Ilocos Sur's Population Growth Rate Doubled After 5 Years

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Release Date: 

Monday, April 22, 2002


Population growth rate increased to 1.85

The province of Ilocos Sur recorded a total population of 594,206 persons in the 2000 Census of Population and Housing (Census 2000). The figure was higher by 48,821 persons over the 1995 census results. This registered a 1.85 annual growth rate, which was twice as much as that of 1995 (0.90 percent). A corresponding ten percent increase on the number of households was also observed, from 108,329 households in 1995 to 119,212 households in 2000. This resulted to an average household size of 4.98 persons, slightly lower than the 5.03 average household size recorded in 1995.

Vigan was next to Candon in terms of population size

Among the thirty-two municipalities of Ilocos Sur, Candon had the largest population comprising 8.51 percent of the total population. Vigan, the provincial capital, had a share of 7.60 percent, followed by Narvacan with 6.47 percent. Santa Cruz and Tagudin ranked fourth and fifth, both accounting for 5.79 percent. On the other hand, Sigay, Sugpon and Lidlida had the smallest population with less than 0.6 percent each.

More than half of the population were below 24 years old

The province had a median age of 24 years, higher than the 1995 median age of 23 years.

The province had almost the same number of males and females, 297,017 and 297,189, respectively. This figure resulted to a sex ratio of 99.94. There were more males in the age group 0 to 44 years, while more females in the 45 years and above age group.

Two-thirds belonged to economically active group

Economically active population aged 15 to 64 years comprised more than 61 percent of the population. Young dependents, aged 0 to 14 comprised 32.1 percent while 6.8 percent as old dependents aged 65 years and above. Thus, the overall dependency ratio was 63.76, lower than the 1995 ratio of 70.46.

More females pursued higher education

Among the household population aged five years old and over, 40.68 percent had attended/ completed elementary education, 30.20 percent high school and 5.68 percent post secondary education. Academic degree holders comprised 5.10 percent while 10.08 percent were college undergraduates. Less than one percent (0.33) pursued post-baccalaureate studies. There were more males than females among those who had attended or finished elementary (50.74 percent) and high school (51.99 percent). On the other hand, there were more females who had attended/completed post-secondary courses (51.78 percent), were college undergraduates (52.74 percent), were academic degree holders (62.28 percent), and attended/completed post baccalaureate courses (65.14 percent).

Ilocanos comprised 92.9 percent of the household population

In Ilocos Sur, 92.9 percent of the household population classified themselves as Ilocanos. The rest were either Kankanai/Kankaney/Kankanaey (2.9 percent), Itneg (0.9 percent), Tagalog (0.6 percent) or belonged to other ethnic groups (2.7 percent).

Proportion of married individuals down by 1.39 percentage points

Of the total population aged 10 years and over, married persons comprised 46.13 percent, lower by 1.39 percentage points than the 1995 figure (47.52). Single persons, widowed and with other arrangements constituted 44.33 percent, 5.68 percent and 2.40 percent, respectively. Separated/divorced persons constituted 0.72 percent, higher than the 0.45 percent recorded in 1995.

Almost a 100 percent occupancy rate

In Ilocos Sur, there were 115,634 housing units, of which 115,586 were occupied by 119,112 households. An occupancy rate of 99.96 percent was recorded, higher by 2.01 percentage points than the 1990 figure (97.95). More than 97 percent of the occupied housing units in Ilocos Sur were single houses.

Majority of the occupied housing units did not need repair or needed minor repair only while almost 19 percent needed major repair. One out of five occupied housing units were relatively new, built from1996 to 2000.

About 9 out of 10 houses had strong materials for roof

Galvanized iron/aluminum was the commonly used material of the roof of occupied housing units in Ilocos Sur. It comprised 86.3 percent, higher than the 71.4 percent recorded in 1990. On the other hand, the proportion of roof made of cogon/nipa/anahaw declined from 25.2 percent in 1990 to only 9.4 percent in 2000. The use of concrete/brick/stone as construction material of the outer walls rose by more than hundred percent, from 20.9 percent in 1990 to 46.0 percent in 2000.



Ilocos Sur occupies a long, narrow stretch of coast skirting steep mountain ranges cut by dozens in short, swift rivers. It is bounded on the north by the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Abra, and on the south by the province of La Union. The provinces of Benguet and Mountain Province rise on the east while the blue depths of the South China Sea lie to the west.

The province of Ilocos Sur was created on February 2, 1818, when a royal decree divided the old province of Ilocos into two. It was administered as part of the Filipino Republic in 1898.

Ilocos Sur is the cultural hub of the Ilocos region. The province takes the great pride in the richness of its cultural heritage. Vigan, its capital, is a living museum of old cobblestone streets and Spanish period tile-roof houses. The most colorful observances in Ilocos Sur center on Roman Catholic rites.

Table 1. Population Distribution of Top Five Municipalities by Sex: Ilocos Sur, 2000

Municipality Total Population Percent Male Female
Ilocos Sur 594,206 100.0 297,017 297,189
     Candon 50,564 8.51 25,256 25,308
     Vigan (Capital) 45,143 7.60 22,127 23,016
     Narvacan 38,435 6.47 19,292 19,143
     Santa Cruz 34,433 5.79 17,267 17,166
     Tagudin 34,427 5.79 17,008 17,419
     Other Municipalities 391,204 65.84 196,067 195,137

Source: NSO, 2000 Census of Population and Housing

Table 2. Total Population by Age Group, Sex and Sex Ratio: Ilocos Sur, 2000

Age Group Total Population Male Female Sex Ratio
Ilocos Sur 594,206 297,017 297,189 99.94
     Under 1 12,349 6,367 5,982 106.44
     1 to 4 49,161 25,446 23,715