Total fertility rate in the Philippines has decreased from 1970 to 2010 but remained the highest among ASEAN countries

Compared with other ASEAN member states, the Philippines had  the highest TFR in 1960 and 2010.   Even if the TFR continues to decline in the Philippines by 0.2 points  every five years, replacement fertility levels (of 2.0) will only be reached by 2040 as projected by the NSO. The effects of population momentum will still persist another several decades before a demographic winter8 begins (where the population ceases to grow).

The number of working persons needed to support a retired person has increased
The increasing proportion of working age population from 1970 to 2007 led to the decline in the age dependency ratio9 . (Table 7 and Figure 5)

Given the facts above, we can readily say that:

Ultimately, those engaged in the population policy debate must examine carefully the population statistics from the censuses (and from other household surveys of NSO) that point to where we are, and where we were, for their implications for the future of Philippine society.

 

________________________________

1 Secretary General of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB). The NSCB, a statistical agency functionally attached to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), is the highest policy making and coordinating body on statistical matters in the Philippines. Immediately prior to his appointment at NSCB, Dr. Albert was a Senior Research Fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, a policy think tank attached to NEDA. Dr. Albert finished summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the De La Salle University in 1988. He completed a Master of Science in Statistics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1989 and a Ph.D. in Statistics from the same university in 1993. He is an Adjunct Faculty of the Asian Institute of Management. He is also a past President of the Philippine Statistical Association, a Fellow of the Social Weather Stations, and an Elected Regular Member of the National Research Council of the Philippines.

This article was co-written by Mr. Candido J. Astrologo, Jr. and Ms. Simonette A. Nisperos; Director and Information System Analyst II, respectively, of the NSCB. This article was translated in Filipino by Mr. Ruben V. Litan of NSCB. The authors thank Dr. Mercedes B. Concepcion, Ms. Fe Vida Dy-Liacco, Ms. Lina V. Castro, Ms. Jessamyn O. Encarnacion, Mr. Noel S. Nepomuceno, Ms. Ma. Libertie V. Masculino, Mr. Sonny U. Gutierrez and Mr. Dennis E. San Diego, National Scientist and Chair of NSCB TC on Population and Housing Statistics, Technical Adviser of the Accelerated Data Program, Assistant Secretary General, Director, Information Technology Officer II , Statistical Coordination Officer (SCO) IV, SCO I and Artist/Illustrator of the NSCB, respectively, for the assistance in the preparation of the article. The views expressed in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NSCB and its Technical Staff.

2 In the Book of Numbers, God reportedly instructed Moses to carry out a census. The reported counts on each tribe were apparently used to determine the military strength of the Hebrew nation (although there is difficulty in accepting these figures as actual counts since it is rather strange for all the twelve tribes to be in counts of ten).

3 Pre-Spanish Filipino tribes likely also counted their own people for measuring their military strength just like the Hebrews and the European kingdoms of the Middle Ages.

4 The 1903 census report provides the earliest recorded estimate we have of the total population in the Philippines: 667,612 for the year 1521.

5 The Philippine population figure in 1521 is based not on an actual census but on the 166,903 tributes collected in the encomiendas (the estates of land), with each tribute approximated to represent four persons.Population estimates of the Christian population throughout the Philippines up to the mid-1800s were based on church records of baptisms, marriages and burials. Another source of information for population estimates in the Philippines during the Spanish colonization was the number of cedulas sold, which when multiplied by an arbitrary factor is presumed to approximate the total population.

6 The earliest ever civil census in the Philippines was conducted in 1877 by the Spanish authorities. Population was then estimated at slightly over five and a half million. Similar censuses were also undertaken in 1888 and 1898. The 1898 census operations were, however, not completed owing to the eruption of the war between Spain and the Philippines. In 1903, the Philippine Commission, under the auspices of a Census Bureau, undertook the very first census conducted under the American regime. The population was tallied at slightly over 7.6 million. After the 1903 census, censuses were conducted under the Americans in 1918 and in 1939, and likewise under the Republic of the Philippines in the years 1948, 1960, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2007, and 2010.

7 Data are not available for Brunei Darussalam

8 Thailand’s population continues to grow (even if it had reached below replacement fertility levels in 2000) because of population momentum.

9 Age Dependency Ratio is defined as the ratio of persons in the “dependent” ages (generally under age 15 and over age 64) to those in the “economically productive” ages (15-64 years) in the population. It is sometimes divided into the old-age dependency (the ratio of people aged 65 and older to those aged 15-64 years) and the child dependency (ratio of people under 15 to those aged 15-64 years) (NSCB Resolution No. 11-2003)

10 Ratio of dependent young and old to the population of working age (1998, John Bongaarts, “Dependency burdens in the developing world” (http://www3.pids.gov.ph/popn_pub/full_papers/JBongaarts%20(%20Dependency%20
Burdens%20in%20the%20Developing%20World).pdf
)

11 Denotes a negative natural rate of population growth, and what it portends (Q&A at http://www.demographicwinter.com/index.html)

 



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Table 1: Philippine Population:
Census Years 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2007 and 2010

Census Year Population Average Annual Growth Rate*
1960 27,087,685 2.89
1970 36,684,486 3.08
1980 48,098,460 2.71
1990 a/ 60,703,206 2.35
1995 b/ 68,616,536 2.32
2000 c/ 76,506,928 2.34
(1990 – 2000 growth rate)
2007 d/ 88,548,366 2.04
2010 e/ 92,337,852 1.90
(2000 - 2010 growth rate)
 

 

1960 - 2010

 

2.48

*compounded average growth rate

a/ Includes 2,876 homeless population and 2,336 Filipinos in Philippine Embassies, Consulates and Mission Abroad.

b/ Includes 2,830 Filipinos in Philippine Embassies, Consulates and Mission Abroad.

c/ Population counts for the regions do not add up to national total. Includes 18,989 persons residing in the areas disputed by City of Pasig (NCR) and the province of Rizal (Region IVA); and 192 persons in the areas disputed by the province of Mountain Province (CAR) and Ilocos Sur (Region I); 11,814 persons in the barangays disputed by the province of Camarines Norte (Region V) and Quezon (Region IVA); and 150 persons residing in the areas disputed by the province of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental and 2,851 Filipinos in Philippine Embassies, Consulates and Mission Abroad.

d/ Includes 2,279 336 Filipinos in Philippine Embassies, Consulates and Mission Abroad.

e/ Includes 2,739 Filipinos in Philippine Embassies, Consulates and Mission Abroad

Source: National Statistics Office

 

Table 2: Percentage Distribution of Philippine Population by Age Group
in Percent
Census Years 1970, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2007 and 2010

Age Group 1970 1975 1980 1990 1995 2000 2007 2010
0-4 15.9 15.4 15.8 14.0 13.6 12.6 11.9 11.1
5-9 16.1 15.0 13.8 13.3 13.0 12.7 12.0 11.2
10-14 13.7 13.5 12.4 12.3 11.7 11.7 11.5 11.0
15-19 11.1 11.8 10.9 11.0 10.9 10.5 10.5 10.5
20-24 8.6 9.1 9.6 9.5 9.1 9.2 8.8 9.1
25-29 6.7 7.1 8.0 8.2 8.4 7.9 8.1 8.0
30-34 5.6 5.5 6.2 6.9 7.1 7.2 7.0 7.3
35-39 5.2 5.3 5.0 5.8 6.3 6.4 6.6 6.5
40-44 4.0 4.1 4.3 4.5 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.9
45-49 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.7 4.0 4.4 4.8 5.1
50-54 2.8 2.7 2.9 3.1 3.0 3.4 3.9 4.2
55-59 2.2 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.9 3.2
60-64 1.7 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 2.1 2.1 2.4
65-69 1.1 1.2 1.5 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.6
70-74 0.8 0.9 0.9 0.9 1.0 1.0 1.2 1.2
75-79 0.4 0.3 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.8
80 and over 0.7 0.5 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source: National Statistics Office

 

Table 3: Philippine Population by Broad Age Group:
Census Years 1970, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2007 and 2010

Age group 1970 1975 1980 1990 1995 2000 2007 2010 Growth Rate *
(1970-2010)
0-14 16,757,313 18,493,255 20,181,547 23,993,713 26,296,206 28,313,897 31,381,020 30,717,524 1.5
15-64 18,864,652 22,375,237 26,220,572 34,505,317 39,905,635 45,257,770 53,251,374 57,374,256 2.8
65-over 1,062,521 1,202,168 1,636,341 2,060,086 2,414,695 2,932,410 3,664,221 4,004,125 3.4
Total 36,684,486 42,070,660 48,038,460 60,559,116 68,616,536 76,504,077 88,304,615 92,095,905 2.3

*computed as compounded annual growth rate

Source: National Statistics Office

 

Table 4: Percentage Distribution of Philippine Population by Broad Age Group
in Percent

Census Years 1970, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2007 and 2010

Age group 1970 1975 1980 1990 1995 2000 2007 2010
0-14 45.7 44.0 42.0 39.6 38.3 37.0 35.5 33.4
15-64 51.4 53.2 54.6 57.0 58.2 59.2 60.4 62.3
65-over 2.9 2.9 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.8 4.1 4.3
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source: National Statistics Office

 

Table 5: Median Age of ASEAN Member States
in Years
1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2030 and 2050

Year Philippines Thailand Viet Nam Malaysia Indonesia Singapore Cambodia Myanmar Lao PDR
1960   17 18   22   18 20 19 19 21 19
1970   17 18   18   17 19 20 18 19 19
1980   18 20   18   20 19 24 18 20 18
1990   19 25   20   21 22 29 18 21 18
1995   20 27   21   22 23 32 17 23 18
2000   21 30   23   24 25 35 18 25 18
2005   22 31   26   25 26 38 20 26 19
2010   23 33   29   26 28 41 22 28 21
2030   29 39   37   33 35 48 29 35 27
2050   35 41   42   38 41 54 35 40 33

Note: No data for Brunei Darussalam

Source: United Nations

 

Table 6: Total Fertility Rates of ASEAN Member States and Japan
in Percent
1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010

Year 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010

Cambodia

6.3

5.9

5.9

5.7

3.8

2.6

Indonesia

5.7

5.5

4.4

3.1

2.5

2.1

Japan

2.0

2.1

1.8

1.6

1.3

1.4

Laos

6.0

6.0

6.3

6.2

4.2

2.8

Malaysia

6.3

4.9

3.8

3.5

3.1

2.6

Myanmar

6.1

6.1

4.6

3.5

2.4

2.0

Philippines

7.2

6.3

5.1

4.3

3.8

3.1

Singapore

5.5

3.0

1.8

1.8

1.6

1.3

Thailand

6.2

5.6

3.4

2.1

1.7

1.6

Vietnam

7.1

7.4

5.4

3.6

2.0

1.8

Note: No data for Brunei Darussalam

Source: United Nations

 

Table 7: Dependency Ratios by Type
in Percent
Census Years 1970, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2007 and 2010

Age group 1970 1975 1980 1990 1995 2000 2007 2010

Child (0-14)/
(15-64)

88.8 82.7 77.0 69.5 65.9 62.6 58.7 53.5

Old age (65 +/
(15-64)

5.6 5.4 6.2 6.0 6.1 6.5 6.9 7.0

Total

94.5 88.0 83.2 75.5 71.9 69.0 65.6 60.5

Source of basic data: National Statistics Office

 

Figure 1. Animated Philippine Population Pyramid

Population pyramid

.
 
 

 

 

 

Figure 2. Population Pyramids: Philippines
Census Years 1970, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2007 and 2010

2

 

Figure 3. Proportion of Population by Age group in Percent
Census Years 1970, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2007 and 2010

3

 

Figure 4. Motion Chart on Total Fertility Rate
and Proportion of Population aged 60 and above ASEAN Countries
(except for Brunei Darussalam) and Japan

Are we as a nation getting younger? Older?

 

 

Figure 5. Dependency Ratio by Type in Percent
Census Years 1970, 1975, 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2007 and 2010

5

 

Posted: 16 November 2012

 

 

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