PHILIPPINES term papers and essays pg.2

The Philippines is a country situated in the western Pacific and is part of Southeast Asia. The Republic of Philippines is comprised of over 7,000 islands and the archipelago is divided into three main geographical regions - the Mindanao, the Visayas and Luzon. More than 94 million people call the Philippines their home, making it the twelfth most populous country in the world. Over 10% of the population lives overseas. The capital of the Philippines is Manila and the official languages are Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English. Recognized regional languages include Bikol, Hilgaynon and Pampango. 90% of the population is Christian, the majority being Roman Catholics. Fewer than 10% of the population is Muslim. The Philippines were established in 1565 and officially declared a country at the turn of the 19th century. Self government was declared in 1934 and officially recognized in 1946. The land spreads over 300,000 square kilometers, with a population density of 306.6 people to every square kilometer. The Philippines has a gross domestic product of $186 billion, with primary exports including semiconductors, copper products and fruit. The economy has moved from one based mainly on agriculture to a more service and manufacturing oriented industry. There are twelve main metropolitan areas in the Philippines, the most populous being Metro Manila with 11.5 million people.