As the country’s population increased to 109M on May 1, 2020, the Ilocos Region has steadily grown its population by 275,011 from 5, 026, 128 in 2015; ranking as Top 7 among all the regions with highest population 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 also reveals that the Ilocos Region’s annual population growth rate (PGR) is pegged at 1.13%, slightly higher than the 1.09% in 2010 to 2015. The 3 provinces, except for Pangasinan, have lowered its annual PGR but have been continuously increasing in absolute numbers. Pangasinan, with 1.43% PGR, has a total population of 3,163,190 while La Union with 822, 352; Ilocos Sur with 706, 009 and 609, 588 in Ilocos Norte.

As per province, the Top 5 most populous municipalities and cities are as follows: City of Laoag, City of Batac, Dingras, San Nicolas and Bacarra in Ilocos Norte; the City of Candon, City of Vigan, Narvacan, Tagudin and Sta. Cruz in Ilocos Sur; the City of San Fernando, Bauang, Agoo, Rosario and Naguilian in La Union; and in Pangasinan, the City of San Carlos, City of Dagupan, City of Urdaneta, Malasiqui and Bayambang.

“While population growth is an essential element to achieve sustainability and demographic dividend, there needs to be 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,” POPCOM Regional Director Erma R. Yapit explained.

POPCOM-Region I further intensifies its strategic development programs at the local level particularly at the province of Pangasinan by localizing its Philippine Population Development Program (PPDP) among its cities and municipalities. 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)