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Historical and Projected Population of the Philippines Under Different Growth Scenarios (1900-2100) - Limits to Growth

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Limits to Growth

It would not be surprising that the growth rates would go down in time -- increasing population would put pressure on land resources needed for human habitation, food production, transportation, commerce, industry, social and civic activities.  However, since land resources are finite, the lands used would come either from existing food production areas and forest lands.  

The conversion of agricultural and forest lands for use in other human activities is most evident in the National Capital Region (NCR) Megalopolis area -- comprising the contiguous regions of Metro Manila (NCR), CALABARZON and Central Luzon (blue region of the pie graph in Fig. 3a) -- where more than 34 million (37.3%) of the more than 92 million Filipinos reside (as of the 2010 Philippine Census).  If the National Capital Region (NCR) Megalopolis were a separate country, it would be the 35th largest country in the world in terms of population -- larger than Canada, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, larger than many of the ASEAN countries, except Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, larger than any of the Scandinavian countries, any Central American and Caribbean countries and more. 


Percent (%) Population of Megalopolis areas in the Philippines
Fig. 03a. Percent (%) Population of (Informal) Megalopolis areas of the Philippines.  The National Capital Region (NCR) Megalopolis (blue in the pie graph) comprise of the contiguous regions of Metro Manila (also known as NCR), CALABARZON and Central Luzon. The Northern Luzon Megalopolis (green in the pie graph) comprised of the regions of Ilocos, CAR and Cagayan Valley. The Visayas Megalopolis (orange in the pie graph) comprise of the regions of Western, Central and Eastern Visayas. The Mindanao Megalopolis (red in the pie graph) comprised of the lands historically settled originally by Muslim Filipinos -- Zamboanga region, Northern Mindanao region, Davao region, SOCCSKSARGEN, CARAGA and ARMM. Migration and settlement of Visayans, Ilocanos and Tagalogs in Mindanao is akin to the American settlers occupying the historic lands of Native Americans. This was compounded by the land acquisition during the American occupation of the Philippines. The two other regions Bicol and MIMAROPA, are lumped together (yellow in the pie graph) but do not really form a cohesive megalopolis.  Details for the individual regions are shown in Fig. 03b.
While the Northern Luzon Megalopolis are geographically contiguous, the mountainous CAR and scarcity of direct connecting roads isolate the three regions from each other.  What is common among the three regions is that the Ilocanos from the Ilocos region migrated to Cagayan Valley and CAR and became a significant if not the dominant ethnic groups in some parts of the other two regions. Further, the Northern Luzon Megalopolis is becoming a significant source of food and natural resources for the National Capital Region (NCR) Megalopolis, as many of the agricultural lands and forest areas of Central Luzon and CALABARZON are being converted to meet the increasing urbanization of many of the areas in the  National Capital Region (NCR) Megalopolis.



Percent (%) Population of the 17 Regions of the Philippines
Fig. 03b. Percent (%) Population of the 17 Regions of the Philippines. The data used here (and in Fig. 03a) was from the Philippines 2010 Census. Since then, almost another 10 million Filipinos would be added by middle of 2015. Each region and each province would  have centers of urbanization at the expense of agricultural and forest lands being converted for housing and other human activities.