With not more than 2.5% growth rate in the last 25 years, Manila’s population is recorded at 1,654,761 in 1995. This makes Manila one of the ten most populous cities in the country. The population of Manila, which accounts for 17.51% of the total population of the Metropolitan Manila ranks second to Quezon City with 21.04%. Compared to the population of 1,598,918 in 1990, the City’s population increased by an average of 0.67% per annum (Table 5). The minimal growth in population seems to indicate that residents who have the means or find the city very crowded have moved to nearby areas like the CALABARZON in the South. This is reflected in the higher rate of increase during the same period by the so-called “subdivision municipalities” of Las Piñas, Taguig, Laguna, Cavite in the South and Marikina in the East.

With a population of 1,581,082 million and a land area of 38.52 square kilometers, Manila’s population density of 43,258 persons per square kilometer is almost 200 times the national and 2.9 times the NCR. It is estimated that some 150,000 migrants per annum are added to, the ever growing population of Manila.

The daytime population of the City, however, is about a million more because of transients and those who work in the City. The population mix represents almost all ethnic groups, from the Igorot of Benguet in the North to the Tausugs of Jolo in the South.

The suburbanization patterns may be highlighted by the fact that Manila’s share to total metropolitan population had steadily declined while the rest of Metro Manila’s population increased over the time periods. While Manila’s population increased from nearly 220,000 in 1903 to 1.65 million in 1995, it’s share of the total Metro Manila population declined from nearly 67% to about 17.50% for the same period. Statistics from the National Statistics Office (NSO) also show that Manila’s population grew steadily from 2.00% in 1903 to 6.4% in 1948. The population growth appears to level off from 1960 to 1970 until eventually declining to a negative 0.19% from 1980 to 1990 and to 0.67% from 1990 to 1995.


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