Three Babies were Born Per Minute (Live Birth Statistics, Philippines 2003)

Reference Number: 207
Release Date: 16 August 2006

Explanatory Notes

This special release presents data on birth obtained from birth certificates registered at the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO) all throughout the country and forwarded to the Office of the Civil Registrar General. Data comprised of births that occurred in 2003 and were registered from January 2003 to March 2004. Statistics presented were not adjusted for under-registration.

Three babies are born per minute

A total of 1,669,442 live births was recorded for the year 2003 or a minimal increase of 0.2 percent from 1,666,773 in 2002. The daily occurrence of births was 4,574 or 190 babies born every hour or 3 babies per minute.

Areas with relatively large population reported the highest counts of births with respect to the usual residence of the mother. The top three regions were National Capital Region, CALABARZON, and Central Luzon with 16.8 percent, 14.2 percent, and 11.7 percent of the total, respectively. On the other hand, the lowest record of birth was in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with 14,730 comprising only 0.9 percent of the total birth count.

More males were born than female babies. Sex ratio was placed at 108. Central Luzon and CALABARZON, among other regions, got the highest sex ratio of 110.

1.9 percent decreased in CBR from 2002

The Crude Birth Rate (CBR) or the number of live births per 1,000 population based on the 1995 census was 20.6. For three consecutive years, the CBR continuously declined and in 2003 it was lower by 1.9 percent than the previous year.

Median age of mothers is 27.6

The median ages of mothers and fathers of live birth were consistent with the previous year’s 27.6 and 31.4, respectively. Mothers aged 20-24 got the highest number of live births with 28.3 percent of the total. Teenage mothers contributed 7.4 percent or 123,865 births. Non-fertile age group 50 years old and over, showed fertility performance of 728 live births.

Modal age of mothers was at age 23 for some 108,012 birth occurrences while that of fathers was at age 27 with 88,257 counts.

Thirty six out of 100 births are born to young adult mothers

More than one third or 595,247 of the total births were delivered by young adult mothers (15 to 24 years old). A proportion of 18.1 percent were born to mothers aged 23 years while 26.0 percent were fathered by young adult fathers at age 24.

It was noted that 829 mothers delivered their first-born at age below 15.

The total fertility rate (TFR) is 2.6

In 2003, the total fertility rate (TFR) or the average number of children a woman would have when she reaches the age of 50 was 2.6. This happens if the woman were to experience the age specific fertility rates (ASFRs) derived from the registered births of a given year throughout her reproductive years.

Consequently, the ASFR deviates relatively on the reproductive years of a woman. The average number of births per 1,000 women aged 45-49 recorded an absolute minimum value of 4.3. This reflected the fertility performance of women nearing the end of their reproductive years. Meanwhile, women peaked their reproduction at age 25-29 with approximately 135 births per 1,000 women.

Two-thirds of the babies are delivered by medical attendants

A total of 1,123,120 (67.3%) babies were delivered with the assistance from medical staff (physicians, nurses, and midwives). Of these, six out of ten deliveries were assisted by physicians. There was an extremely low number of nurses assisting in the delivery of some 0.9 percent children.

On the other hand, 544,244 births were delivered by unlicensed midwives and other non-medical attendants. Mothers in Caraga preferred to deliver their babies attended by unlicensed midwife in which 21,269 live births or 62.6 percent were accounted for in the region. This was also true in MIMAROPA (61.5%), and Bicol (59.0%). Moreover, seven out of 17 regions in the country preferred the help and assistance of unlicensed midwives other than the medical attendants. In contrast, NCR, a highly urbanized region, got the highest count of birth deliveries through medical attendants with 89.6 percent.  


One in every four births is a first-born

The birth order was inversely related to the total number of babies born. As the birth order increases, the number of babies decreases. 317401/1669442

However, when it comes to the median age of  mothers with respect to the birth order, the trend showed that they were positively related to each other. The median age of mothers increases with the increasing birth orders.

On the other hand, the largest proportion of births was in the first birth order with 429,583 (25.7%) followed by the second and third birth orders with a count of 317,401 (19.0%), and 217,362 (13.0%), respectively.

Fertility performance can be shown on the onset of childbearing with respect to the age of the mother. Early childbearing was exhibited by the high proportion of first order births belonging to the age group under 20, which is 19.8 percent or about one fifth of the total first order births. Four out of nine women had their first birth in their early twenties (44.9%).

About one-half of total births are below the median weight

The birth weight is one of the indicators to determine the chances of survival of a newborn. Lower birth weight elevates the risk of a baby's survival. The number of babies with low birth weight as per standard measure of less than 2,500 grams were some 194,712 or 11.7 percent of the total. Extremely low birth weight babies weighing below 1,000 grams numbered 1,280 or 0.8 percent.

The median birth weight of babies born was 3,000 grams. This was 500 grams more than the normal birth weight of 2,500 grams.

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