PH population density rose in 2010 by 20.7%, NSO saysBy Ana G. Roa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The country’s population density increased by 20.7 percent in 2010 from 2000, which translates to the addition of 53 persons per square kilometer in 10 years, according to a latest report by the National Statistics Office (NSO).
The Philippine population density of 308 in 2010, from 255 in 2000, is considered among the highest in Southeast Asia.
Citing United Nations data, the National Statistics Coordination Board said that the population density or the number of persons per square kilometer in 2010 was 7,447 for Singapore, 78 for Cambodia, 126 for Indonesia, 86 for Malaysia, 71 for Myanmar, 135 for Thailand and 265 for Vietnam.
According to economist Ernesto Pernia of the University of the Philippines, there is really no ideal population size or density set for countries.
“It simply depends on a country’s carrying capacity, i.e., the capacity of its economy to support the population in achieving decent living standards,” Pernia said in an e-mail.
“In the case of the Philippines, it seems clear that such decent living standards or quality of life have been out of reach for a substantial segment of its population,” he added.
Pernia also said that rising population density “results in increasing congestion, pollution and environmental degradation, as demonstrated by Ondoy, Sendong, Habagat.”
Of the regions, Metro Manila is the most densely populated, the NSO said.
In 2010, there were 19,137 persons per square kilometer in the National Capital Region, up from 16,032 persons per square kilometer in 2000.
Apart from NCR, five other regions surpassed the national population density.
These were Calabarzon (758 persons per square kilometer), Central Luzon (460 persons per square kilometer), Central Visayas (428 persons per square kilometer), Ilocos (366 persons per square kilometer) and Western Visayas (342 persons per square kilometer).
On the other hand, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) had the lowest population density figure in 2010 at 82 persons per square kilometer.
Except for Benguet, provinces in CAR were among the 16 provinces with the lowest population density or those with population density of less than 100 persons per square kilometer, the NSO said.
Apayao remained the most sparsely populated province in 2010, with a population density of 26 persons per square kilometer, it added.
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