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Quick Facts About the Population of the Philippines

map of the philippinesThe Philippines is one of the most unique, puzzling, and remarkable countries on earth, seemingly breaking every preconceived notion you might have of the country. For instance, while it sits in Southeast Asia, it has no real neighbors, as it’s located far off in the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, physically touching no other country and closest to Malaysia.

Likewise, it’s geography, and topography are fascinating, since it’s a country entirely of islands (7,500 of them) with no continental land mass, making it the world’s second-largest archipelago.

But there’s nothing more fascinating about the Philippines than it’s people. Here are some interesting stats and facts about the population and demographics of the Philippines:

How Many People Live in the Philippines?

As of 2016, the World Bank reported the population of the Philippines to be 103,300. The United Nations reports the population to be 105,520 per their estimates in 2017.

The country has also seen an annual population growth rate of 1.6%, so by early 2018, it’s estimated that the population of the Philippines is expected to easily surpass 106 million, and perhaps reach 108 million or so, although it’s often hard to take an accurate census in the nation so many think it’s higher.

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The Philippines has 1.4% of the world’s total population of 7.63 billion+.

The median age in the Philippines is only 24.3 years, making one of the youngest countries in the world outside of sub-Saharan African nations. For comparison, the U.S. has a median age of 37.9 years; Thailand 37.2 years, China 37.1 years, and Japan, 46.9 years.

They also have a population density of 35.7 people per kilometer. Since the entire land mass of the country is only 300,000 square kilometers, ranking #72 in the world and smaller than Italy, Oman, and Poland, the Philippines has a moderate #34 ranking for population density.

But within that stat lies two stories, as the cities are also incredibly densely populated in the Philippines, while the “provinces” and majority of islands are incredibly sparse.

Manila, Philippines
An overhead view of Manila.

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In fact, 43.7% of the population of the country lives in cities, and Metro Manila, the capital and biggest city, is the most densely populated city on earth, containing about one of every four Filipinos in the country!

What makes it even harder to count (and account for) Filipinos is that about 11% of them live abroad at any given time, working overseas and sending paychecks home to support their families.

While most countries in Asia are predominately Buddhist or Muslim, the Philippines is also unique in that Catholicism is by far the main religion, due to Spanish colonialization for centuries. In fact, about 90% of the country is Christian, and 80% of the total population is estimated to practice Roman Catholicism.

Likewise, language in the Philippines is an anthropologist’s dream, too. There are an astounding 175 languages spoken in the country, with 171 of them still “living” – meaning that someone speaks them. But there are about six major languages (Filipino/Tagalog and Cebuano/Visaya the biggest local languages).

A gorgeous sunset at Boracay.

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However, many people in the country speak English as their first, second, or duel naturalized language. In fact, about 52 million Filipinos – about half the country – speak English, and about 35% say it’s their first language, making the country the third top English speaking nation in the world.

How many of you have been to the Philippines? I’d love to hear your comments and feedback on your experiences there.  Also, use this as a forum for any questions you have about the country. I’m currently calling it home base and have for a while, so I can help out any fellow travelers looking for information about traveling here or other parts of Asia.


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Norm Schriever is a blogger, Amazon best-sellling author, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His work appears in the Huffington Post, Business.com, Good Morning America, The Anderson Cooper Show on CNN, NBC, MSN, Yahoo, Hotels.com, and media all around the world.
Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of overstudying. After expatriating to Costa Rica in 2011, he started traveling the world and documenting what he saw. He now lives in Southeast Asia, writing his heart out and working with local charities.

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