The Philippines has registered its lowest population growth in seven decades this year – an increase of only 324,000 or a mere 0.3 percent compared to the 2020 data of 914,797 births.
The Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) said the 2021 annual “natural increase” is the lowest since the 1947 when the population grew by 254,000.
PopCom chief, Dr. Juan Perez noted that “Filipinos have remained prudent by continuing to delay having children or forming families during the combined economic crisis and Covid-19 health emergency, and couples in growing numbers continue to avail of family planning services in all regions of the country, with eight million users of modern family planning methods in 2020, or an addition of about 500,000 from 2019.”
With the estimate, the Filipino population will be about 109,991,095 by the end of 2021, lower by two million than earlier projections based on a 1.63 percent population growth rate, he added.
Perez said the low 2020-2021 population growth means a greater chance for the country and households to recover from the Covid-19 outbreak, coupled with the national and local governments’ increased capabilities in providing quality services.
He expressed optimism that “if integrated population and development measures are sustained, we can look forward to a more stable population that can effectively support Philippine development.”
“Smaller family sizes need to be supported by a national living wage structure that also allows parents to save for their households’ unmet needs in food, housing, and education. Uneven regional wage structures only lead to individuals falling further behind than those in progressive areas such as the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon,” Perez explained.