The Filipino is basically of Malay stock with a sprinkling of Chinese, American, Spanish and Arab blood. From a long history of Western colonial rule, interspersed with visits of merchants and traders, evolved a people of unique blend of east and west, both in appearance and culture.
The Filipinos are divided geographically and culturally into regions and each regional group is recognizable by distinct traits and dialects. Tribal communities can be found scattered across the archipelago.
The most important numerically are the Visayans, who live primarily in the central portion of the archipelago and the Tagalogs, who live primarily in central Luzon. The Moslem groups live mainly in the southern portion of the archipelago -- particularly in western Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago, and southern Palawan island. The non-Malay groups are composed of people of Spanish and Chinese descent.
Most of the people belong to the Roman Catholic religion (about 84%). At least 10% are Protestants or members of other Christian denominations, including the Philippine Independent Church, or Aglipayans and the rest are Muslims.
It is estimated that there are 111 linguistic groups or dialects spoken in the country. The national language is Filipino, which is based on Tagalog. Both Filipino and English are being used for official communication and instruction.
Population: 86,241,697 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 35.8% (male 15,758,255; female 15,152,291) 15-64 years: 60.2% (male 25,847,345; female 26,096,211) 65 years and over: 4% 3.9% (male 1,473,873; female 1,913,722) (2004 est.)
Median age: total: 22.1 years male: 21.6 years female: 22.6 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.88% (2004 est.)
Birth rate: 25.8 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate: 5.53 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female total population: 1.00 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 24.24 deaths/1,000 live births female: 21.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.) male: 27.11 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.60 years male: 66.74 years female: 72.61 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate: 3.22 children born/woman (2004 est.)
Nationality: noun: Filipino(s) adjective: Philippine
Ethnic groups: Christian Malay 91.5%, Muslim Malay 4%, Chinese 1.5%, other 3%
Religions: Roman Catholic 83%, Protestant 9%, Muslim 5%, Buddhist and other 3%
Languages: Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English; eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocan, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 95.9% male: 96% female: 95.8% (2003 est.)