Population, Demographics and Literacy

Population: The total population of the Philippines was 76.5 million, evenly divided between males and females, at the last census in May 2000. The Philippine National Statistics Office estimated that the total population reached 85.2 million in 2005. The average annual population growth rate from 1998 to 2004 was 2.1 percent. There has been a continuing trend of internal migration from rural to urban areas since at least 1991. According to the 2000 census, 52 percent of the population lived in rural areas and 48 percent in urban areas, including about 12 percent who lived in the National Capital Region, or Metropolitan Manila. The Philippines has a negligible loss of population as a result of emigration, which was estimated at –1.5 migrants per
1,000 population in 2004.

Demography: As of 2005, 35 percent of the population was 0–14 years of age; 61 percent, 15–64; and 4 percent, 65 and older. According to 2004 data, the gender ratio for the rising generation was 104 males for every 100 females. The birthrate was 25.8 births per 1,000 population. The death rate was 5.5 deaths per 1,000 population. Infant mortality was 24.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. Life expectancy at birth was 66.7 years for males, 72.6 years for females, and 69.6 years overall. The fertility rate was 3.2 children born per woman.

Ethnic Groups: Christian Malays constitute 91.5 percent of the total population, Muslim Malays 4 percent, Chinese 1.5 percent, and others 3 percent.

Languages: The Philippines has two official languages, Filipino (or Pilipino) and English. Eight major languages in order of use: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense. Filipino, based on Tagalog, is related to Malay and Indonesian and is part of the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian language family. Filipino is the common language used between speakers of different native
languages, which are closely related but not mutually intelligible. English is used in government and as the medium of instruction in higher education.

Religion: About 83 percent of the population is Roman Catholic; 9 percent Protestant, including Presbyterian, Methodist, Philippine Independent Church, and Philippine Church of Christ; 5 percent Muslim; and 3 percent Buddhist and other. The constitution guarantees freedom of religion and separation of church and state. But Christianity predominates, and Muslims historically have been marginalized.

Education and Literacy:
Six years of primary education are free and compulsory; the four-year secondary education program is free but not compulsory. According to the Department of Education, for the school year 2002–3 a total of 12.9 million students were enrolled in elementary education (about 97 percent of the school-age population), including 12 million in public schools run by local government and 910,000 in private schools. A total of 6 million students were enrolled in secondary education (about 66 percent of the school-age population), including about 4.8 million in public schools and 1.2 million in private schools. In addition, about 2.4 million students were enrolled in higher education. At the end of 2005, the simple literacy rate was estimated at 93.4 percent, while the functional literacy rate was 84.1 percent.