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Population growth in the Philippines is projected to have slowed down to just 0.3 per cent in 2021, the slowest in over 70 years, as Filipinos delayed having children amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a government agency said Thursday.
An estimated 324,000 babies were born last year, the lowest number since the period between 1946 and 1947, when the country’s population grew by 254,000 babies, the Commission on Population and Development said.
At the end of 2021, the country’s total population was estimated at 109,991,095, 2 million lower than earlier projections based on a 1.63 per cent population growth rate, the commission said.
The decrease was due to more Filipinos practicing family planning amid the Covid-19 crisis and the economic crunch resulting from lockdowns, said Juan Perez III, head of the commission.
“Filipinos remain prudent by continuing to delay having children or forming families during the combined economic crisis and Covid-19 health emergency,” he said in a statement.
The Philippines has been experiencing a surge in new Covid-19 cases since the Christmas holidays amid the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.
On Thursday, the Department of Health reported 31,173 additional Covid-19 cases, bringing the country’s total caseload since the start of the pandemic to more than 3.32 million. The death toll was up 110 to 53,153, it added.
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