Fewer babies are being born in the Philippines each year for the last three years, the latest report from the Philippine Statistics Office, released on December 27, 2019, shows.
According to “Births in the Philippines, 2018,” a total of 1,668,120 live births were registered in 2018, equivalent to about 3 babies being born per minute. This is slightly lower than the 1,700,618 live births registered in 2017, but a big jump from 2012, when live births recorded were at 2.5 million.
In 2017, the same report listed some factors that may be contributing to the declining births. Among these are the use of family planning methods among married women, which increased by 14% from 1993 to 2017, and the resources needed for supporting families (officials say, however, that a family of five can get by with Php 10,727 per month).
One of the more notable findings in the report is the fact that 9 out of every 10 birth deliveries in 2018 were attended by a medical professional (a physician, licensed midwife, or a nurse). Only 5.5% were supervised by a traditional hilot.
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In relation to this, the report also highlights a difference between the mothers’ place of residence and the place where the births occurred. This may be indicative of the moms’ preference to give birth where there are better health care facilities (such as hospitals) and social services, considering that the highest births by occurrence among all regions was recorded in the National Capital Region (NCR).
As in the last few years, there were more male babies than female babies born in 2018.
A majority of the live births were recorded in the NCR (58.4%), followed by Mindanao (23%), then Visayas (18.5%).
The month of September saw the highest number of births in 2018 at 9.4%, followed by October (9.3%) and November (8.9%). The month with the least number of births was February, constituting only 6.8%.
Majority of the births were by mothers within the age bracket of 20-24 (27.3%) and fathers aged 25-29 (24.7%).
More than half of the babies born in 2018 were to mothers who were unmarried. The CALABARZON region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) had the highest number of illegitimate children (146,366), followed by NCR (142,702) and Central Luzon (102,766).
The region with the most number of legitimate births was the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).