LEGAZPI CITY--Bicol's population has increased annually by 1.29%, on the average, during the period 2010 to 2015, lower by 0.17 percent than the 1.46% growth for the period 2000 to 2010, according to the 2015 population census conducted in August 2015.
Among the six provinces in Bicol Region, Camarines Sur has the largest population with 1.9 million, followed by Albay at 1.3 million. Catanduanes is the least populous at 260,964.
Among the seven cities, Legazpi City and Naga City both registered a population of 196,000 with Legazpi City being a little bit larger by 636. The City of Sorsogon is the third largest with 168,116. "The country now has some time to cope with the increasing population since the time for the population to double has now gone up to 40 years from 38 in the last census, but we need to exert greater effort to reduce the unmet need for family planning and reproductive health services by four to five million couples and individuals who want the services to limit or space their children in their reproductive years," according to Executive Director Juan Antonio A. Perez III of the Commission on Population (POPCOM). For 2016, RPO-V hopes to reach 78,174 couples and educate them on responsible parenthood and the modern methods of family planning. Couples with unmet need for family planning are referred to health centers and provided with commodities and services.
Age-appropriate sexuality education is also continuously being done to empower young people to make healthy decisions and develop responsible behaviour towards improved health and total well-being.
POPCOM noted that various factors including increase in contraceptive prevalence rate contribute to the reduction in population growth. Based on the 2013 NDHS, trends in unmet need for family planning show a large decline from 22% in 2008 to 17% in 2013. Up to 45 percent of couples, women, and men are using modern family planning methods.