The Philippines has 97,976,603 people (July 2010 est.) according to the CIA Factbook. This ranks us 12th in the world! With China, India, USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Russia, Japan and Mexico ahead of us. Wow, that’s a LOT of people.
Out of that almost 98 million, the median age is about 22. So that makes us a young country! So, are we overpopulated? If you look at Manila and a lot of urban centers, you would tend to think so. But just drive a few minutes off to the North or to the South, and you will see huge tracts of empty land. Just waiting to be used.
So how much land does the Philippines have? About 298,170 SQUARE KILOMETERS of land. So that’s about 3,043 SQUARE METERS per Pinoy. That’s as big as the Manila Cathedral. Or the new GMA Network Studios. That’s how much space you have per person.
But let’s take out the irrigated land of 15,500 SQ KM. And 56,652 SQ KM of arable land. And 40,705 SQ KM of permanent crops. That leaves 185,313 SQ KM for people. And that is about 528 people per SQ KM or 1,894 SQUARE METERS per Pinoy. That is roughly the size of the main lobby of the SMX Convention Center.
But, yes, there is a problem. If we were to double every year, all that space would be gone in about 7 years. GASP!
That is, if we have an increase of 100% in population every year. But, we don’t.
Our population growth rate is 1.957% (63rd in the world! Japan has a -0.19 growth rate!). With 3.23 children born per woman (that’s hardly enough people replacing the population). So, it will take A VERY LONG TIME to overpopulate the Philippines. And we might actually DE-POPULATE the Philippines.
So is the Philippines overpopulated? No. It’s just a case of simple math, common sense and opening your eyes to the truth.