Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Demographics of the Philippines
According to Philippine government statistics and current census data, some 95% of the population is ethnically Malay, descendants of immigrants from the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia, who arrived long before the Christian era. The most significant non-native ethnic minority are the Chinese, who have played an important role in commerce since the 9th century when they first arrived in the Philippines for trade. Mestizos, those of mixed race, form a tiny but economically and politically important minority. Small communities of expatriates, and Negrito forest tribes that inhabit the more remote areas of Mindanao, constitute the remainder.
The people of the Philippines are known as Filipinos. Throughout the colonial era the term "Filipino" originally referred to only the Spanish and Spanish-mestizo minority. The definition, however, was later changed to include the entire population of the Philippines regardless of ethnic origin. Ironically, the term now somewhat excludes the Spanish-mestizo minority who are perceived by some Filipinos, and by many Spanish-mestizos themselves, to be foreign.
- Malays, accounting for 95%, they form the bulk of the population and number around 80 million. Many live poverty stricken lives, though some can now be found among the middle class. Most are citydwellers, although a great number still live traditional lifestyles in the mountains and rural areas. The most numerous of these are the Tagalog, the Visayan and the Ilokano. Most speak tribal languages and/or Filipino (based on Tagalog), and the other major languages, again Visayan and Ilokano.
- Chinese, they form the most significant non-native element in the country. Most are successful and prosperous business people. They form part of both the upper and middle classes. Their primary languages are English, Chinese and Filipino. They number around 1.5 million, close to 2% of the population. Chinese-mestizos included they would number close to 3 million. [See also Chinese-mestizo]
- Mestizos, they form a tiny but economically and politically important minority. The combined number of all types of mestizos constitute no more than 2% of the entire Filipino population. Mestizos in the Philippines may be of any race combination or ratio. Mestizos are categorized as follows:
- Spanish-Mestizo, a combination of ethnic Malay with either Spanish (Castillian, Galician, etc.), Basque, or Mexican. They are light skinned, usually taller than the majority Malay-stock, as well as possessing other European-looking features. Spanish-mestizos speak Filipino, though English is their primary language. Some have preserved Spanish as the spoken language of the home. They constitute the great majority of the upper class and are extremely endogamous, rarely intermingling with those outside their ethnic group. A great majority is either in politics or high-ranking executives of commerce and industry and hold great control over the country's economy. An almost equally large number are also members of the entertainment industry, which they have saturated disproportionately. The biased favouritism responsible for their overwhelming presence in film and television is deeply-rooted on established Filipino "ideals of beauty" that are determine based on the possession of at least partial White ancestry, and which stem from colonial concepts [see ]. They number around 1 million and are concentrated around Manila, a few others are established in metropolitan areas of Bacolod and Zamboanga. They are known as Tisoy in Tagalog. Spaniards in colonial Philippines and sometimes even up to the present are referred to as 'Kastila' from Castilla, the name of the Spanish language.
- N.B.There also still exist approximately 17,000 Spaniards (7,000 Basque and 10,000 Castillian) living in the Philippines. Although these Spaniards have been taken into account below (in the last entry detailing all other smaller communities), it should be noted that they are completely integrated into the Spanish-mestizo upper levels of Filipino society. Most Filipino family dynasties and the elite clans are mestizo; such examples are the Ayalas, Zobels , Aranetas , and Ortigas . The most famous Spanish-mestisa outside of the Philippines is Isabel Preysler (ex-wife of Julio Iglesias, and mother of Enrique Iglesias).
- Chinese-Mestizo, a combination of ethnic Malay and Chinese. They are usually light skinned and quite mainland-Mongoloid in appearance, with highly epicanthic eyes. Much like the Chinese, most are successful and prosperous business people. They form part of both the upper and middle classes. Some are also in the entertainment industry. Their primary languages are English, Chinese and Filipino. They number just over 1 million and are most concentrated in Manila (Binondo) and Pampanga. They are commonly known as Chinoys or Chinitos.
- Japanese-Mestizo, a combination of ethnic Malay with Japanese or Okinawan. Many are members of the lower class who are the descendants of the Japanese Catholics that fled Japan 300 years ago. Many exiled Japanese Christians, led by the Christian Samurai Takayama Ukon, settled in Dilao, Paco in 1614. Because of discrimination encountered, some fled to the mountains after World War II while many others changed their names in the attempts to assimilate. Many were also killed (approximately 10,000 Japanese Mestizos and Japanese) and other deported following World War II as an act of revenge. Some have completely lost their Japanese identity and others yet have "returned" to the homeland of their forebears, Japan. There are also a number of contemporary Japanese-mestizos not associated with the history of the earlier established ones. These latter are the resultant of unions between Filipinos and recent immigrant Japanese. Most Japanese-mestizos speak tribal languages and Filipino. There are believed to be between 100,000 and 200,000 Japanese-mestizos in the country, but no accurate figure is currently available. Significant numbers reside in Davao, Pampanga and Baguio. They may also be known as Japinos, which is considered a derogatory word by many. Examples of Japanese-mestizos include Ferdinand Marcos (Imee Marcos's father), and Tamlyn Tomita.
- American-Mestizo, a combination of ethnic Malay and American (regardless of race). They are also known as Amerasians. They can be found in the upper class, but also amongst the middle and lower classes as a result of the abandonment of their American fathers upon completion of military service and subsequent withdrawal of US forces. Much like Spanish-mestizos, for those whose American ancestry was Caucasian or Latino/Hispanic-American, many have successfully pursued careers in the entertainment industry. The number of American-mestizos is thought to be between 20,000 and 30,000. Most speak Filipino and English.
- East Indians, they are mostly merchants and belong primarily to the middle class. There are approximately 30,000 East Indians and half of them are Sindhis who left India after the British partitioned India and the other half is the Sikhs whom many of whom have traditionally been rural money-lenders. The Sindhi businessmen are often part of Manila’s rich elite. Most speak Filipino, Punjabi or Sindhi, and English. They (particularly the Sikhs) are collectively known as Bombay (büm'bäi) and 5-6, all of which are derogatory terms.
- Arabs, they are the descendants of the missionaries that spread Islam in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Most are in Mindanao. There are approximately 31,000 Arabs in the Philippines and they all speak Arabic and Tagalog. They are all Islamic and are classified together as Moros in the Philippines. Many have intermarried and simply just became Moros.
- Negritos, Negritos are the pre-Malay inhabitants of the Philippines, closely related to the Papuans. They are also known as the Aborigines of the Philippines. They are the poorest and most disadvantaged segment of the Filipino population. Their numbers have been decreasing rapidly. They are thought to number between 20,000 and 30,000. Most speak their tribal languages and have little or no understanding of Filipino. The government has sponsored educational programmes as well as encouraging school attendance, though many of them still enounter difficulties. They are also known by their other names, such as Aeta, in Zambales, Ita in Pampanga, Ati in Panay, Baluga in Abra and Pampanga, Dumagat in Aurora, and Remontados in Rizal and Quezon.
Other smaller communities of expatriates from various countries also exist and they include; close to 50,000 Caucasians from Europe, America, Canada, and Australia who sought economic and investment opportunities; some 35,000 Indonesians, most of whom are either illegal immigrants, refugees, but also many students; around 30,000 Japanese and Koreans who are mostly recently arrived immigrants also seeking economic and investment opportunities. There are also thousands of Vietnamese who found refuge in the Philippines following the Vietnam War, most of them live in Palawan. Some of these Vietnamese may be of mixed European (French colonist or American G.I.) and Vietnamese parentage.
Main article: Religion in the Philippines
In the Philippines, religion plays almost a daily role in the lives of its citizens, regardless of belief or affiliation. More than 90% of the people are Christian; most were converted and Westernized to varying degrees during nearly 400 years of Spanish and American rule. Although colonial influence may be responsible for the introduction of Roman Catholicism to the islands, the records of the Spanish, and the indigenous traditions which still survive, provide evidence that the Negritos, Malays and others had a complex belief system that predates Spanish and 14th century Arab Muslim influences and includes the concept of a supreme creator. Upon this indigenous religious base, a process of cultural adaptation and synthesis began that is still continuing into the 21st century.
The vast a majority of the people are Christians (Roman Catholic 83%, Protestant 9%) and most were converted and Westernised to varying degrees during nearly 400 years of Western rule. A sizable Muslim minority (5%) exists predominantly on the island of Mindanao, while Buddhism and other faiths make up the remainder.
Main article: Languages of the Philippines
A total of one hundred seventy-two native languages and dialects are spoken, all belonging to the Austronesian linguistic family. Since 1939, in an effort to develop national unity, the government has promoted the use of the official national language, Filipino, which is based on Tagalog. English is the predominant non-native language. Other foreign languages spoken are Chinese (Mandarin and Hokkien) among the Chinese and Chinese-mestizo population; Arabic among some members of the Muslim population; and Spanish preserved and spoken by some families within the Spanish-mestizo minority.
The Negritos are believed to be the aborigines of the Philippines. In 1911, they were described as follows :
- The men are about 4 ft. 10 in. average height, the women are shorter. Their colour is black, their skull decidedly round, their hair frizzy, their legs thin, their toes prehensile. They tatoo themselves and wear only a g-string. They have no fixed abodes but roam about in groups of a few families. They are skilful with the bow and in throwing stones, and they can easily kindle a fire, even in the wet season, by rubbing together two pieces of dry bamboo. Their food consisted principally of game, roots, and wild fruits. The women, who do all the work, collect wax and wild honey, which are their principal staples in trade. Few Negritos live to be fifty years of age.
The ethnic Malay came from the south, in successive waves of immigration beginning in pre-historic times. They are composed of 23 distinct groupings, varying widely in culture, language, and appearance. Their languages however belong to one common stock. The Moros were the last of the Malays to migrate to the islands; they came after their conversion to Islam. Slavery was common among them.
By city or towns exceeding 10,000:
- Manila 219,928
- Laoag, Ilocos Norte 19,699
- Iloilo, Iloilo 19,054
- Cebu, Cebu 18,330
- Nueva Caceres (Naga City), Camarines Sur 10,021
There were 13,400 villages, nearly 75% of which had fewer than 600 inhabitants.
By race or ethnicity:
- Malay: 7,539,632 (98.7%)
- Chinese: 42,097 (0.6%)
- Mestizo: 15,419 (0.2%)
- Negrito: 23,511 (0.3%)
- Caucasian: 14,271 (0.2%) [Spaniards and White US Servicemen]
- Negro: 505 (0.01%) [Black US Servicemen]
The ethnic Malay population divided by language:
- Visayan: 3,219,030
- Tagalog: 1,460,695
- Ilocano: 803,942
- Bicol: 566,635
- Pangasinan: 343,686
- Pampangan: 280,984
- Cagayan: 159,648
- Moro: 277,547
- Igorot: 211,520
The number of Chinese living on the island had risen to 117,000. There were also around 30,000 Japanese living in the Philippines, with some 20,000 of them residing in Davao, Mindanao, and 9,000 Americans lived in Luzon.
By then, some 27% of the population could speak English as a second language, while the number of those able to speak Spanish had further fallen to 3%. Tagalog has been the official language (since 1937), though twice as many people spoke Visayan at that time.
Other informationDemographics of the Phillipines from other sources
Population: 86,241,697 (July 2004 est.)
- 0-14 years: 36.2% (male 15,625,480; female 15,028,498)
- 15-64 years: 59.9% (male 25,206,467; female 25,485,482)
- 65 years and over: 3.9% (male 1,427,238; female 1,846,809) (2003 est.)
total: 21.8 years
male: 21.3 years
female: 22.4 years (2002)
Population growth rate: 1.92% (2003 est.)
Birth rate: 26.3 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate: 5.6 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 24.98 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 21.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 27.9 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 69.29 years
male: 66.44 years
female: 72.28 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.29 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 9,400 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 720 (2001 est.)
Ethnic groups: Christian Malay 91.5%, Muslim Malay 4%, Chinese 1.5%, other 3%
Religions: Roman Catholic 83%, Protestant 9%, Muslim 5% (See Islam in Philippines), Buddhist and other 3%
Languages: two official languages - Filipino (formerly Pilipino, based on Tagalog) and English; eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilokano, Hiligayno, Bikol, Waray-Waray, Kapampangan , and Pangasinan
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.9%
female: 95.8% (2003 est.)
Notes"Negrito", 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica (Public Domain)
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