Useful country information
Total area: 115,830 sq mi (300,000 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 107,668,231 (growth rate: 1.81%); birth rate: 24.24/1000; infant mortality rate: 17.64/1000; life expectancy: 72.48
Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Manila, 11.862 million
Other large cities: Davao 1.565 million; Cebu City 855,000; Zamboanga 884,000 (2011)
Monetary unit: Peso
National name: Republika ng Pilipinas
Languages: Filipino (based on Tagalog), English (both official); eight major dialects: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense
Ethnicity/race: Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon Ilonggo 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4%, other 25.3% (2000)
Religions: Roman Catholic 80.9%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, Aglipayan 2%, other Christian 5%, Islam 5% (2000)
Literacy rate: 95.4% (2008 est.)
The Philippine islands are an archipelago of over 7,000 islands lying about 500 mi (805 km) off the southeast coast of Asia. The overall land area is comparable to that of Arizona. Only about 7% of the islands are larger than one square mile, and only one-third have names.
Spain (1565-1898) and the United States (1898-1946), colonized the country and have been the most significant influences on the Philippine culture.
This is about to change. Philippine President Duterte announced a 'separation' from the US; he declared he has realigned with China as the two countries agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.
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