Population in Western Visayas to reach 8 million by end of 2021

ILOILO CITY—By the end of 2021, the population of Western Visayas region is projected to reach eight million.

A young couple with a baby crosses the street in Iloilo City. The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) is projecting that the population of Western Visayas region will reach 8 million by end of 2021.  (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM-6) has come up with this projected figure based on geometric method of the 2015 census.

POPCOM-6 Regional Director Harold Alfred Marshall said the projected population for the end of 2021 will increase by 467,198 in comparison with the 2015 census, which was only 7.53 million people.

Among the areas, Negros Occidental province and Bacolod City are projected to have the highest population with 3.2 million.

Iloilo province and the regional capital of Iloilo City are projected to rank second with 2.56 million.

Capiz province is projected to have a population of 816,417 people, Antique province with 620,472 people, Aklan province with 613,648 people, and Guimaras province with 187,936 people.

While there will be a rise in the actual number of people, Marshall said the actual population growth rate (PGR) has slowed down at 0.94 compared to the previous years.

In terms of population workforce, it is expected to increase to 5.12 million from the 4.75 million working people in 2015.  These are people within the age range of 15-64 years old.

“This demographic scenario would pose a challenge for the labor sector to offer more job opportunities especially in this pandemic,” Marshall said.

If not for the challenges posed by coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the growth in labor force was supposed to be an opportunity in terms of economic growth.