Data on births presented in this release were obtained from the timely and late registered births at the Office of the City/Municipal Civil Registrars all throughout the country and submitted to the Office of the Civil Registrar General through the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)-Provincial Statistical Offices (PSOs). Information presented includes registered births that occurred from January to December 2020 (cut-off date is as of 16 July 2021 on the submission of encoded data files to the PSA-Central Office from PSOs). Figures presented herein are not adjusted for under registration. Births of Filipinos abroad which were reported to the Philippine Foreign Service Posts are presented in a separate report.
Fourteen births per thousand population
In 2020, a total of 1,528,684 live births were registered, which is equivalent to a crude birth rate (CBR) of 14.1 or 14 births per thousand population.1
The number of registered live births showed a generally decreasing trend. A decrease of -14.6 percent in the registered live births was noted in the past eight years, from 1,790,367 in 2012 to 1,528,684 in 2020. The highest decline rate was noted in 2020 (-8.7%) compared to the total registered live births of 1,673,923 in 2019. (Figure 1 and Table 1)
On the average, 4,177 babies were born daily, which translates to 174 babies born per hour or approximately three (3) babies born per minute.
More males were born than females
In 2020, more males (796,543 or 52.1%) were born than females (732,141 or 47.9%), resulting in a sex ratio at birth of 109 males per 100 females. (Figure 2)
Highest occurrence of births recorded in CALABARZON
Areas with relatively large population reported the highest number of live births by place of occurrence and by usual residence of mother. Of the total live births, 58.8 percent were born in Luzon, 18.3 percent in Visayas, and 23.0 percent in Mindanao. Among regions, the CALABARZON recorded the highest number of birth occurrences with 14.5 percent share. This was followed by National Capital Region (NCR) (13.8%) and Central Luzon (11.8%). The same regions recorded the highest number of live births by usual residence of mothers, collectively sharing 40.0 percent or two in every five babies born in 2020. (Figure 3 and Table 2)
More babies were born outside the usual residence of the mother
Six out of the 17 regions reported more birth occurrences in the region than the number of births from its residents. This may be due to expectant mothers giving birth outside of their usual place of residence and/or non-residents giving birth in the region.
In Luzon, births that occurred in NCR exceeded births to mothers residing in the region by 12,209 births. Notably, expectant mothers from CALABARZON gave birth in NCR where most hospitals and health care facilities were located. In Mindanao, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) had the most births outside the usual residence of the mother with 4,078 births. (Table 2)
Most number of births registered in September
In 2020, most registered births occurred in September at 146,500 or 9.6 percent of the total births in the country. It was followed by the months of October (9.5% share), November (9.1%), and January (9.1%). On the other hand, the month of March had the least number of births (7.1%). (Table 3 and Figure 4)
In terms of daily average, September recorded the highest with an average of 4,883 births per day, which translates to 203 births per hour. On the contrary, March had the lowest daily average number of births with 3,496, equivalent to 146 births per hour. (Table 3)
Nine in ten birth deliveries were medically attended
Of the total number of births in the country, 94.5 percent were attended by health professionals (physician, midwife, or nurse). Majority of births were delivered by physicians (65.0%), followed by midwives (28.1%). On the other hand, 5.2 percent of births were delivered by a hilot/ traditional birth attendant. (Figure 5)
The number of births by place of occurrence and by usual residence of mother showed a remarkable proportion of births attended by health professionals in 16 regions. This is indicative of improving health services in terms of maternal and child health care. Fourteen regions had medically attended births higher than 90 percent. On the other hand, only about half (53.2%) of the births that occurred in ARMM were medically attended while the rest were attended by traditional birth attendants—either hilot or unlicensed midwives, or other type of attendants. (Table 4)
Nine in ten births delivered in health facilities
In 2020, nine out of 10 births were delivered in a health facility (93.6%), which was either a hospital, birthing clinic, lying in, outpatient care center, specialized care center, and the like. Only 6.1 percent of total births were delivered at home and 0.2 percent were delivered in other locations. (Figure 6)
About nine in ten newborn babies weighed more than 2,500 grams
Birth weight serves as a measure of the nutritional status of newborns. Low birth weight is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as weight at birth less than 2,500 grams (5.5 lbs.).
Of the total number of newborn babies, 88.1 percent were above the defined low birth weight.
The median birth weight was about 3,000 grams. In other words, half of the newborn babies weighed at least 3,000 grams.
Moreover, most babies or about four in ten weighed between 3,000 to 3,499 grams, while 1,939 (0.1%) babies were born weighing less than 1,000 grams. (Figure 7)
Majority of babies were born to mothers aged 25-29 years old
In 2020, majority of registered births had parents aged 25-29 years (419,726 or 27.5% for mothers while 386,608 or 25.3% for fathers). However, babies born to adolescent mothers (157,060 or 10.3%), those younger than 20 years old, were more than three times of babies sired by adolescent fathers (48,762 or 3.2%). (Figure 8 and Table 5)
The median age of mothers was 27 years old while the median age for fathers was 30 years old. This means that half of the births in 2020 were to mothers and fathers who were at least 27 years old and 30 years old, respectively.
“High-risk” age of pregnancy cover the age group 17 years old and younger (3.7%), and 35 years old and over (15.8%). This is because childbearing in these age groups is more likely to have complications during pregnancy and labor that may result to higher morbidity and mortality to both mother and child.
About 10.1 percent of the births in 2020 were to mothers aged 15-19 years, while around 15.8 percent were to mothers 35 years old and over. Moreover, the adolescent birth rate,2 or the number of births to women ages 15–19 per 1,000 women in that age group, was 31 per 1,000 women in 2020. (Figure 8 and Table 5)
More than half of babies were born to unwed mothers
More than half (870,820 or 57.0%) of the total registered live births in 2020 were born out of wedlock. The three regions that recorded the highest number of illegitimate children based on usual residence of the mother were CALABARZON (16.4%), NCR (15.6%), and Central Luzon (11.8%). (Figure 9 and Table 6)
Moreover, 12 regions reported at least half of its registered births in 2020 as illegitimate, led by NCR (68.4%), Eastern Visayas (66.9%), and CALABARZON (61.5%). On the other hand, ARMM recorded the highest proportion of legitimate births at 94.6 percent. (Table 6)
Mothers aged 20-24 years had the highest number of illegitimate babies in 2020, contributing 296,844 or 34.1 percent of the total illegitimate births that year. This was followed by mothers aged 25-29 years, who contributed 222,835 or 25.6 percent of the total illegitimate births in 2020.
By age group of mothers, highest proportion of illegitimate births were to adolescent mothers aged under 15. Of the total number of babies born to adolescent mothers aged under 15, 96.0 percent were illegitimate. This was followed by births to adolescent mothers aged 15-19 years and mothers aged 20-24 years, with 91.8 percent and 75.9 percent, respectively. On the other hand, the least proportion of illegitimate babies (26.0%) were to mothers aged 45 years old and over. (Figure 10 and Table 7)
About 90 percent were registered on time
Timely registration refers to registration of the birth within 30 days of occurrence. In 2020, nine in every ten births were registered timely.
The three regions that recorded the highest share in timely registered births in 2020 based on usual residence of mother were CALABARZON (14.6% share), NCR (12.7%), and Central Luzon (11.4%). These three regions also recorded the highest number of late registered births, collectively sharing 48.2 percent of the total. (Table 8)
Seven (7) out of 17 regions had at least 90.0 percent of its births registered within the reglementary period. Davao Region had the highest proportion of timely registered births with 94.4 percent of its total registered births, followed by SOCCSKSARGEN with 93.9 percent. On the other hand, ARMM recorded the highest proportion of late registered births at 31.3 percent, followed by MIMAROPA (22.8%). (Figure 11)
DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General
1 Population estimate used was taken from the updated population projections based on the 2015 Census of Population available at psa.gov.ph/statistics/census/projected-population
2 Population estimate for females aged 15-19 years old used in the computation was from the 2015 census-based population projections available at psa.gov.ph/statistics/census/projected-population