A thought experiment: what if all of RP were concentrated in a single island?
Ready for some math?
First, let’s look at the population counts. As of the NSO census of 2007:
- Population of RP = 88,566,723
- Population of Metro Manila = 11,566,325
This means that 13 per cent of Filipinos live in Metro Manila, or around 1 in 8 people!
Now, how do the land areas compare?
- Land area of RP: 299,764 sq. km
- Land area of Metro Manila: 636 sq. km
This means that Metro Manila is only 1/500 of the country’s total land area or 5% of Luzon.
Dividing the population by the land area gives us the average number of people per square km, or population density:
- Population density of RP: 295 people per sq. km
- Population density of Metro Manila: 18,170 people per sq. km
Metro Manila is 60 times more dense than the country as a whole!
If you fit all 88 million Filipinos with the population density of Metro Manila, the land area they will occupy is (88 M/11 M) x 636 sq. km = 4,875 sq. km. This is just a bit larger than the land area of Bohol, which is 4,821 sq. km.
Finally, I leave you with a bit of global perspective: Metro Manila is the 11th most populous metropolitan area in the world and one of the densest. Tokyo is the most populous– with 32 million inhabitants (3 times more than Metro Manila)– but Metro Manila is 4 times more densely-populated!
(Inspired by maps of “The World’s Population, Concentrated” at Per Square Mile.)