macrohistory & world report

Republic of the Philippines

Map of Philippine Islands

Philippines (capital Manila) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of November 2014: "The economy has weathered global economic and financial downturns better than its regional peers due to minimal exposure to troubled international securities, lower dependence on exports, relatively resilient domestic consumption, large remittances from four to five million overseas Filipino workers, and a rapidly expanding business process outsourcing industry. The current account balance had recorded consecutive surplus... Underemployment is nearly 20% and more than 40% of the employed are estimated to be working in the informal sector. The AQUINO administration has been working to boost the budgets for education, health, cash transfers to the poor, and other social spending programs, and is relying on the private sector to help fund major infrastructure projects under its Public-Private Partnership program. Long term challenges include reforming governance and the judicial system, building infrastructure, improving regulatory predictability, and the ease of doing business, attracting higher levels of local and foreign investments. The Philippine Constitution and the other laws continue to restrict foreign ownership in important activities/sectors (such as land ownership and public utilities)."

Economic growth rate
2013: 6.8%
2012: 6.8%
2011: 3.6%

Work force in agriculture
2010: 33%

Unemployment rate
2013: 7.4%
2011: 7.2%

Public debt
2011: 49.4%

Export commodities
Semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, fruits

Export partners
2010: China 19%, US 13.4%, Singapore 13.2%, Japan 12.8%, Hong Kong 7.6%, Germany 4.2%, South Korea 4.1%

Export/import ratio
2011: exports $54.17 billion, imports $68.84 billion.

The Philippines exports workers whose remittances help to balance the export/import ratio

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 42 among 141 countries (lower rank number is less equal).

Health expenditures
2009: 3.8% of GDP

Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP
2006: 1.5%



July 2014: 107.7 million

Population growth rate:
2014: 1.81%, 67th among 233 countries

Births / deaths
2014: 22.24 / 4.92

LIfe expectancy
2014: 72.48

Infant Mortality, deaths per 1,000 live births
2014: 17.64 (15 more deaths per 1,000 than abortion liberal Sweden)

Living in an urban area: 49% (2010)

Density for 2005, 294 persons per square kilometer – compared to 493 for South Korea (2005 estimate) and 378 for Japan (2004 estimate).

Ethnic groups
2000 census: Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon Ilonggo 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4%, other 25.3%

2000 census: Catholic 82.9% (Roman Catholic 80.9%, Aglipayan 2%), Muslim 5%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, other Christian 4.5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1%

Net migration rate
2012: A net loss of 1.27 per 1,000 population.

Literacy, Age 15 and Older
2008: males 95.0%, females 95.8%
2003: males 92.5%, females 92.7%


Group of islands south of China and north of Indonesia. Total area including lakes: 300,000 square kilometers, roughly or 342 by 342 miles.


A republic. Described also as a democracy with a bicameral legislature.. Capital: Manila

Recent History

Independence from the United States, July 4, 1946.

Pro-life people in the Philippines point out that population rate of growth has been declining over the years, and they celebrate what they call "big, happy" Filipino families. The Catholic Church forbids contraception such as birth control pills or condoms. In March, 2005, Catholic bishops in the south announced that they would deny communion to health workers who want to implement a safe-motherhood program through the government's Department of Health. 

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, known as a devout Catholic, has defended the Church's position against artificial birth control, but she has admitted to having used contraceptives as a young mother.

According to the BBC (February 23, 2006) average incomes have fallen "by about 10 percent in three years." The Philippines lacks a "good manufacturing base ... and is not keeping up with growth in the region." Poverty is growing along with a rapid rise in population. 

March 2010: With its rapidly growing population and low budget for education, the Philippines suffers from a lack of classrooms for children. It suffers, too, from low per capita GDP (162nd), and it has a high infant mortality rate: 20.56 per 1,000 live births (102st).

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.