Philippine population surges to 88.57 million

Philippine PopulationManila  - The Philippines' population has ballooned to 88.57 million people, according to a 2007 census, up nearly 16 per cent from seven years ago, the government said Thursday.

In 2000, the country's population was placed at 76.50 million.

The National Statistics Office said the census figures translated into an average annual population growth rate of 2.04 per cent, the lowest since the 1960s.

The growth rate, however, continues to be among the fastest in South-East Asia.

Population control is a contentious issue in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, where the Church opposes any efforts to promote artificial family planning methods. (dpa)