Palawan’s total population, including Puerto Princesa City, is now at more than 1.2-million, according to the latest census by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Provincial Statistics Officer Maria Lalaine Rodriguez stated that aside from a high birth rate, migrations to areas with more jobs factored in the increase of populations, especially in Puerto Princesa.

“Bukod sa mataas na ang birth rate, isang factor rin ‘yan, lalo na sa Puerto. Employment is also a big component,” Rodriguez explained.

Puerto Princesa recorded an increase in its population growth rate from 2.62 percent in 2015 to 3.98 percent in 2020.

Both Palawan, which recorded a 2.14% growth rate for 2020, and Puerto Princesa have the highest growth rates in the MIMAROPA region.

In an online press conference held Tuesday, August 10, the PSA announced the new statistical data for Palawan as of May 1, 2020. Officials discussed the overall population count for both Palawan and Puerto Princesa, as well as population growth rates, population density per square kilometer, and comparisons between the most recent survey and the previous 2010-2015 survey.

Palawan’s new population is now at 1,246,673, comprising 939,594 in the municipalities and 307,079 in Puerto Princesa City.

In the 2010-2015 survey, Palawan’s total population was at 1,104,585, with 849,469 in the municipalities and 255,116 in the city.

While both Palawan and Puerto Princesa recorded the highest population growth rates for 2015-2020, as well as the highest number of residents in the MIMAROPA region, it still ranks third as the country’s most sparsely populated provinces (excluding Puerto Princesa) overall. According to the PSA’s released data,

The town of Bataraza is still the most populous municipality in the province, followed by Taytay, Narra, Brooke’s Point, and Roxas. Barangay Rio Tuba was also noted to be the most populous barangay in the province at 24,085, followed by Barangay Alfonso XIII in Quezon, Poblacion in Taytay, Bancalaan in Balabac, Narra Poblacion in Narra, Punta Baja in Rizal, and Pangobilian in Brooke’s Point.

Meanwhile, Kalayaan remains to be the most sparsely populated municipality in the entire country, with a population of only 193, with a population density of one person for every square kilometer. The town of San Vicente, meanwhile, ranked second as the most sparsely populated municipality in MIMAROPA.

The PSA conducts a five-year survey nationwide to take inventory of the country’s populations. Their data is then given to various local government units and agencies to aid in policy-making, delivery of basic services, and research purposes.

City and province officials have yet to comment on the newest data.

The PSA has yet to release more data sets on the latest census, such as age-sex categorization and population projections.