ARMM Total Population (based on POPCEN 2015)

September 26, 2017Special Release Ref No.: 2017-024
ARMM population in 2015 is 59 percent higher than the population 35 years ago
The total population of ARMM as of August 1, 2015 was 3,781,387 persons based on the 2015 Census of Population (2015 POPCEN). The 2015 total population of the region is higher by 525,427 compared with the 3,256,140 total population in 2010 Census of Population and Housing (2010 CPH). Thirty-five years ago, the total population of ARMM was only 1,564,401 persons, which is equivalent to only 59 percent of the current total population of ARMM. Figure 1 clearly indicates that there is an increasing trend in ARMM total population since 1980.
Figure 1. Total Population of ARMM: 1980-2015
The figure below shows that all the provinces in ARMM have increasing trends on total population through three and a half decade. Based on the 2015 POPCEN, across ARMM, Maguindanao (excluding Cotabato City) is the most populated province with 1,173,993 persons, followed by Lanao del Sur with 1,045,429 persons. Basilan (excluding Isabela City) has the lowest population with only 346,579 persons.
Figure 2. Total Population in ARMM, by Region: 1980-2015
ARMM is the fastest growing region in the country in terms of population in 2015
Based on 2015 POPCEN, the Philippines has a total population of 100,981,437 persons. This is higher by 8,643,585 persons than the 2010 CPH count of 92,337,852 persons. The increase in the Philippine population translated into an average population growth rate (PGR) of 1.72 percent annually during the period 2010 to 2015. This means that there were about 17 persons added annually for every 1,000 persons in the population. Figure 2 shows that two of the eight regions in Luzon (Region III and Region IV-A), one region in Visayas (Region VII) and half of the six regions in Mindanao (Region XI, Region XII and ARMM) have growth rates higher than the average PGR of the country. The population of ARMM increased by 2.89 percent between 2010 and 2015 and it is considered as the fastest growing region in the country in terms of population.
Figure 3. Total Population Growth Rates in the Philippines, by Region: 2010-2015
Population density in ARMM increased by 14 persons per square kilometer
In the total land area of 36,650.95 square kilometers of ARMM, the population density or the average number of persons per square kilometer in 2015 was 103. This figure represented an increase of six persons per square kilometer from the 97 per square kilometer population density of the region in 2010. Two of the five provinces in ARMM have population densities less than the regional estimate, namely Basilan and Lanao del Sur. The most densely populated province of the region was Sulu, with a population density of 181 persons per square kilometer in 2015. This figure is almost 1.76 times higher than the figure at the regional level. The population density of Sulu in 1990 was 137 persons per square kilometer. Aside from Sulu, two other provinces surpassed the regional population density of 103 persons per square kilometer. These were Maguindanao with 118 persons per square kilometer and Tawi–Tawi with 108 persons per square kilometer. On the contrary, two provinces had population densities less than that of the regional level. These were the provinces of Basilan with 100 persons per square kilometer and Lanao del Sur with 69 persons per square kilometer.
Table 1. Population Density in ARMM, by Province: 2010-2015
More than half of the total population in ARMM can vote
In ARMM, the voting-age population or persons 18 years old and over accounted for 51 percent of the total population (1,916,874 persons) based on the 2015 POPCEN, while persons who cannot vote or those 17 years old and below accounted for 49 percent (1,864,513 persons). The region has the lowest proportion of voting-age population in the country. Of the voting-age population, 49.4 percent are males and 50.6 percent are female. All provinces of ARMM has voting-age population comprising more than 50 percent of their respective total population, with Tawi-Tawi having the highest proportion who are of voting-age at 53.1 percent, followed by Basilan at 50.6 percent, Maguindanao at 50.5 percent, Lanao del Sur at 50.4 percent and Sulu at 50.2 percent.
Figure 4. Percent Distribution of
Voting-Age Population in ARMM: 2015
Almost half of the total population in ARMM were never married
Across regions, ARMM holds the record of the highest proportion of single or never-married persons in the country which was estimated at 48.2 percent of its total population. Among the never-married persons group, the males (50.73 percent) outnumbered the females (49.27 percent). Meanwhile, the proportions of females were higher than males among those who were married (50.08 percent), in common-law/live-in marital arrangement (50.42 percent), widowed (70.99 percent) and divorced/separated (63.49 percent).
Table 2. Percent Distribution of Total Population in ARMM,
by Province and by Marital Status of Marital Status: 2015
Among the provinces, as shown in Table 2, Sulu (50.3 percent) has the highest proportion of never-married persons group; Maguindanao (48.4 percent) has the highest proportion of married persons group, Basilan (0.7 percent) of persons with live-in marital arrangement group, Tawi-Tawi (3.0 percent) of the widowed group and Basilan (2.2 percent) also has the highest proportion of the divorced/separated group.
Almost half of the total population in ARMM were never married
Muslims accounted for 91.3 percent of the ARMM total population in 2015
About 91.3 percent (3,451,644 persons) the total population of ARMM in 2015 reported Islam as their religious affiliation. The next largest religious affiliation in the region was Roman Catholic, comprising 5.2 percent of the total population. It was then followed by those who were affiliated with Evangelicals and Iglesia ni Cristo comprising the region’s 0.4 percent and 0.2 percent of the total population respectively. The other religious affiliations not mentioned comprised 2.9 percent of the region’s total population.
Figure 6. Percent Distribution of Total Population in ARMM,
by Religious Affiliation: 2015
ARMM has the highest average household size in the country in 2015
The household population of the country in 2015 was 100,573,715 persons, higher by 8,475,737 persons from the household population of 92,097,978 persons in 2010. The number of households in the region increased by 13.9 percent from 20,171,899 in 2010 to 22,975,630 in 2015. The average household size (AHS) in 2015 was 4.4 persons, lower than the AHS of 4.6 persons in 2010. The household population of ARMM reached 3,771,249 persons in 2015. This is 522,462 higher than the 3,248,787 household population reported in 2010. ARMM registered the highest AHS of 6.1 persons, a slight increase from 6.0 persons in 2010, followed by Region V (Bicol) with 4.8 persons. The lowest AHS was recorded in the NCR and Region XI (Davao), both with 4.1 persons.
Figure 7. Average Household Size in Philippines, by Region: 2010-2015
Among provinces of ARMM, Maguindanao had the highest number of households in 2015 with 1,172,381, followed by Lanao with 1,038,883, while Basilan has the lowest with 346,288 households. In terms of AHS, Lanao del Sur posted the highest with 6.5 persons. Both Maguindanao and Sulu recorded AHS of 6.0 persons, while Basilan and Tawi-Tawi posted the lowest AHS of 5.8 persons.
Females outnumbered males in academic degree and school attendance rate in ARMM
Of the total population five years old and over across ARMM, 44.0 percent or 1,426,430 had completed elementary education, 24.4 percent or 792,732 had reached or finished high school, 8.2 percent or 266,738 was college undergraduate, and 4.2 percent or 135,792 was baccalaureate or college graduate. Among those with baccalaureate degree, there were more females (2.36 percent) than males (1.82 percent). Similarly, among those with post baccalaureate courses, females (797 graduates) outnumbered males (747 graduates).
Moreover, of the 1,794,445 household population aged 5 to 24 years, 67.65 percent was attending school in School Year (SY) 2015-2016. Males were outnumbered by the females in the school attendance rate, but only in the 5 to 9 years old bracket that males are larger by 1.05 percent or 2,231 more than the females.
Figure 8. Percent Distribution of Schooling-Age Population in ARMM,
by Highest Educational Attainment: 2015
Technical Notes:
  • Total population is the sum of the household population and institutional population. It also includes Filipinos in Philippine embassies, consulates, and missions abroad.
  • Population growth rate is the rate at which the population is increasing (or decreasing) in a given period due to natural increase and net migration, expressed as a percentage of the base population.
  • Population density is the number of persons per unit of area, usually quoted per square kilometer or square mile (which may include or exclude, for example, areas of water or glaciers).
  • Voting age population (VAP) refers to the set of individuals that have reached the minimum voting age for a particular geographical or political unit.
  • Marital status is the personal status of each individual with reference to the marriage laws or customs of the country
  • Religious affiliation is a particular system of beliefs, attitudes, emotions, and behaviors constituting man’s relationship with the powers and principalities of the universe.
  • Average household size is the average number of persons residing within a household in a particular area.
  • Highest grade/year completed the highest grade or year completed in school, college or university
(Sgd) ABUBAKAR S. ASAAD, Ph.D. (Statistics)
Regional Director, PSA-ARMM