*I. Norte with only 609,588 people is 4th among the Region I populous provinces
As the country’s population soared to 109 million high as per data dated May 1, 2020, the Ilocos Region has equally grown by 275,011 in population.
The said growth adds to the region’s present 5,026,128 population recorded by the 2015 census.
In view of this high population growth, Region I ranked Top 7 among all the regions based on the official results of the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on July 7, 2021.
The census data showed that the Ilocos Region’s annual population growth rate (PGR) was 1.13%, slightly higher than the 1.09% from 2010 to 2015.
The three Ilocos provinces, except for Pangasinan, have lowered annual PGR but have a consistent increase in absolute numbers.
Pangasinan, with 1.43% PGR, has a total population of 3,163,190 while La Union had 822, 352; Ilocos Sur, 706, 009 and Ilocos Norte, 609, 588.
As per province, the Top 5 most populous cities and municipalities are as follows: Laoag City, Batac City, Dingras, San Nicolas and Bacarra, all in Ilocos Norte; Candon City, Vigan City, Narvacan, Tagudin and Sta. Cruz, all in Ilocos Sur; San Fernando City, Bauang, Agoo, Rosario and Naguilian, all in La Union; and San Carlos City, Dagupan City, Urdaneta City, Malasiqui and Bayambang, all in Pangasinan.
“While population growth is an essential element to achieve sustainability and demographic dividend, it needs adequate resources for livelihood opportunities, reproductive health care and services, quality education and the like. Population growth should not depress the people’s living standards in the long run,” Population Commission Regional Director Erma R. Yapit explained.
The POPCOM-Region I said it vowed to further intensify its strategic development programs at the local level particularly in Pangasinan by localizing its Philippine Population Development Program (PPDP). It emphasized that the aspiration to achieve the demographic dividend in the near future seeks the support of the local government units, partners and other stakeholders including the youth sector to be able to build empowered and happy families where no one is left behind. (by: Maria Cristina F. Martinez, POPCOM-Region I)