While certain islands are substantially more crowded than others, the Philippines' total population density is 939 persons per square mile (363 people per square kilometer). The Philippines' biggest cities have densities well below those of most other countries: Manila has 93 people per square mile (36 people per square kilometer), while Cebu has 71 people per square mile (27 people per square kilometer).
The lowest population density in the Philippines is on Luzon. There are only 17 people per square mile (6 people per square kilometer). Mindanao and Visayas have higher population densities with about 20 people per square mile (7 people per square kilometer).
There are several factors that go into determining city density. For example, Manila has a large population because it is also one of the most-densely built cities in the world. With 656 buildings over 10 stories high, the capital has much more space per person than many other Asian cities.
However, even though Manila is highly developed, most Filipinos live in rural areas where there is not enough space for everyone to have their own house. There are 50 million people in the Philippines, but only 7 million households.
In addition, many Filipinos make do with one-room apartments or small houses without bathrooms.
This indicates that, in 2010, 41.9 million of the Philippines' 92.3 million people resided in urban areas (Table A). The rural population, or those who resided in rural regions, was 50.5 million people, accounting for 54.7 percent of the overall population. Urbanization rates are generally high across Asia, and although there are differences between countries, it can be assumed that about half of all Asians live in cities.
Almost every aspect of life is different for urban and rural residents. For example, there are no rural schools; instead, children either attend urban public schools or private institutions. There are also large differences in health care access with only 7 out of 10,000 people in rural areas have easy access to a hospital, as compared to 22 out of 100,000 people in cities. Finally, less than one-third of rural households are engaged in agriculture; instead, they tend to work in industry or services.
Urban centers are growing rapidly across the country, particularly in Mindanao, where decades of conflict have destroyed much of the economy. In fact, nearly one in five people in Mindanao lives in an urban area, and this number is expected to rise when more settlements are allowed to become cities.
There is very little difference between the urban and rural lifestyles, which suggests that if you can make it in an urban area, then you will have no problems making it in a rural one.
The Philippines is seeing high population growth in comparison to other nations in the area. According to POPCOM, an estimated 10% of the country's population, or approximately 8 million individuals, are overseas Filipino workers spread throughout 182 countries. The majority of these workers are located in only six countries: Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia and China.
Due to this large number of workers abroad, the Philippines has one of the fastest growing populations in the world. Its birth rate is low by Asian standards but higher than that of many other countries, and its death rate is also high for Asia making it impossible for the nation to achieve a stable population size.
Filipinos are among the most prolific breeders in the world with an average of 3.6 children born per woman. This high fertility rate is a problem because the elderly are already being burdened by the fact that there aren't enough workers to support them due to the millions of young people filling up schools and hospitals.
Because there aren't enough adults to take care of the children and the parents both becoming older every day, governments across the region are trying to come up with solutions. Some are introducing policies such as mandatory child care centers in Kuwait and limiting the number of hours women can work in Saudi Arabia. There are even efforts to reduce birth rates through family planning programs.