Projected Philippine population lowered due to pandemic deaths, dip in births

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country has been seeing a “generally decreasing trend” in the number of live births in the past eight years.

Kathleen de Villa

Kathleen de Villa

Philippine Daily Inquirer


Pedestrians, many of them wearing face masks, cross Kamuning Road in Quezon City in this photo taken in September 2022. PHOTO: PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

November 27, 2023

MANILA – A drop in the number of births and an increase in fatalities due to the pandemic have resulted in a lower projected population for the country in 2023, the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) said.

Instead of its earlier projection of 115 million people for 2023, the agency has adjusted the figure to 112 million.

“The lower projection … takes into account the drop in the number of births and high mortality rates in 2021 and 2022 — the period covering the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the CPD said in a statement on Saturday. “CPD thus acknowledges that the projected population it earlier stated was an overestimate.” The CPD was formerly known as the Commission on Population, or PopCom, before its mandate was expanded to include population and development under the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

Based on the latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released last year, the country logged a total of 1,528,684 live births in 2020, which is equivalent to a crude birth rate of 14.1. This translates to 14 births per 1,000 population.

Decreasing trend

According to the PSA, the country has been seeing a “generally decreasing trend” in the number of live births in the past eight years, from 1,790,367 births in 2012 to 1,528,684 births in 2020.

The biggest plunge was in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, when there was about a 9-percent decline in registered live births, compared to the previous year.

Reported deaths, on the other hand, have been on a slow upward trajectory since 2011, except in 2017 and 2020, available data from the PSA indicated.

“The increase during the ten-year period was 23.2 percent, from 498,486 in 2011 to 613,936 in 2020,” the agency noted.

Meanwhile, records showed that more than 4.1 million Filipinos fell ill to the novel coronavirus, while at least 66,755 died of the contagious disease.

On Nov. 14, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved the Philippine Population and Development Plan of Action 2023-2028 to address the country’s slowing population growth and other population issues. The CPD has been tasked to lead the plan’s implementation.

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