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  • Total population: 82,841,518 (Ranked 13th in the world by the US Census Bureau).
  • National GDP: US $270.5 billion.
  • GDP per capita: US $3,500.
  • Median Age: 21.5.
  • Infant Mortality: 33.23 per 1,000 live births.



  • Location: An archipelago nation off the southeast coast of Asia.
  • Borders: An island nation, but the closest neighbors are Malaysia and Indonesia to the south and Taiwan to the north.
  • Area: 116,000 square miles.
  • Capital: Manila.
  • Major cities and population: Manila, 10,870,000; Quezon City, 1,989,419
  • 73 Provinces: Abra, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Aklan, Albay, Antique, Aurora, Basilan, Bataan, Batanes, Batangas, Benguet, Bohol, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Cagayan, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Camiguin, Capiz, Catanduanes, Cavite, Cebu, Davao, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Eastern Samar, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Iloilo, Isabela, Kalinga-Apayao, La Laguna, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, La Union, Leyte, Maguindanao, Marinduque, Masbate, Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Mountain, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, North Cotabato, Northern Samar, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Palawan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Quirino, Rizal, Romblon, Samar, Siquijor, Sorsogon, South Cotabato, Southern Leyte, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Tarlac, Tawitawi, Zambales, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur.
  • 61 Chartered Cities: Angeles, Bacolod, Bago, Baguio, Bais, Basilan City, Batangas City, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Calbayog, Caloocan, Cabanatuan, Cadiz, Canlaon, Cavite City, Cebu City, Cotabato, Dagupan, Danao, Dapitan, Davao City, Dipolog, Dumaguete, General Santos, Gingoog, Iligan, Iloilo City, Iriga, Carlota, Laoag, Lapu-Lapu, Legaspi, Lipa, Lucena, Mandaue, Manila, Marawi, Olongapo, Ormoc, Oroquieta, Ozamis, Pagadian, Palayan, Pasay, Puerto Princesa, Quezon City, Roxas, Naga, San Carlos (in Negros Occidental), San Carlos (in Pangasinan), San Jose, San Pablo, Silay, Surigao, Tacloban, Tagaytay, Tagbilaran, Tangub, Toledo, Trece Martires, Zamboanga.



  • Population density: 700 people per square mile.
  • Children 0-14: 36.9%—30,545,256.
  • Teenage 10-19: 21.7%—17,987,760.
  • Youth between 15-24: 19.9%—16,488,452.
  • Seniors Over 70: 2.2%—1,785,076.
  • Male to female ratio: 99.3 males per 100 females.
  • Birth rate: 27.85 per 1,000 people.
  • Life expectancy at birth: 64.01 for males and 69.73 for females.
  • Infant mortality rate: 33.23 per 1,000 live births.
  • Official languages: Pilipino (Tagalog) and English.
  • Ethnic groups: 92% Christian Malay and 4% Muslim Malay.
  • Religious affiliations: 87.7% Christian, 6.2% Muslim, 2.7% Ethnoreligionist. Each of the following comprises less than one percent (listed in descending order of prevalence) Nonreligious, Baha’i, Atheist, Buddhist, Chinese folk-religion, New-Religionist, Confucianist, Hindu, and Jews.
  • Christian denominations: 82.4% Roman Catholic, 18.9% Independents, 5% Protestants, .9% Marginal Christian, .2% Anglicans. (Note many are doubly affiliated).
  • Education: Compulsory from 7-12.
  • Literacy rate: 95%.



  • Currency: Peso.
  • GDP per capita: US $3,500.
  • National GDP: US $270.5 billion.
  • Major Industries: Food processing, testiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, wood products.
  • Chief crops: Sugar, rice, pineapples, corn, coconuts.
  • Electricity production: 39.623 bil kWh.
  • TV Sets: 109 per 1000 people.
  • Radios: 113 per 1000 people.
  • Telephones: 2,700,000 main lines.
  • Daily newspaper circulation: 82 per 1,000 people.



  • Government type: Republic.
  • Head of state and government: President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (as of January 2001).
  • International organization memberships: United Nations (UN) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).



The Philippine Islands were first populated by Malay peoples who likely migrated from southeastern Asia. By the 5th century AD, a multitude of ethnic groups comprised the Filipino civilization, including Negritos, a Mongoloid people from Southeast Asia, people from the regions of present-day China and Vietnam, and others from the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian archipelago. From the 12th and 13th centuries, the Philippines were heavily influenced by the Sumatra kingdom of Sri Vijay, the establishment of Islam in the southern islands, and the Chinese Ming dynasty. The explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, was the first European to find himself in the Philippines, and in 1565, Spain conquered the islands, naming them after King Philip II. As a result of Spanish-American War, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States in 1898. The Philippines acquired independence on July 4, 1946, after a brief occupation of Japan during WWII. Since that time, the government administrations have been plagued by political unrest. In the 1980s, the 21-year-long presidency of Ferdinand Marcos came to an end through a popular uprising led by the middle class, spawned by the assassination of his election opponent. He fled the country, and the widow of his rival, Corazon Aquino, came to power. During her term, rebel troops bombed the presidential palace, but this coup was suppressed with foreign military support. In January of 2001, President Joseph Estrada was charged with corruption, associated with taking bribes from illegal gambling syndicates and cuts from tobacco taxes. This has birthed another middle-class uprising, which has led to the inauguration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the former vice-president.



Understanding the trends and social issues of a particular country should always take into consideration the opinions of persons within the country. The Center for Youth Studies is looking for contributors from each country to add to our appreciation and understanding of the Filipino culture, potential, trends and critical issues.

Recently, the world news has covered the recent ousting of former President Estrada and the issues with which current President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo now faces including the politics of dealing with the former administration and its supporters as well as its role in world economics. Other topics reported include the tensions between environmental concerns and the economics of big business, the conflict and bloodshed on Mindinao, and the widespread poverty the government has pledged to address.





Barrett, D., Kurian, G., and Johnson, T. (2001). World Christian Encyclopedia 2nd Edition: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World. Oxford: University Press.

Turner, B. (2000). The World Today: Essential Facts in an Ever Changing World 2000. New York, NY: St. Marten’s Press.

McGeveran, Jr., W. (Ed.). (2001). The World Almanac and Book of Facts. Mahwah, NJ: World Almanac Books.


British Broadcasting, BBC. (2001, January 19). A Tale of Betrayal & Revenge.

"Philippines, Republic of the," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001

© 1997-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

US Census Bureau, International Database.

US Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook.

Tammy Smith cCYS