Population growth in the Philippines is expected to have slowed to just 0.3% in 2021, the slowest in more than 70 years, as Filipinos delayed having children amid the Covid-19 pandemic, an official said Thursday. government agency.
An estimated 324,000 babies were born last year, the lowest number since the period between 1946 and 1947, when the country’s population grew by 254,000 babies, the Commission on Population and Development said.
At the end of 2021, the country’s total population was estimated at 109,991,095, 2 million lower than previous projections based on a population growth rate of 1.63 percent, the commission said.
The decline is due to more Filipinos practicing family planning amid the Covid-19 crisis and the economic crisis resulting from the shutdowns, said commission head Juan Perez III.
“Filipinos remain cautious in continuing to delay having children or forming families during the combined economic crisis and the Covid-19 health emergency,” he said in a statement.
The Philippines is experiencing a spike in new Covid-19 cases since the Christmas holidays amid the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported 31,173 additional cases of Covid-19, bringing the country’s total caseload since the start of the pandemic to more than 3.32 million. The death toll rose by 110 to 53,153, he added.
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