Data on births presented in this release were obtained from the Certificates of Live Birth (Municipal Form No. 102) that were registered at the Office of the City/Municipal Civil Registrars all throughout the country and forwarded to the Philippine Statistics Authority. Information presented include registered births which occurred from January to December 2019. Cumulative figures for 2019 reflect updated data received from previous months and may differ from preliminary counts previously published. Births of Filipinos that occurred abroad which were reported to the Philippine Foreign Service Posts are presented in a separate report.
Sixteen births per thousand population
In 2019, a total of 1,673,923 live births were registered, which is equivalent to a crude birth rate (CBR) of 15.6 or 16 births per thousand population.1
The number of registered live births showed a generally decreasing trend, noticeably from 2013 to 2018. A decrease of-6.5 percent in the registered live births was noted in the past seven years, from 1,790,367 in 2012 to 1,673,923 in 2019. (Figure 1 and Table 1)
On the average, about 4,586 babies were born daily. This is equivalent to about 191 babies born per hour or approximately three (3) babies born per minute.
More males born than females
In 2019, more males (871,750 or 52.1%) were born than females (802,173 or 47.9%), resulting in a sex ratio at birth of 109 malesper100 females. (Figure 2)
Highest occurrence of births recorded in NCR
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, 58.1 percent were born in Luzon, 18.7 percent in Visayas, and 23.2 percent in Mindanao. Among regions, the National Capital Region (NCR) recorded the highest number of birth occurrences with 14.5 percent share. This was followed by CALABARZON (13.6%) and Central Luzon (11.3%). The same regions recorded the highest number of live births by usual residence of mothers, collectively sharing 39.3 percent or about two in every five babies born in 2019. (Figure 3 and Table 2)
More babies born outside the usual residence of the mother
Six out of the 17regions 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 24,010 births. Notably, expectant mothers from adjacent regions, such as CALABARZON and Central Luzon, gave birth in NCR where most hospitals and health care facilities were located. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) had the most births outside the usual residence of the mother with 5,870 births (18.5% of its total births). (Table 2)
Most number of births registered in September
In 2019, most registered births occurred in September at 153,710 or 9.2 percent of the total births in the country. It was followed by the months of October (9.1% share), November (8.8%), and January (8.8%). On the other hand, the month of February had the least number of births (7.0%). (Table 3 and Figure 4)
In terms of daily average, September recorded the highest with an average of 5,124 births per day, which translates to 213 births per hour. On the contrary, March had the lowest daily average number of births with 4,165, equivalent to 174 births per hour. (Table 3)
Nine in ten birth deliveries were medically attended
Of the total number of births in the country, 95.3 percent were attended by health professionals (physician, midwife, or nurse). Majority of births were delivered by physicians (70.1%), followed by midwives (23.8%). On the other hand, 4.4 percent of births were delivered through 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. Fifteen regions had medically attended births higher than 90 percent. On the other hand, only about half (53.9%) 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 2019, nine out of 10 births were delivered in a health facility (94.3%), which was either a hospital, birthing clinic, lying in, outpatient care center, specialized care center, and the like. Only 5.5 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, 87.1 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, about four in ten babies weighed between 2,500 to 2,999 grams, while 2,681 (0.2%) babies who were born weighing less than 1,000 grams. (Figure 7)
Majority of babies born to mothers aged 25-29 years old
In 2019, majority of registered births were had parents aged 25-29 (452,406 or 27.0% for mothers while 420,018 or 25.1% for fathers). However, babies born to adolescent mothers (180,916), those younger than 20 years old, were more than three times of babies sired by adolescent fathers (52,734). (Figure 8 and Table 5)
The median age of mothers was 27 years old while the median age for fathers2 was 29 years old. In other words, half of the births in 2019 were to mothers and fathers who were at least 27 years old and 29 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 10.7 percent of the births in 2019 were to mothers aged 15-19 years old, while around 16.0 percent were to mothers 35 years old and over. Moreover, the adolescent birth rate,3 or the number of births to women ages 15–19 per 1,000 women in that age group, was 34 per 1,000 women in 2019. (Figure 8 and Table 5)
More than half of babies born to unwed mothers
More than half (917,242 or 54.8%) of the total registered live births in 2019 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(16.0%), NCR (15.8%), and Central Luzon (11.3%). (Figure 9 and Table 6)
Moreover, 11 regions reported at least half of its registered births in 2019 as illegitimate, led by Eastern Visayas (66.4%), NCR (66.2%), and Davao Region (59.1%). On the other hand, ARMM recorded the highest proportion of legitimate births at 95.2 percent. (Table 6)
Mothers aged 20-24 years old had the highest number of illegitimate babies in 2019, contributing 315,620 or 34.4 percent of the total illegitimate births that year. This was followed by mothers aged 25-29 years old, who contributed 227,411 or 24.8 percent of the total illegitimate births in 2019.
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, 95.9 percent were illegitimate. This was followed by births to adolescent mothers aged 15-19 years old and mothers aged 20-24 years old, with 89.4 percent and 71.6 percent, respectively, of births being illegitimate. On the other hand, the least proportion of illegitimate babies (25.6%) were to mothers aged 45 years old and over. (Figure 10 and Table 7)
More than 90 percent were registered on time
Timely registration refers to registration of the birth within 30 days of occurrence. In 2019, nine in every ten registered births were timely.
The three regions that recorded the highest share in timely registered births in 2019 based on usual residence of mother were CALABARZON (14.6% share), NCR (13.2%), and Central Luzon (11.3%). These three regions also recorded the highest number of late registered births, collectively sharing 41.2 percent of the total. (Table 8)
Twelve (12) out of 17 regions had at least 90.0 percent of its births registered within the reglementary period. Ilocos Region had the highest proportion of timely registered births with 96.4 percent of its total registered births, followed by Davao Region with 95.7 percent. On the other hand, ARMM recorded the highest proportion of late registered births at 29.0 percent, followed by MIMAROPA (17.2%). (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 available at www.psa.gov.ph/statistics/census/projected-population
2 The median age of father excludes information from births where paternity is not acknowledged.
3 Population estimate for females aged 15-19years old used in the computation was from the 2015 census-based population projections available at: https://psa.gov.ph/statistics/census/projected-population