The Philippines is an archipelago of approximately 7,10 0 islands situated at the western rim of the Pacific Ocean. The archipelago stretches some 1850 kilometers from north to south and 970 kilometers from east to west.
The country has over a hundred ethnic groups and a mixture of foreign influences, and is the third largest English-speaking country in the world. It is divided into three geographical areas: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It has 17 regions, 79 provinces, 115 cities, 1,495 municipalities, and 41,956 barangays (villages).
Lying 5-15° north of the equator, the climate is hot and humid all year round. All the islands have two seasons during the year, a dry season from January to June, and a wet season from July to December. The nationality of the Philippines is Filipino and is ethnically comprised of 91.5% Christian Malays, 4% Muslim Malays and 1.5% Chinese. Filipino (Tagalog) and English are the two official languages, while eight other major dialects are spoken throughout the country. The estimated population is 82 million and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$ 79.3 B (2003). The urban population was reported to comprise 48.1% of the total population.
The increase in rural poor families is almost commensurate with the large decrease in urban poor families. This trend illustrates the dynamism of poverty in the country: people move in and out of poverty over time, depending on their circumstances and the assets they can access to protect against shocks.
|Source Institution||World Bank|
|Place of Publication||Pasig City|
|Original Publication Date|