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MANILA, Philippines – It’s widely known that the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic nation. But just how widespread is that religion in the country?
As of the last census of the National Statistics Office (NSO) in 2010, there are 74,211,896 followers of the Roman Catholic Church, or 80.6% of the Philippine population.
With the country’s population reportedly breaching the 100-million mark in mid-2014, however, it is estimated that there are already around 80 million Catholics in the country.
On the map below, click on each province for more information on the Catholic population there. You may also change views by clicking on the legends above the map.
% of total Catholic pop.
% of province’s pop.
Metro Manila is home to the most number of Catholics in the country, with at least 10,571,327 Catholic faithful, or 14% of the country’s entire Roman Catholic population.
Among the provinces, Cebu has the most Catholics, with close to 4 million followers. Cebu is regarded as the birthplace of Catholicism in the Philippines. (Fast Facts: What you should know about Cebu)
Leyte – where Pope Francis paid a special visit during his stay in the country from January 15 to 19 – placed 14th, with 1.67 million Catholics.
Meanwhile, Davao del Sur, with close to 1.8 million Catholics, topped the list among Mindanao provinces.
The top 15 provinces in terms of Catholic population are:
|Province||No. of Catholics
|% of Total Catholic
|4. Negros Occidental||2,441,245||3.29%|
|12. Davao del Sur||1,765,806||2.38%|
|13. Camarines Sur||1,706,977||2.30%|
|15. Nueva Ecija||1,616,762||2.18%|
Percentage of province’s population
When compared to the population of each province, however, the Catholic map becomes interesting.
While Metro Manila has the most Catholics, it comprises only 89.6% of its entire population.
Nearly 97% of Albay’s population identified themselves as Catholic in the 2010 census. It is followed by many provinces in the Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and Central Visayas regions, which mostly make up the top 15:
|No. of Catholics||% of Province’s
|3. Eastern Samar||427,974||411,788||96.22%|
|9. Northern Samar||587,586||555,400||94.52%|
|10. Camarines Norte||542,315||510,942||94.21%|
|11. Camarines Sur||1,818,699||1,706,977||93.86%|
Roman Catholicism is the majority religion in Metro Manila and in 72 of the 80 provinces in the 2010 census. (Davao Occidental became the country’s 81st province only in 2013.)
The remaining 8 provinces, with their corresponding percentage of Catholic population, are as follows:
- Sarangani – 48.84%
- Mountain Province – 46.20%
- Dinagat Islands – 36.90%
- Basilan (plus Isabela City, which is part of Region IX) – 19.04%
- Maguindanao (plus Cotabato City, part of Region XII) – 11.35%
- Lanao del Sur – 4.81%
- Tawi-Tawi – 1.87%
- Sulu – 0.33%
The last 5 provinces comprise the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), where Islam is the dominant religion. – Rappler.com