By the numbers: The Philippines’ population story

Demographic data help us understand the characteristics of our communities.

Not only does this information give us a snapshot but it tracks our development as well and provides us with potential scenarios of how we will evolve into the coming years.

Our story

The Philippines registered a population of 109,035,343 as of May 1, 2020. This latest count reflected an increase of over eight million people since 2015.

However, it showed a decrease in annual growth rate to 1.63 percent between 2015 and 2020, vis-a-vis 1.72 percent between 2010 and 2015.

There are now more males than females, with the latest sex ratio at 103 males for every 100 females or one more male per 100 females than it was in 2015.

Many of the top populated regions and provinces radiate out of Metro Manila. Most of the populous highly urbanized cities, component cities and independent component cities are also located adjacent to or near the National Capital Region. Calabarzon, NCR and Central Luzon combined accounted for over 40 percent of total households.

The country’s average household size decreased by about 6.8 percent between 2020 and 2015.

The Philippines’ median age has increased by a year every five years since 2010. The youth and working-age people comprised less than a third, and nearly two-thirds of the population, respectively.

Close to two-thirds of the total households were of voting age.

Even though more than half of our population lived in urban areas, only 16 highly urbanized cities (HUC) outside NCR exceeded 60 percent urbanization level.

The tempo of urbanization or the speed at which an area is moving toward an urban classification slowed down to 2.4 percent between 2015 and 2020, drastically lower compared to the 4.6 percent between 2010 and 2015.

Let us look at the data in greater detail.

General population


The premier metropolis’ population was at 13,484,462, with adjoining Calabarzon garnering the largest among 17 administrative regions at 16,195,042, followed by Central Luzon at 12,422,172 persons.


The four biggest provinces are all located around Metro Manila. Cavite topped the list with 4.34 million, followed by Bulacan with 3.71 million, Laguna with 3.38 million, and Rizal with 3.33 million. A total of 28 provinces had populations of over a million each.

Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs)

Four out of 33 HUCs had over a million population. They included Quezon City at 2.96 million, Manila at 1.85 million, Davao at 1.78 million, and Caloocan at 1.66 million.

Component Cities (CCs) and Independent Component Cities (ICCs)

Out of 108 CCs, the top five were Antipolo at 887,399; Dasmariñas at 703,141; Bacoor at 664,625; San Jose del Monte at 651,625; and Calamba at 539,671 while top five ICCs were Cotabato (325,079), Ormoc (230,998), Naga (209,170), Dagupan (174,302) and Santiago (148,580).


The top three Municipalities were all adjacent to Metro Manila. They included Rodriquez (Montalban) at 443,954; Taytay at 386,451; and Cainta at 376,933.

Household population

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) defines household (HH) as the “social unit consisting of a person or group of persons who sleep in the same housing unit and have a common arrangement in the preparation and consumption of food” while the household population refers to “all persons who are members of the household.”

Total and Average Size

There were 26,393,906 households in 2020 or 3.42 million more since 2015 at 22,975,630 HH. 99.7 percent or 108,667,043 persons comprised the HH population or 8.09 million more people than in 2015.

The average household size (AHS) decreased to 4.1 persons in 2020, from 4.4 persons in 2015.


Calabarzon had the most number of households with 4.06 million, followed by NCR with 3.50 million, and Central Luzon at 3.04 million.

Age brackets

Median and Voting age

The median age increased to 25.3 years, from 24.3 years and 23.3 years in 2015 and 2010, respectively. 68.95 million or 63.4 percent of the household population were 18 years old and over and are of voting age, up from 61.9 percent in 2015.

School age, youth and seniors

The school age population between five and 24 years old totaled 42.78 million or 39.4 percent. Youth from 15 to 30 years accounted for less than a third of the population, at 31.40 million or 28.9 percent. Meanwhile, seniors at age 60 years old and over represented only 8.5 percent of the total household population, at 9.22 million.


Urban-rural population

In 2020, the urban-rural population stood at 58.93 million and 50.10 million, respectively.

Level of urbanization

Fifty-four percent of total population lived in barangays classified as urban by the PSA, an increase of 2.8 percentage points than in 2015. Aside from NCR, the regions that are classified as urban and posted levels higher than the national average are Calabarzon at 70.5 percent, Davao at 66.8 percent, Central Luzon at 66.3 percent, and Soccsksargen at 55.5 percent.

Provinces and HUCs

Of the 81 provinces, Rizal topped with 94.6 percent urbanization, leading the list of 11 provinces that registered higher than the national level. Davao City had the biggest urban population among the HUCs outside the NCR, with 1.63 million urban residents and 91.8 percent urbanization level.

Component Cities and Municipalities

Two CCs and eight municipalities were classified as entirely urban, excluding the HUCs/Municipality in the NCR and the 17 HUCs outside the NCR, namely Santa Rosa and Cabuyao in Laguna, Taytay and San Mateo in Rizal, Marilao in Bulacan, Jolo in Sulu, Santo Tomas in Pampanga, Morong in Bataan, Talaingod in Davao del Norte, and Kalayaan in Laguna.

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For more information on the 2020 Census of Population and Housing, check out

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Henry L. Yap is an architect, fellow in environmental planning, fellow in real estate management, and one of the undersecretaries of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.