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MANILA – Did you know that the Philippine population of 109,035,343 as of May 1, 2020 reflected an increase of nearly 15 times compared with just 7,635,426 in the first census conducted in 1903, or during the American regime?

According to the 1994 Philippine Yearbook published in April 1995 by the former National Statistics Office (now Philippine Statistics Authority or PSA), there was a steady rise in the country's population, reaching a 2.11 percent average annual increase in 1939.

In 1948, however, the population growth dropped to 2.07 percent due to the internal problems caused by the Second World War which affected the Philippines greatly. After the war, high growth rates were recorded, registering the highest at 3.08 percent in 1970.

Owing to the rapidly increasing population, the Population Commission was created in 1969 by the then administration of President Ferdinand E. Marcos to formulate policies and programs on population, relating them to socio-economic developments.

As a result, the population growth rate slowed down to 2.78 percent in 1975, 2.71 percent in 1980, and further to 2.35 percent in 1990.

In 1971, the Philippine Congress enacted Republic Act No. 6365, otherwise known as the Population Act which was later revised by Presidential Decree No. 79 mandating the Population Commission to propose this time policies and programs to guide and regulate labor force participation, internal migration and spatial distribution of the population.

As a consequence, the average annual population growth rate stood at 2.78 percent from 1970 to 1975, or 0.30 percent lower than that of 1960 to 1970.

In 1980, the Philippine population was recorded at 48,098,460, with an annual growth rate of 2.71 percent.

The Census of Population and Housing in 1990 pegged the population at 60,703,206, reflecting a 2.35 percent average annual growth rate which was 0.36 percent lower than the previous decade's level.

Meanwhile, the PSA has said the 2020 Census of Housing is the Philippines' 15th Census of Population and 7th Census of Housing since 1903.

The PSA said the country's population stood at 76.51 million as of May 1, 2000. This increased to 92.34 million in 2010; 100.98 million in 2015; and 109.04 million in 2020. (PNA)