By Bernadette Therese M. Gadon, Researcher
Live births registered in 2021 declined10.7% year on year, while births fell 23.8% in the past decade, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released on Friday.
A total of 1,364,739 live births were registered in 2021, the PSA said in its birth statistics. This is equivalent to a crude birth rate (CBR) of 12.4 or 12 births per thousand population.
In absolute figures, the number of births declined by 163,945 from 1,528,684 live births logged in 2020.
The decline in 2021 was also the highest drop recorded in the past decade. Births decreased by 425,628 from 1,790,367 live births registered back in 2012.
Reintegration for Care & Wholeness Foundation, Inc. Registered Guidance Counselor Ma. Rebecca D. Medez said that the declining number of births were due to Filipinos “getting educated on the factors of raising children.”
Either by experience or through information, young adults or couples are more “aware” on the costs and challenges of having children, Ms. Medez said in a Viber phone call interview.
She added that priorities have changed during the pandemic.
“During the pandemic, when everybody was quarantined, the reality of family concerns became greater,” she said, adding that family now may not be more on having children, but more or nurturing partnerships.
On average, 3,739 babies were born daily, which translates to 156 babies born per hour or around 3 babies per minute in 2021.
September had the most registered births in 2021, with 133,409 births, or 9.8% share of total births that year. It logged a daily average of 4,447 births.
This was followed by October (9.7% share) with 132,752 births, and November (9.2%) with 126,022 births.
By region, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) recorded the most births with 204,333. This is equivalent to 15% share of total number of live births that year.
This was followed by Metro Manila (11.8% share) with 160,946 live births, and Central Luzon (11.7%) with 159,984 live births.
Of the total registered births, 92% (or 1,251,818) of these were born in health facilities such as hospitals and clinics.
8% or 108,882 babies were born at home, while 0.3% or 4,039 babies were born elsewhere not stated by PSA.
Majority of births had parents aged 25-29 years old with 381,289 or 27.9% mothers and 352,406 or 25.8% fathers within that age group.
Mothers aged 20-24 followed with 331,913 logged or 24.3% of total.
Meanwhile, fathers aged 30-34, was the second age group with 310,881 or 22.8% of total.
According to PSA, the median age for mothers was 27 years old, while 30 years old for fathers.
“The generation now is more on establishing career, and the urgency to have children is not as much as before,” Ms. Medez said.
She also added that young adults, especially educated young adults, are more intentional in planning their family life, establishing priorities, and having a stabilized career first before getting married or having children.
Also included in the report was the number of births out of wedlock. The PSA reported 57.1% of births logged were born out of wedlock.
This amounts to 779,154 births in 2021.
Twelve regions reported over 50% of its births to be illegitimate led by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 69.2%, Eastern Visayas (67.6%), and Calabarzon (62.6%).
Almost 92% of total births were registered on time, the PSA said. 1,249,654 had timely registration, with 14.9% share coming from Calabarzon.
DEATHS SURGED IN 2021
In a separate release, PSA reported a total of 879,429 deaths in 2021, up 43.2% from 613,936 logged in 2020.
This is equivalent to a crude death rate of 8% or 8 deaths per thousand population.
It was the highest logged death in the past decade and up 70.8% from the 514,745 registered deaths in 2012.
An average of 2,409 deaths were recorded per day. Equivalent to 100 deaths per hour, or about 2 deaths per minute.
Calabarzon logged the most deaths with 15.7% share, or 138,298 deaths. Followed by Central Luzon (12.9%), and NCR (12%).
Likewise, September logged the most deaths, with 119,758 or 13.6% total share. September had an average of 3,992 deaths per day.
The Statistics authority also reported more deaths among males with 55.8%.
The sex ratio indicates that 126 male deaths happen for every 100 female deaths.
By age group, Filipinos aged 85 and over logged the highest deaths in 2021 with 103,575 or 11.8% share, followed by ages 70-74 (11.4%) and 65-69 years (11.1%).
Almost 60% of deaths were attended by either a physician, public health officer, hospital authority, or others. Meanwhile, 45.3% were unattended and 2.8% were not stated.
In absolute figures, 456,784 deaths were attended, while 397,994 were unattended, and 24,651 were not stated.
Most deaths in 2021 occurred in their homes (62.1%), while 37.2% at health facilities, and 0.7% in other places such as on the street, public places, in transit, etc.
Ischaemic heart diseases remained the leading cause of death in 2021 with 17.7% of total, followed by cerebrovascular diseases (9.8%), and COVID-19 virus identifies (9%).