Northern Mindanao population reaches 3.95 million

NORTHERN Mindanao’s total population is up, but the region’s average annual population growth rate slid to 1.67 percent compared to the 1.99 percent recorded during the 1995 to 2000 period.

This was one of the findings of the 2007 Census of Population conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO), which shows, among others, that Northern Mindanao is now a place of 3,952,437 inhabitants.

NSO placed the figure at 2,747,585 in the 2000 census. The study also showed an increase of 446,729 persons for the region, which spans five provinces — Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental — and two highly urbanized cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

That puts Northern Mindanao in the tenth place in terms of population among the country’s 17 regions, contributing 4.46 percent to the national population, placed at 88.57 million.

Among the five provinces and two highly urbanized cities, Bukidnon registered the largest population at 1,190,284 persons, followed by Misamis Oriental with 748,885 persons. Camiguin had the smallest population at 81,293 persons.

Cagayan de Oro City was the fastest growing area in the region with an average annual growth rate of 2.54 percent. Lanao del Norte was the fastest growing province with an average annual growth rate of 1.80 percent, followed by Misamis Oriental with 1.66 percent.

Misamis Occidental was the slowest province with 1.23 percent. Overall, the latest census result showed that there were 88.57 million Filipinos as of August 2007, with an annual growth rate of 2.04 percent for the period of 2000 to 2007.

In comparison, the population growth of the country was 3.01 percent in the 1960-1970 census; 2.75 percent in the 1970-1980 census; and 2.35 percent in the 1980-1990 census. From 1990, the census was held every five years. The 1990-1995 census showed a 2.34 growth, while the 1995-2000 census had a 2.36 growth.

NSO Administrator Carmelita N. Ericta said a census was scheduled in 2005 but the government lacked money for it, hence it was moved to 2007.

The next census will be in 2010, when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration plans to bring down the growth rate to 1.95 percent.

Ericta said the 2007 nationwide census had a budget of P1.3 billion. President Arroyo signed Proclamation 1489, declaring as official the 2007 population count of the Philippines. Hilda / Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro

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