Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Population and migration

Every hour, about 121 Filipinos leave the country to work abroad due to lack of jobs available in the country.

Every year 1.5 million new jobs have to be created to absorb the large number of Filipinos entering the labor force.

The number of Filipinos overseas has soared over the past decade - from 2.9 million in 1997 to 3.8 million in 2006.

But some estimates pegged their number at eight million, including undocumented ones.

Jay Bautista, executive director of Nielsen Media Research - Philippines, has cited estimates placing overseas Filipino population at around 12 million.

Remittances constitute 36 percent of Philippine dollar reserves in 1989 and 67 percent in 2005.

OFWs tend to come from bigger families. A study using data from 2000 Census of Population and Housing found that households with overseas workers were larger by one child than households without migrant worker members.

Growing population

The Philippine population increased fourfold in the last 50 years, from 20 million in 1950 to 86.4 million at present, the 12th largest in the world.

The National Statistics Office (NSO) projects that by 2010, there will be 94 million Filipinos, 103 million in 2015, and 142 million in 2040.

The main cause of rapid population growth is sustained high fertility.

Although the average number of children born to a mother has gone down to 3.5 (from 6 in 1973), a large number of women born in the 1970s and 1980s, who are now of childbearing age, keeps the population growing.

Every year, about two million new born babies are added to the population.

A big segment of the Philippine population belongs to the 0-14 age group. Half of the population is below age 21, meaning a high dependency burden. The high unemployment rate worsens the situation, since many of those of working age are jobless. And in reality continue to be dependents.

Each employed Filipino supports an average of 2 dependents.

Source: Population Commission’s fourth State of the Philippine Population Report (SPPR 4).

The SPPR is a periodic publication of the Popcom funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This year’s report focused on the issues surrounding Filipino international labor migration.

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