June 7, 2022
Cagayan de Oro City – The total fertility rate (TFR) or the average number of children per woman in Northern Mindanao went down from 3.1 children in 2017 to 2.05 children in 2020. The decline in the TFR was noted after the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released its official data on the number of live births which showed a 10.67% decrease in the number of live births for the period 2019 to 2020.
Based on the report of PSA, the number of live births registered in the region in 2020 was 82,371. This figure is lower than 2019’s 92,146 and the lowest since 2010 which recorded 84,797 births.
“The current level of the TFR in the region suggests that we are now entering the demographic transition. Women are now slowly realizing their desired number of children of 2 from as high as 4 children in 2010” said Regional Director Neil Aldrin G. Omega of POPCOM 10.
The decline in TFR can be attributed to the increasing number of women in Region X who are using Modern Family Planning (MFP) methods. Data from the FHSIS of DOH showed that the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) increased to 35.16% in 2020 from 31.3% in 2019.
Teen pregnancies and childbirth among adolescents have also contributed to the decline in TFR. Looking back at the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2017, Region 10 registered the 2nd highest percentage of adolescent birth at 14.7% following Davao Region’s 17.9%, among all regions in the country. In 2020, Northern Mindanao already ranks 5th throughout the nation with 13% or 10,906 adolescent births among 15-19.
The demographic transition or the historical shift from high birth rates to low birth rates will contribute to attaining a “demographic dividend”. A country must undergo a demographic transition to realize the demographic dividend. This phenomenon will facilitate the economic growth of the country and its people. As fewer babies born each year, overtime, will impact the labor force population as the country’s young dependent population declines.
The population and development program of the government led by the Commission on Population and Development has been aiming toward achieving a TFR of 2.1. The 2.05 TFR that we have achieved in 2020 implies that our region has reached a replacement level fertility. This level of fertility means that a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next, without migration. Women need to average two babies for the population size to be stable. Fewer children would mean fewer consumption of goods and social services and would lessen public expenditures. Thus, it would generate savings and investments, and eventually boost family income, economic growth, and development in general as population size affects development processes and development outcomes.
All the above information shares that POPCOM’s efforts to reduce fertility rates among women are producing significant total results. With all of these, POPCOM remains committed to sustaining the replacement level fertility. POPCOM yearns that in the years to come, every Filipino will enjoy an increased share of the fruits of socio-economic development through a well-planned, healthy, and empowered family and country.