Regional Center: Calamba City, Laguna
Land Area: 16,873.31 km2 (6,514.82 sq mi)
Population (2015): 14,414,774
Provinces: 5
Cities: 19
Municipalities: 123
Barangays: 4,011
Languages: Tagalog, English



Calabarzon formally known as Southern Tagalog Mainland and designated as CALABARZON Region, is an administrative region in the Philippines. The region comprises the five (5) provinces, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, whose names form the acronym CALABARZON. Its regional center is Calamba in Laguna.

Situated just south of Metro Manila in southwestern Luzon, the region is the most populous in the Philippines, having 14,414,774 inhabitants in 2015, and is also the country’s second most densely populated after NCR. Prior to its creation as a region, Calabarzon, together with Mimaropa, formed the historical region known as Southern Tagalog, until they were separated in 2002 by virtue of Executive Order No. 103.

The region is home to some of the most important Philippine historical figures, most notable of which is the Philippines’ national hero, Jose Rizal, who was born in Calamba.

The region has 19 cities (18 component cities and the highly urbanized city of Lucena). Antipolo is the most populous city in CALABARZON Region and is the seventh most populous city in the Philippines while San Pedro City is the most densely populated city in the whole region.


Increasing Number of Filipinos and Changing Demographic Age Structure

The latest Population Census recorded about 14 million Filipinos living in CALABARZON in 2015. The pace of growth has fluctuated for the past three decades and now displays a decreasing trend, from 3.07% annual growth rate in 2000-2010 period to 2.58% in 2010-2015. An indication that there are about 300 thousand Filipinos added to the region’s population every year.

Figure 1. Trends in Population Size and Population Growth Rate:

CALABARZON, 1980-2015

Source: PSA, 2015 Population Census

About one-third of Filipinos in the region were residing in the provinces of Cavite and Laguna, both relatively near Metro Manila and can be accessed easily through land travel. The numerous housing projects situated in the said provinces also relates to the increase in population due to in-migration.

Table 1. Trends in Population Size and Growth Rate of CALABARZON by Province/
Highly Urbanized City: 2000, 2010, and 2015

Source: PSA, 2000, 2010 and 2015 Population Census


Highly Urbanized City

2000 2010 2015



Cavite 2,063,000 3,091,000 3,678,000 3.37
Laguna 1,966,000 2,670,000 3,035,000 2.47
Batangas 1,905,000 2,377,000 2,694,000 2.41
Rizal 1,707,000 2,485,000 2,884,000 2.88
Quezon (excluding Lucena City) 1,483,000 1,741,000 1,857,000 1.23
     Lucena City 196,000 246,000 266,000 1.49

Among the five provinces comprising the region, Cavite had the biggest population in 2015 with 3.68 million, followed by Laguna with 3.04 million, Rizal with 2.88 million, and Batangas with 2.69 million. Quezon (excluding Lucena City) had the smallest population with 1.86 million. Refer to Table 1.

Cavite was the fastest growing province in the region with an average annual population growth rate (PGR) of 3.37 percent during the period 2010 to 2015. It was followed by Rizal (2.88 percent), Laguna (2.47 percent), and Batangas (2.41 percent). Quezon (excluding Lucena City) posted the lowest provincial PGR of 1.23 percent.

Figure 2. Population Distribution by Age Group and Sex: CALABARZON, 2000 and 2010

Source: PSA, 2000 and 2010 Census

Figure 2 displays a narrowing population base from 2000 to 2010 which indicates a decrease in birth rate. The change in age structure, seen by the widening sides of the pyramid from ages 0-14 up to ages 15-64 reflects a larger working age population through the years.

CALABARZON’s population is relatively young. Based on the 2010 population census, about 32.18 percent or 4 million Filipinos were below 15 years of age; 64 percent or 8 million Filipinos were between 15 to 64 years old (consisting the working or productive ages); and 3.82 percent or 182 thousand Filipinos were aged 65 and over. Young population means a continuing increase in population due to the large cohorts of young women who will soon enter the childbearing years and contribute to the fertility level and increasing number of young dependents in the region.

Table 2. Dependency Ratio: CALABARZON

Source: 2000 and 2010 Census of Population and Housing
Year Young Dependency Ratio Old Dependency Ratio Total Dependency Ratio
2000 59.1 5.8 64.9
2010 50.3 2.3 50.6

The 2010 population estimate in the region indicates about 50 young (14 years and below) and 2 old (65 years and above) dependents for every 100 working-age (15-64 years old) persons. Looking at Table 2 though, the region’s dependency ratio has significantly decreased from 64.9 in the year 2000 to 50.6 in the year 2010. This indicates that in a span of 10 years, the number of working population is almost equal to the number of dependents. Such relationship of dependents to working age population provides an ideal scenario for demographic dividend in CALABARZON. 


Fertility Level

Based on 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the total fertility rate (TFR) is three (3) children (see Figure 3). This means that a Filipino woman in CALABARZON would be expected to have three (3) children within her reproductive or childbearing years (i.e. 15-49 years). Figure 3 below also indicates that the level of total fertility rate in the region is at a downward trend, from 4 children in 1993 to 3 children in 2013.

Figure 3. Trends in Total Fertility Rates: CALABARZON
Source: Various NDS and NDHS

                                                         Table 3. Wanted Fertility Rates: Philippines 2013
Source: NDHS, 2013

The country’s fertility level by region in Table 3 indicates that there are many regions that have fertility level higher than the national. Although there is a decreasing trend of TFR in CALABARZON, the total wanted fertility rate for the region is at 2 children per woman, 26 percent lower than the actual total fertility rate of 2.7 children.

As displayed in Table 3, the characteristics of child-bearing women (ages 15-49) such as education and socio-economic status of Filipinos also play a crucial role in their ability to choose the number of children and birth-spacing intention ultimately resulting to their desired family condition. It is evident that women with low socio-economic status (SES) and poor education have a significantly higher fertility level with 2 children difference between actual (5 children) and desired (3 children).

                             Figure 4. Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (women age 15-49): CALABARZON
                                                                           Source: Various NDS and NDHS
Figure 4 shows that the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) in CALABARZON over the last 20 years has increased by more than half, from 35.2 percent in 1993 to 55.7 percent in 2013. Such increase is a result of more women being open to using modern and traditional family planning methods. Although CPR in the region is at an increasing trend, unmet need of women for the same year (1993 to 2013) remains to be unsteady at a range of 16 to 25 percent (refer to Figure 5). According to the 2013 NDHS, factors such as age of women, number of children and educational attainment contribute to the increase/decrease in CPR.

Figure 5. Percentage of currently married women (age 15-49) with
Unmet Need for Family Planning: CALABARZON
Source: Various NDS and NDHS

Increasing Adolescent Fertility

Another critical emerging population issue in the region is the increasing birth among adolescents. As can be seen in Figure 6, births to women belonging to age group 15-19 years are increasing. Such trend is also supported by the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey (YAFSS) which found that 8.1% of adolescents aged 15-19 have begun childbearing – a significant increase from a 5.0% level in 2002.

Figure 6. Percentage of Females 15-19 who are Mothers, Pregnant with 1st Child,

and Have Begun Childbearing: CALABARZON, 2013

Teenage Pregnancy.jpgSource: 2013 YAFSS

Figure 7. Percentage of Youth who have engaged in Pre-Marital Sex: CALABARZON, 2013
Premarital sex
Source: 2013 YAFSS

The growing number of teenage pregnancies in the region can be explained by the increasing percentage of adolescents engaging in premarital sex as indicated in Figure 7. The same trend can also be observed in the national condition, with more than 1 out of 4 youth engaging in pre-marital sex based on the YAFSS, 2013 data.


Figure 8. Misconceptions about HIV transmission among CALABARZON youth
Source: 2013 YAFSS

Table 4. Types and Sources of Information preferred by Youth

Sources of Information

Kinds of Information about sex the youth would like to get from their preferred person as source of information



Contraception Sexual positions/ techniques



Father 61.6 27.7 7.9 21.1** 3.3
Mother 61.3 28.9** 5.0** 14.3 5.0
Brother 62.1 21.7 6.2 27.3*** 4.3
Sister 62.7 26.1 4.8* 15.3 5.6
Same sex friends 60.8 24.5 9.2* 16.7 5.1
Opposite sex friends 57.5 30.7** 10.1 18.9 3.9
School teachers 61.0 30.2** 4.7** 13.8 5.9
Imam/ Religious leaders 62.8 34.4*** 4.4* 12.2 5.0
Medical professionals 58.3* 30.7*** 6.0** 16.7 5.2

Source: YAFS 4, Dissemination Forum

Misconceptions regarding AIDS (as seen in Figure 8) and the various sources of information about sex preferred by the youth (as seen in Table 3) are also topics that must be put on the spotlight as an early precaution to address the rising cases of AIDS and teenage pregnancy in the country.