Philippines' urban density getting worse - World Bank

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 26 2015 03:45 PM | Updated as of Jan 27 2015 05:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The country's urban areas, particularly Metro Manila, is getting more populated and is showing no signs of slowing down, according to a recent report by the World Bank.

The World Bank’s East Asia’s Changing Urban Land Escape report showed that the Philippines has the fifth-largest populated urban areas in the region, increasing at a rate of 3.3 percent annually to 23 million in 2010 from only 17 million people in 2000.

The country’s average population density in urban areas is second only to Korea, reaching 10,300 people per sq. km. in 2010 from from 9,500 people in 2000.

Metro Manila is the country’s densest city with 16.5 million people as of 2010 while the second most populated area in the country is Cebu with 1.5 million.

“The Manila urban area is the Philippines’ undisputed primate city, with no close competitors. In 2010, it had 56 percent of the urban land in the country and more than 70 percent of the country’s urban population,” the report said.

Metro Manila’s land area has expanded in the last 10 years, but the report said the expansion grew at a much slower rate compared with the growth in population.

The report said Metro Manila’s land area increased 2.2 percent per year to 1,300 sq. km. from 1,000 from 2000 to 2010.

However, population grew with a rate of 3.1 percent annually or to 16.5 million people from 12.2 million.

“Like almost all urban areas in the country, [Metro] Manila is becoming even denser. Its population density increased from 11,900 people per square kilometer to almost 13,000 between 2000 and 2010,” the World Bank said.

World Bank also noted that nearly all the new developments for residents or about 94 percent were located Metro Manila’s neighboring provinces of Cavite, Bulacan and Laguna.

The population growth, however, occurred mostly in Quezon City, Caloocan City, and Manila.

“The City of Manila the densest local unit (almost 48,000 people per sq. km.). In total, the administrative area of Metro Manila added nearly 2.3 million additional residents with a negligible increase in urban built-up area (just 14 sq. km.),” it said.

Outside of Metro Manila, Cebu has the largest population, growing rapidly at a rate of 4.1 percent to 1.5 million from 1 million between 2000 and 2010. The cities of Angeles City, Davao and Bacolod, meanwhile, are in the 500,000 to 1 million population range in 2010.