Unsurprisingly for a country that is made up of many islands, the Philippines contains a diverse range of ethnic groups. The latest data available comes from the 2000 census, which reported the following breakdown:
- Tagalog, 28.1%
- Cebuano, 13.1%
- Ilocano, 9%
- Bisaya, 7.6%
- Hiligaynon, 7.5%
- Bikol, 6%
- Waray, 3.4%
- Other, 25.3%
Philippines Religion, Economy and Politics
Religion in the Philippines is heavily influenced by its history as a part of the Spanish Empire. As well as naming the country after its King (Philip II), Spain also exported its religion, and today around 81% of the country's citizens are Roman Catholic Christians. Of the remaining people, 11% are from other Christian denominations and around 5.6% are Muslim, mainly based in the southwest area of the country.
Although the official language of the Philippines was, for many years, Spanish, the legacy of the American administration during the first half of the 20th century has been that its two official languages today are English and Filipino (derived from Tagalog.)
The recent 2015 estimates in the World Factbook give some insight into the developments across the Philippine county. 91.8% have improved access to drinking water sources, while 8.2% of the population still struggle to obtain safe water. In terms of sanitation facilities, only 77.9% of the population maintains access, while 26.1% are limited in their sanitation services. Literacy is at 96.3% across the entire population, with a school expenditure of approximately 2.7% of the national GDP.
Philippines Population History
The first census in the Philippines was held in 1591 and recorded a population of just 667,612 people. Japan already had a population of 8 million at that time. The Philippines crossed the 1,000,000 threshold in the mid 18th century and grew to nearly 8 million by 1900. It has seen steady growth throughout its recorded history until it's impressive population of today.
In addition to the over 100 million Filipinos living in the Philippines itself, there are estimated to be around 10.2 million Filipino people living abroad. Many have moved abroad temporarily to find work, but others have settled abroad permanently.
Given its close ties with America, it is not surprising that the United States is home to the largest group of overseas Filipinos - over 3.5 million. There are also large Filipino populations in the Middle East (1 million in Saudi Arabia, 822,000 in the United Arab Emirates and 204,000 in Qatar), Malaysia (793,000), Japan (182,000) and Australia (397,000.) Interestingly, only about 42,000 Filipinos live in Spain, the Philippines' old imperial master.