The country I will be studying and reporting on for the remainder of this course is the Philippines. The islands of the Philippines are located in Southeast Asia and the population in 2012 was 96,706,800, about a third of this number includes individuals under 18. According to the demographic indicators on UNICEF’s website, from 1990-2012 the annual population growth rate was 2%. As the birthrate continues to decrease, the annual population growth rate from 2012-2030 is projected to decrease to 1.5%. The combination of death rate (from 8.9 to 6) and birth rate (from 39.2 to 24.6) statistics from 1970-2012 accounts for the decreasing population growth. A few things that really surprised me about the Philippines were the life expectancy and the distribution of people across rural and urban areas. For example, from 1970 to 2012 the life expectancy only increased from 60.8 to 68.5. For the life expectancy to not exceed 70 in this day and age is shocking and devastating in my opinion. Next, I found it interesting that 49.1% of people live in urban areas, as my perception was that most people lived on farms and did hard labor.
Economic indicators show that the GDP per capital average growth rate is at about 2%, which isn’t very promising, considering 18.4% of the population falls below the international poverty line at $1.25 a day. Further, public spending as a percent of GDP allocated respectively to health, education, and military resources is only 1.5%, 2.7%, and 1.3% and makes me wonder what the money is being spent on. In my opinion, much more money needs to be invested into health fields if the life expectancy is only 68.
I was happy to see that women’s involvement in upper level school (secondary) was more than men’s along with their higher success rate in making it through the last grade in primary schooling. To me, this and their higher literacy rates shows promise for their appearance in the medical field and gives me hope that maybe more females are involved in medicine in the Philippines than the U.S. On a separate note, I was surprised that only 62.2% of childbirths involve a skilled attendant or medical doctor; I perceive this number to be a lot higher in the U.S.
I find it important to note that within disparities by residence, urban births have a skilled attendant present 77.5% of the time, and rural births only have this assistance 47.7% of the time. This might account for the lack of recognition of HIV in rural settings (23.4% in urban areas compared to 17.2% for rural areas). For disparities by household wealth, 94.4% of wealthy people have a skilled attendant at childbirths, which just tells me that the reason the rest of the population doesn’t usually have assistance is because they can’t afford it.