Palawan* Population Rose to Four Fifths of a Million (Results from the 2015 Census of Population)

Release Date: 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Total population went up by 77.8 thousand persons

  •  As of 1 August 2015, the province of Palawan had a total population of 849, 469 persons based on the 2015 Census of Population (POPCEN 2015)
  • The total population based on the POPCEN 2015 is higher by 77,802 persons compared with the 2010 Census of Population and Housing (CPH 2010) count of 771,667 persons.   Based on the 2007 Census of Population (POPCEN 2007), the total population was 682,152 persons.

Population increased by 18 persons per year for every 1,000 persons

  • The increase in Palawan’s population translated into an average population growth rate (PGR) of 1.8 percent annually during the period 2010 to 2015. This means that there were    about 18 persons added per year for every 1,000 persons in the population.
  • The annual PGR was higher at 2.7 percent during the period 2000 to 2010 and at 3.4 percent during the period 1990 to 2000.

Southern Palawan has more population than Northern Palawan

  • Southern Palawan contributed 51.1 percent (434,239 persons) to the province’ total population compared to Northern Palawan with 48.9 percent (415,230 persons) share only. Southern Palawan has eight municipalities while Northern Palawan has fifteen municipalities.
  • Among the 23 municipalities comprising the province of Palawan, the municipality of Bataraza, which is located in Southern Palawan, had the biggest population size in 2015, totalling to 75,468 persons or 8.9 percent of the province’ total population. Not far behind was the municipality of Taytay, which can be found in Northern Palawan, with 75,165 persons or 8.8 percent share. The least populated municipality in the province and in the entire country in 2015 was Kalayaan with 184 persons.

Fifty-three barangays reached more than four thousand population

  • Fifty-three out of 367 barangays in Palawan reached more than four thousand population in 2015. Majority or 31 of these 53 barangays were in Southern Palawan while 22 barangays were in Northern portion of the province. Rio-Tuba (21.33 thousand persons) of Bataraza, Alfonso XIII (Pob.) (15.08 thousand persons) of Quezon, Narra (Pob.) (11.98 thousand persons) of Narra, Bancalaan (11.70 thousand persons) of Balabac, and Poblacion (11.09 thousand persons) of Taytay, were the top five most populous barangays in Palawan. Meanwhile, the barangays with less than two hundred population were Pag-Asa (Pob.) (184 persons) of Kalayaan, Tacas (Pob.) (183 persons) of Cagayancillo, Wahig (Pob.) (173 persons) of Cagayancillo, Lipoth South (Pob.) (135 persons) of Cagayancillo, and Barangay V Pob. (Porao Island) (0 person) of Roxas.

Males outnumbered females

  • Of the 845,650 household population in Palawan, ,nowrap>51.9 percent were male while ,nowrap>48.1 percent were female. This resulted in a sex ratio of 108 males for every 100 females. The same sex ratio was reported in 2010.
  • Municipality of Kalayaan posted the highest sex ratio of 129. Moreover, all the municipalities of the province reported more males than females, that is, with sex ratios of more than 100.


Median age increased to 20.7 years

  • In 2015, the median age of the province’ total population was 20.7 years, which means that half of the total population was below 20.7 years old. Median age was highest in municipality of Kalayaan (26.8 years) and lowest in municipality of Balabac (18.3 years). The median age in 2010 was 20.0 years.

Average household size in 2015 was 4.3 persons

  • The household population of the province in 2015 was 845,650 persons , higher by 76,850 persons from the household population of 768,800 persons in 2010.
  • The number of households, meanwhile, increased by 18.0 percent from 165,272 in 2010 to 195,074 in 2015.
  • The average household size in 2015 was 4.3 persons, lower than the average household size of 4.6 persons in 2010.

Children aged 5 to 9 years comprised the largest age group

  • The age-sex distribution of the population showed that children aged 5 to 9 years comprised the largest age group, making up 12.6 percent of the household population, followed by those in the age groups 0 to 4 years (12.4 percent) and 10 to 14 years (12.1 percent).
  • Males outnumbered females in the age groups of 0 to 69 years. Females, on the other hand, outnumbered their male counterparts in the older age groups (70 years old and over).

Dependency ratio decreased to 70 dependents per 100 persons in the working-age group

  • Of the total population, 58.9 percent belonged to the working-age population (15 to 64 years). Children below 15 years of age comprised 49.4 percent, while older persons (65 years and over) accounted for 4.0 percent.
  • The overall dependency ratio of Palawan in 2015 was 70 dependents for every 100 persons in the working age group, down from 74 dependents in 2010. Of the 70 dependents, 63 were young dependents while seven were old dependents.
  • Almost three fifths of the household population was of voting age
  •  At the provincial level, the voting-age population or persons 18 years old and over accounted for 56.1 percent (474,403 persons) of the household population in 2015. Meanwhile, the size of voting-age population recorded in 2010 was 416.32 thousand or 54.2 percent of the household population.
  • The three municipalities with highest proportion of voting-age population were Magsaysay (63.5 percent), Kalayaan (61.5 percent), and Cuyo (61.0 percent). Balabac had the lowest proportion of voting-age population with 50.8 percent.

More males than females among the married and never-married persons

  • Of the total population 10 years old and over, 42.2 percent were never married while 45.3 percent were married. The rest of the population were categorized as follows: in common-law/live-in marital arrangement ( 7.7 percent), widowed (3.8 percent), divorced/separated (1.0 percent), and had unknown marital status (less than 0.1 percent).
  • The proportion of males was higher than females among those who were never-married (57.2 percent) and married (50.1 percent) in 2015. For the rest of the categories for marital status, the females outnumbered the males.
  •  Across municipalities, Cagayancillo (50.5 percent) had the highest proportion of never-married persons while Kalayaan (54.8 percent) had the highest proportion of married individuals. Meanwhile, Magsaysay (6.1 percent) reported the largest proportion of widowed, Culion had the largest proportion of those in common-law/ live-in (16.1 percent), and Busuanga had the largest proportion of divorced/separated (1.4 percent) persons.

Females outnumbered males among baccalaureate degree holders

  • Of the total population 5 years old and over, 44.7 percent had attended or completed elementary education, 31.2 percent had reached or finished high school, 7.3 percent was college undergraduate, and 5.2 percent was baccalaureate/college graduate.
  •  Among those with baccalaureate degree, there were more females (60.0 percent) than males (40.0 percent). Similarly, among those with post baccalaureate courses, females (57.3 percent) outnumbered males (42.7 percent).

School attendance rate was higher among males than among females

  • Of the 374,612 household population aged 5 to 24 years, 68.0 percent was attending school in School Year (SY) 2015-2016. Cuyo recorded the highest school attendance rate at 77.0 percent while Rizal posted the lowest school attendance rate at 58.7 percent. In 2010, the rate of school attendance in SY 2009-2010 was lower at 62.0 percent.
  •  By sex, the school attendance rate in 2015 was higher among males (50.9 percent) than among females (49.1 percent). The same trend was observed in 2010.
  •  Among the 23 municipalities, meanwhile, only Balabac had a higher attendance rate among females (50.8 percent) than among males (49.2 percent).

Simple literacy rate was recorded at 95.7 percent

  • Palawan posted a literacy rate of 95.7 percent among the 633,950 household population aged 10 years old and over. This is higher than the 94.7 percent literacy rate that was recorded in 2010. In the CPH 2010 and POPCEN 2015, a person is considered literate if he/she is able to read and write a simple message in any language or dialect.
  • Literacy rate in 2015 was higher among males (52.2 percent) than among females (47.8 percent). Similarly, literacy rate was higher among males (51.6 percent) than among females (48.4 percent) in 2010.

Roman Catholics accounted for 65 percent of the total population

  • More than three fifths (64.8 percent or 550,061 persons) of the total population of Palawan in 2015 reported Roman Catholic as their religious affiliation. The corresponding figure in 2010 was 65.6 percent(506,214 persons).
  • The next largest religious affiliation in the province was Islam, comprising 10.6 percent of the total population. It was followed by those who are affiliated with the Evangelicals (Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches), with 5.2 percent share.

Almost three in every five persons were engaged in a gainful activity

  •  In 2015, the province had 531,455 household population aged 15 years old and over. Of this total, approximately three in every five persons (58.4 percent) were engaged in a gainful activity during the 12 months preceding the census.
  •  By major occupation group, workers engaged in skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers comprised the largest group (45.1 percent of all persons with gainful activity). Elementary occupations came in next (20.5 percent), followed by service and sales workers (9.5 percent).

About 0.4 percent of the household population was overseas workers

  • Of the household population 15 years old and over,  2,342 persons or 0.4 percent were overseas workers. Overseas workers aged 25 to 29 years made up the largest group, comprising 21.9 percent of the total overseas workers, followed by those in age groups 30 to 34 years (21.2 percent), 35 to 39 years (18.0 percent), and 45 years and over (14.9 percent).
  • About 53.6 percent of the total overseas workers in the province were males while females had 46.4 percent share.

* excluding Puerto Princesa City
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority, 2015 Census of Population