Population reached 3.6 million
The total population, as of May 1, 2000, of Eastern Visayas, which covers the provinces of Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, Southern Leyte and Biliran, was 3,610,355 persons. This implied an increase of 243,438 persons over the 1995 census figure or an average annual population growth rate of 1.51 percent, lower than the annual population growth rate recorded during the 1990 to 1995 period (1.84 percent). The growth of the population in the region was slow compared to the national growth (2.36 percent). If the average annual population growth rate continues at 1.51 percent, the population of the region is expected to double in 46 years while the population of the Philippines, as a whole, with its growth rate of 2.36 percent, is expected to double in 29 years only. The population of Eastern Visayas is increasing on the average, by 54,516 persons a year or about 149 persons per day.
Over half of the population were in economically active age group
In Eastern Visayas region, more than 54 percent of the population belonged to productive ages or economically active persons (15 to 64 years old). On the other hand, young dependents (aged 0 to 14 years) accounted for about 41 percent while about five percent were old dependents (aged 65 years and over). The overall dependency ratio in 2000 was 84. This meant that for every 100 persons aged 15 to 64 years, there were about 84 dependents, i.e., 75 young dependents and nine old dependents.
Half of the population were below 20 years
Eastern Visayas had a median age of 20 years. This meant that in 2000, half of the population were below 20 years old. The provinces of Southern Leyte and Biliran had the highest median age of 20 years, followed by the province of Leyte with 19 years. The provinces of Eastern and Northern Samar both had the same median age of 18 years. On the other hand, the province of Samar had the youngest at 17 years.
Sex ratio recorded at 104
In 2000, the sex ratio in Eastern Visayas was recorded at 104. This meant that in this region, there were 104 males for every 100 females.
Ninety-three percent of the population were Roman Catholics
Majority of the total household population in Eastern Visayas were Roman Catholics. It comprised more than 93 percent of the total household population, followed by Aglipayan (two percent) and Evangelicals (one percent). The remaining 15 percent were either Iglesia ni Cristo, Seventh Day Adventist, or other religions.
Nine in every ten persons were literate
In 2000, about 90 percent of the population aged 10 years old and over in Eastern Visayas were literate. Literacy rate for females was higher than their male counterparts. The female literacy rate was 91 percent while the literacy rate for males was 89 percent. Southern Leyte had the highest literacy rate where more than 92 percent of its population was able to read and write a simple message. On the other hand, the province of Samar had the lowest at 85 percent.
Average number of children ever born was 3.3
In Eastern Visayas, ever-married women (15 to 49 years) in reproductive ages had on the average, 3.3 children during their reproductive period. The number of children ever born was relatively low at the younger age group 15 to 19 years and continued to increase as they became older.
More male overseas contract workers
In 2000, there were 21,643 overseas contract workers or about 0.6 percent of the total household population. It was noted that among them, males (56 percent) outnumbered females (44 percent). The median age of overseas workers was 32 years. This meant that half of the overseas workers were below 32 years old. Male overseas workers had a median age of 34 years while their female counterparts had 29 years.
Two in five households burned their garbage
Of the total households, about 44 percent preferred burning as the usual manner of garbage disposal. About 14 percent of the households had their garbage picked up by garbage trucks while about 19 percent dumped their garbage in individual pit. The rest of the households disposed their garbage either by composting, burying or feeding to animals.
Half of the households drew water for drinking and/or cooking from community water system
The main source of water used for drinking and/or cooking by more than half of the households in the region was community water system. About 18 percent of the total number of households in Eastern Visayas region had their own faucet and more than 33 percent shared faucet from community water system for drinking and/or cooking. The province of Biliran had the highest proportion (82 percent) of its total households that drew water for drinking and/or cooking from community water system while the province of Northern Samar had the lowest with about 29 percent. However, more than nine percent of the households in the region still depended on spring, lake, river, rain, etc. as their main source of water for drinking and/or cooking.
Half of the households used electricity for lighting
Electricity was the main source of lighting of about 48 percent of the total households in the region. About 47 percent had used kerosene or gaas. The province of Southern Leyte had the highest proportion of the total households that used electricity for lighting (52 percent). This was followed by the province of Leyte with about 52 percent. On the other hand, the province of Northern Samar had the lowest proportion with about 34 percent.
Most households had radio/cassette
Of the total 715,070 households in Eastern Visayas region, about 65 percent had radio/cassette and more than 28 percent had television set. About five percent reported to have telephone or cellular phone while more than seven percent had motorized vehicle.
Three in every ten households owned agricultural land
In 2000, about 35 percent of the total households in Eastern Visayas owned a land. Thirty percent of the households had an agricultural land (this included 2.6 percent of households who acquired the land through Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) or were Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARB)); 12.78 percent, residential land other than where the households currently resided; and two percent, land other than residential and agricultural.
Three in every four households owned/amortized the houses they occupied
Of the total households in Eastern Visayas region, about 76 percent owned or amortized the houses they occupied; 15 percent, for free with consent of owner; and more than four percent rented.