Preliminary birth statistics for the province of Catanduanes released last week show that a total of 3,864 babies were born last year, with 67 percent of them born out of wedlock.
According to the special release of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Catanduanes Provincial Statistical Office, the new additions to the island’s population is equivalent to a crude birth rate of 14.0, or 14 births per thousand population.
Based on the place of residence of the mother, the municipality of Virac reported the highest number of babies born in 2021 at 1,169 or 30.3% of the total. This was followed by San Andres with 576 babies born or 11.8% of the total. Panganiban reported the lowest number of babies born with 134 (3.5%).
Majority of the actual number of live births by municipality was registered in Virac with 2,189, followed by Viga with 456 and Pandan with 389. San Miguel and Bagamanoc did not have registered live births for 2021 while Panganiban only had five (5) births recorded during the entire year.
On the other hand, there were five (5) live births with the residence of the mothers outside the province.
Males accounted for 51.2% of the births while females comprised 48.8%, for a birth-sex ratio of 95, that is, there are 95 female births per 100 male births.
Seven municipalities registered more male births than female, with San Miguel (58.5% male) and San Andres (54.3% male) at the head of the pack.
Four towns, led by Baras (54.1% female) and Panganiban (53.7%) had more female births.
Nearly seven out of 10 babies born in 2021 are illegitimate, the statistical agency said.
Of the 2,585 babies born out of wedlock, 914 or 35.4% were from mothers aged 20 to 24 years old.
Of the 417 babies born to mothers aged 20 years and below, seven have mothers who were below 15 years old when they gave birth.
The computed General Fertility Rate is 56.7, meaning there were 57 births for every one thousand women aged 15-49 years-old in the province.
In terms of crude birth rate, however, the municipality of San Andres had the highest with reported 15.2 or 15 births per thousand population while Bagamanoc had the lowest with 12.7 or 13 births per thousand population.
The GFR is a more refined measure than the Crude Birth Rate because it relates to the age-sez group at risk of giving birth, usually defined as women between the ages 15 to 49.