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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

Nearly a third of PH population ‘lifetime migrants’

About three in every 10 persons in the Philippines aged at least five years old are lifetime migrants, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

That’s a whopping 29.87 million or 30.6 percent of the 97.60 million household population aged five years and over in the year 2020, the PSA said in a report released Monday, Jan. 16, 2023.

A “lifetime migrant” refers to a person currently living in a city or municipality that is different from the usual place of residence (city or municipality) of their mother at the time of their birth.

And Central Visayas — which groups Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor — ranks fourth among the country’s 17 regions in number of these lifetime migrants.

Of the 29.87 million lifetime migrants, 72 percent or 21.48 million persons migrated from a different province, 27 percent or 8.23 million persons migrated from a different city or municipality but within the same province, while less than one percent or 167,032 persons migrated from a foreign country, the PSA’s Migration and Overseas Workers 2020 Census of Population and Housing showed.

Of the 17 regions, Region 4-A or Calabarzon had 6.23 million or 20.8 percent of the 29.87 million lifetime migrants, a testament to its immense drawing power, followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 5.47 million (18.3 percent), and Region 3 (Central Luzon) with 3.33 million (11.2 percent) of the lifetime migrants.

Rounding out the top five were Central Visayas, which hosted 2.08 million (seven percent) and Western Visayas, which hosted 1.58 million (five percent) of the country’s lifetime migrants.

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao had the smallest number of lifetime migrants, at 327,316 persons.


The PSA did not reveal the reasons for the migration in 2020; however, its 2018 National Migration Survey conducted in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Population Institute revealed that employment was the top reason for internal migration, with other reasons being housing-related, schooling and to live with family members such as parents or spouses.

That 2018 survey also revealed that employment was the main driver of plans to migrate in the next five years, with Calabarzon and NCR the top choices for local migration and the United States and Canada the top choices for international migration.

Calabarzon comprises the five provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and Rizal and the highly urbanized city of Lucena.

The PSA said it was the most populous region in the country with more than 14.4 million inhabitants in 2020, and accounted for 14.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, the second largest share after the NCR, which accounted for 31.5 percent of GDP.

The region southeast of Metro Manila is famed for its large agricultural base as well as its manufacturing and high-tech industries.

GDP represents the monetary value of all final goods and services produced within the economy in a given period of time. It is a measure of a country’s economic output.

The biggest proportion of lifetime migrants in 2020 was in the 25 to 34 years old age group (20.4 percent), followed by those in the age groups 35 to 44 years (18.9 percent), 15 to 24 years (15.3 percent) and then 45 to 54 years (15.1 percent).

Regional movements

Central Visayas was among the five regions with “intraregional migration stream” or movement of people within the region that involved more than one million lifetime migrants, the PSA said.

Calabarzon topped the list with 1.72 million persons moving within the region; followed by Region 7 (Central Visayas) and Central Luzon (1.31 million persons each), NCR (1.29 million persons) and Region 6 (Western Visayas) with 1.14 million persons.

When it came to “interregional migration stream,” the biggest movement of people between regions was from the NCR to Calabarzon, as it involved 1.50 million people.

This was followed by Region 5 (Bicol) to Calabarzon (755,357 persons), Bicol to NCR (651,581 persons), NCR to Central Luzon (627,719 persons) and Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) to NCR (528,030 persons).

Nearly 2M overseas

As for overseas workers, they accounted for 1.97 million or 2.6 percent of the household population at least 15 years old in 2020.

Females made up 51.8 percent of the overseas workers.

The biggest number of overseas workers was in the 30 to 34 age group with 339,098 persons (17.2 percent), followed by those in the age groups 35 to 39 years with 315,291 persons (16 percent) and 25 to 29 years with 294,926 persons (15 percent).

Calabarzon accounted for 18.9 percent of the 1.97 million overseas workers with 372,301 overseas workers; followed by Central Luzon with 284,267 (14.4 percent), NCR with 221,368 (11.3 percent), Western Visayas with 171,520 (8.7 percent), Ilocos with 169,750 (8.6 percent) and Central Visayas with 119,881 (6.1 percent) overseas workers.

The PSA conducted the 2020 Census of Population and Housing in September 2020 using May 1, 2020 as a reference date, meaning it counted all those living as of that date.

It did not say whether the Covid-19 pandemic, which was declared in March 2020, affected data collection or the reasons for the population’s migration.

Source: Yahoo News

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