A decennial undertaking that gathers information on the size and distribution of the population as well as information about its demographic, social, economic, and cultural characteristics. It also gathers information on the supply of housing units, their structural characteristics and facilities.

HIGHLIGHTS OF BICOL REGION POPULATION DENSITY Based from the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (2020 CPH)

Date of Release: 04 August 2021
Reference No. 2021-018

The population of Bicol Region as of 01 May 2020 is 6,082,165, representing the total number of persons living in the six provinces of the region, including Filipinos in Philippine embassies, consulates, and missions abroad, based on the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (2020 CPH).


With a total land area of approximately 18,114.47 square kilometers, the population density of Bicol Region in 2020 was 336 persons per square kilometer. This represents an increase of 16 persons per square kilometer (4.9%) from the population density of 320 persons per square kilometer in 2015. In 2010, there were 299 persons residing in every square kilometer of land.

Among the six provinces comprising the region, Camarines Sur had the biggest population in 2020 with 2.07 million, followed by Albay with 1.37 million, Masbate with 909 thousand, Sorsogon with 829 thousand, and Camarines Norte with 630 thousand. Catanduanes had the smallest population with 272 thousand.

In terms of land area, Camarines Sur had the biggest land area of 5,511.90 square kilometers, followed by Masbate with 4,138.56 square kilometers, and Albay with 2,574.91 square kilometers.

Population density refers to the number of persons per square kilometer of land. The population figures used in this report were from the results of the 2020 CPH. Meanwhile, the land areas were based on the 2013 Masterlist of Land Areas of Cities and Municipalities provided by the Land Management Bureau (LMB) to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Among the provinces, Albay was the most densely populated with a population density of 534 persons per square kilometer. This surpassed the regional population density of 336 persons per square kilometer. Camarines Sur and Sorsogon also surpassed the regional level with population density of 375 persons per square kilometer and 391 persons per square kilometer, respectively.

Catanduanes was the most sparsely populated province with population density of 182 persons per square kilometer.

Among the cities/municipalities in Bicol Region in 2020, seven had a population density of more than 1,000 persons per square kilometer. Of these most densely populated cities/municipalities, three each were in Albay and Camarines Sur, and one in Camarines Norte. Camaligan in Camarines Sur was the most densely populated municipality with 5,350 persons per square kilometer. It was followed by Naga City with 2,702, Daet in Camarines Norte with 2,428, and Legazpi City in Albay with 1,297 persons.

Gigmoto in Catanduanes was the most sparsely populated municipality in Bicol Region in 2020, with 48 persons residing in every square kilometer. Milagros in Masbate followed with 102 persons. San Miguel and Panganiban, both in Catanduanes and Garchitorena in Camarines Sur, had 121 persons residing in every square kilometer.

The 2020 CPH was undertaken by the Philippine Statistics Authority pursuant to Republic Act No. 10625, also known as the Philippine Statistical Act of 2013, Executive Order No. 352 – Designation of Statistical Activities That Will Generate Critical Data for Decision-Making of the Government and the Private Sector, and Batas Pambansa (BP) Bilang 72, which provide the basis for the decennial conduct of the integrated census of population and housing.

May 2020 was declared as the National Census Month pursuant to Proclamation No. 928, s. 2020, which provided that the 2020 CPH be conducted in May 2020, with 01 May 2020 as the census reference date. However, in light of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the census enumeration was moved to September 2020. Information on the count of the population was collected with 12:01 AM of 01 May 2020 as the reference time and date, in accordance with the provisions indicated under BP 72.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has declared official for all purposes the population counts by province, city/municipality, and barangay based on the 2020 CPH under Proclamation No. 1179 dated 06 July 2021. The population counts were based on census questionnaires administered by about 6,218 enumerators deployed by the region during the nationwide census taking.

The successful completion of the census-taking amidst the COVID-19 pandemic would not have been possible without the cooperation and support of the census respondents and barangay officials regionwide. The PSA V would also like to thank the members of the local census coordinating boards, officials of national government agencies and local government units, media practitioners, private agencies, non-government organizations, homeowners’ associations, building administrators, and all other census stakeholders. Credits also go to the thousands of enumerators, supervisors, and other census workers hired by PSA V for the 2020 CPH.

2015 Census of Population, Highlights Demographic Characteristics

As of August 1, 2015, Bicol Region had a total population of 5,796,989 persons based on the 2015 Census of Population (POPCEN 2015)
The total population is higher by 376,578 persons compared with the 2010 Census of Population and Housing (2010 CPH) count of 5,420,411 persons. Based on POPCEN 2007 , the total Population was 5,106,160 persons.

2015 Census of Population

What is the 2015 Census of Population?

The 2015 Census of Population (POPCEN 2015), which is a complete enumeration of households in the country, is designed primarily to take an inventory of the population of the entire Philippines. It also collects information about some characteristics of the population such as age, sex, marital status, and highest grade completed. It will be the 14th census of population to be undertaken in the country since the first census in 1903. Moreover, it will be the 3rd population census to be conducted in between two decennial censuses. Previous to POPCEN 2015, mid-decade censuses were carried out in 1995 and 2007.

Population of Region V - Bicol (Based on the 2015 Census of Population)

The population of Region V (Bicol Region) as of August 1, 2015 was 5,796,989 based on the 2015 Census of Population (POPCEN 2015). The 2015 population of the region is higher by 376,578 compared with the population of 5.42 million in 2010, and by 1,110,320 compared with the population of 4.69 million in 2000. Refer to Table 1.

Population of Region V - Bicol (Based on the 2010 Census of Population)

Total population of Bicol reached more than five million in the 2010 Census
As of May 1, 2010, the total population of Region V is 5,420,411, an increase of 734 thousand persons over the May 1, 2000 count of 4,686,669 persons. In 1990, the total population was 3.91 million3

Population of Region V - Bicol (Based on the 2007 Census of Population)

5.11 million Bicolanos in 2007 
Final results of the latest Census of Population (POPCEN 2007) conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) placed the Bicol Region’s population at 5,109,798 persons as of August 1, 2007. Said results down to barangay level were made official with the signing by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Proclamation No. 1489 on April 16, 2008.