Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 19th
- Asia: 12th
- Philippines: 1st
Population in City Area, 2022-03-03
- World: 187th
- Asia: 116th
- Philippines: 2nd
Manila Urban Area Population Graph
Manila Population Review
The city of Manila serves as the capital of the Philippines and is located on the northwestern coast of the country. It is one of the most densely populated cities in the world and is home to 13 million people in the urban area and 1.6 million people in the city area. Manila’s population continues to grow, with predictions putting the population at over 18 million by 2035.
Founded in 1571 by Spanish conquistadors, the name “Manila” is often used interchangeably to refer to the entire metropolitan area, the greater metropolitan area, or the city proper. Officially, the metropolitan area is called Metro Manila and the capital region of the country includes the larger Quezon City and Makati Central Business District.
One of the most crowded cities in the world
Manila has grown to become the most densely populated cities in the world, with over 42,000 people living in every square kilometer. While the population of the urban area is estimated to be over 13 million people, during the day this swells even further to 15 million to accommodate for workers and students coming in and out of the city. There are three main districts that account for much of the population: Tondo, which is the most populous and accounts for 38% of the total population of the city. Sampaloc, which accounts for 20% of the population, and Santa Ana, which has 10% of the population. Birth rates have remained high in Manila, with an average of 16 live births per 1,000 people
While poverty rates have fallen, they remain high overall
Like many densely populated cities in developing nations, Manila has to contend with a lot of poverty. While poverty incidence has fallen in the Philippines from 23% in 2015 to just over 16% in 2018, Manila is still home to one tenth of the countries slum dwellers. There are slums scattered across all of Manila’s 526 communities, including the Happyland slum, an area of Tondo with more than 12,000 people living in shelters around a garbage dump. Over ¾ of the homes in Manila’s slums are considered long-term and are there for more than five years, with the average settlement lasting 19 years. This means that many children are born and partially raised in slums, leading to almost 3.4 million children in Manila being underweight and stunted in their growth.
Set to become one of the world’s richest cities
Amid overpopulation, poverty, and issues with urban planning, Manila is still set to become one of the wealthiest cities in the world by 2030. Based on employment growth and gross domestic production, Manila has continued to out-perform many other metro areas in the world. The city had an employment growth of 5.7% and a GDP growth of 5.5% percent, which made it one of the top performing cities on earth. Manila could also become set to become a mega shopping destination for the wealthy and elite, drawing more money to the fast-growing city.
A city that struggles with crime and violence
The city continues to struggle with crime and violence due to its shifting demographics, poverty, drug abuse, and gang activity. The illegal drug trade is a huge issue in the city, with 92% of the barangays—small administrative divisions of the city, sometimes called barrios—affected by illegal drugs.
From 2010 to 2015, Manila had the second highest crime rates in the country, with 9,100 cases per year. This has begun to decrease, with only 3,393 cases in 2017. The city also struggles with corruption and bribery, with residents reporting a very high chance of being affected by this.