MAKATI CITY – The country’s population is projected to increase to 104 million this year as 1.5 million babies are expected to be born, according to the Commission on Population (PopCom)terday.
“The Philippines’ population is 102.4 million at the end of 2015 and this year it is expected to increase to 104 million,” said PopCom executive director Juan Antonio Perez III.
Perez noted the country’s fertility rate, which pertains to the “number of children that a woman wants to have in her lifetime,” had historically been going down. From 1.9 in 2010, it became 1.7 in 2015.
“We’ll see if it goes below 1.7 (this year). That means people are choosing to have less children more quickly. That can be attributed to economic situation,” he added.
Women usually want to have two to three children, while men aspire to have three to four.
Perez said the increase in the population is driven primarily by 23 million women aged 15 to 49 who are of reproductive age.
Perez said in five to 10 years, the country will probably have the “biggest number of women of reproductive age that we will ever see, at 25 to 30 million.”
“We have many five- to 10-year-old girls who are going reproductive in the next five years. We cannot do anything about that. So what we are trying to do is reduce their need for services,” he added.