Filipinos still prefer a smaller family size, the latest official population count conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed.
National Statistician Dennis S. Mapa said on Tuesday, July 12, that the growth pace of the country’s population remained in a downtrend based on the results of the 2020 Census of Population and Housing.
Based on PSA new census, the Philippines’ total population increased by 1.63 percent between 2015 and 2020, slower compared with 1.72 percent during the 2010 to 2015 period.
“The slower growth is not a new trend that we have observed since 2015. If we will look at our historical data, our population growth rate is actually going down,” Mapa told reporters in a virtual briefing.
Data form the PSA showed that the pace of population growth slowed from a high of 3.08 percent in 1970 to 1.53 percent in 2010.
“One of the reasons is of course the preference of many families for a smaller family size,” Mapa said. “This is not unique for the 2015-2020 because we’re seeing a downtrend in the population growth for several censuses already.”
As of May 1, 2020, the Philippines had a total population of 109,035,343, an increase of over eight million from the 100,981,437 count recorded five-years ago, the PSA reported.
Region IV-A, or Calabarzon, is the country’s post populated region with 16,195,042 people, followed by Metro Manila a population of 13,484,462 and Region III or Central Luzon with 12,422,172.
The three main regions have accounted for 38.6 percent of the country’s total population.
As number of Filipinos continues to grow at a much slower rate, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said the country should work on having an optimal population size where every citizen gets basic services and becomes productive.
“There is really no ideal population growth, in my opinion,” Chua, head of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), declared.
He explained that there were cases where high population growth has contributed to economic problems and there were also instances that low population growth resulted in lower potential for economic expansion.
“There is a balancing that we are seeing in general for a country like the Philippines, the slower population growth is consistent with the increase in the income of the people and the country,” Chua said.
In the end, Chua said the main question that Filipinos need to ask is whether the country’s economic output can provide and improve the productivity of the additional people.
“What is important is we are able to provide the basic services to the people, to allow them to be healthy, so that they can finish school and get a good job, and improve the productivity of the country,” he concluded.