More than half of babies in PH born to unwed mothers

MORE than half of babies born in the Philippines in 2021 were born out of wedlock, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

This may come as a surprise in this predominantly Catholic nation where the faithful are supposed to avoid sex outside of marriage.

But the agency said of the 1,364,739 live births registered that year, 779,154 or 57.1 percent were born to unwed mothers.

Four of the country’s 17 regions accounted for over half of the illegitimate children.

Calabarzon accounted for 16.4 percent of the illegitimate children; followed by National Capital Region, 14.3 percent share; Central Luzon, 11.9 percent share; and Central Visayas, 8.8 percent.

Mothers aged 20-24 years delivered most of the illegitimate babies at 250,999 or 32.2 percent of the illegitimate children that year.

Mothers aged 25-29 years followed, contributing 204,525 or 26.2 percent of the total illegitimate births.


Overall births in the country were down from the previous year, the declining trend a fixture in the demographic picture of the last 10 years.

National Statistician and Civil Registrar General Dennis Mapa said registered live births in 2021 fell 10.7 percent from the numbers in 2020, the highest rate of decline in the last 10 years.

He did not say if the Covid-19 pandemic had anything to do with the drop in births. But the 2020 births was also down 8.7 percent from the live births in pre-pandemic 2019.

The 2021 live births of 1,364,739 represented a 23.8 percent drop from the 1,790,367 live births registered in 2012.

Areas with large populations generally contributed to the most live births, with Central Visayas the fourth largest contributor, accounting for 8.2 percent of the country’s births.

The top three contributors of live births were Calabarzon, 14.3 percent share; National Capital Region, 12.5 percent share; and Central Luzon, 11.8 percent share.

Month of birth

In 2021, September accounted for the most registered births at 133,409 or 9.8 percent of total births in the country, showing that Filipinos were most amorous in the month of December.

October followed with 9.7 percent of the share of registered births, followed by November, with 9.2 percent share of the country’s births.