MANILA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The fertility rate of Filipino women in the Philippines has continued to decline since the 1970s, according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.
The results of the 2022 National Demographic and Health Survey released on Sunday showed that the total fertility rate (TFR) of Filipino women aged 15 to 49 declined from 2.7 children per woman in 2017 to 1.9 children per woman in 2022.
"Hence, the Philippines is already below the replacement fertility level of 2.1 children per woman," the statistics agency said.
The survey shows that the Philippines' TFR has plummeted since the 1970s. However, the decline from 2017 to 2022 was "the sharpest ever recorded."
The survey further shows that one in two married women said they no longer desire more children, while 17 percent want to delay their subsequent childbirth for two or more years. By area of residence, women living in rural areas had a slightly higher fertility rate of 2.2 children per woman than women living in urban areas, with 1.7 children per woman.
"The Philippines' latest total fertility rate is now comparable to those of upper-middle-income countries' 1.8 children and Thailand at 1.5 children," Lolito Tacardon, officer-in-charge of the Commission on Population and Development, said.
In the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region, Tacardon said the Philippines has lower fertility than Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. "It is lower than the Asian average of 2.2 and is comparable to Latin America's and the Caribbean's, which is at 2.0 children," he added.
The 2022 demographic and health survey is the seventh conducted in the Philippines since 1993. The survey asked 27,821 women aged 15 to 49 from 30,372 households. ■