Overseas Workers of the Philippines (Results from the 2010 Census)

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Overseas workers increased by more than one million after two decades

Based on the 2010 Census of Population and Housing (CPH), the number of overseas workers in the country as of May 1, 2010 was around 1.5 million persons. In comparison, there were about 992 thousand overseas workers reported in the 2000 CPH, and 417 thousand overseas workers counted in the 1990 CPH. In two decades, the number of overseas workers has increased by 1.1 million.

Male overseas workers were older than their female counterparts

Male overseas workers accounted for 56.6 percent of all overseas workers. Among overseas workers aged below 20 and 20 to 29 years, females outnumbered the males. On the other hand, there were more males than females in older age groups. In terms of age composition, overseas workers aged 30 to 34 years comprised the largest age group, posting 18.7 percent of the total number of overseas workers. This was followed by those in age group 25 to 29 years (17.0 percent) and age group 35 to 39 years (16.6 percent). The median age of the country’s overseas workers was 35.8 years, which means that half of them were below 35.8 years old. Male overseas workers were generally older than their female counterpart. The median age for male overseas workers was 37.3 years, while the median age for female overseas workers was 34.0 years.

Table 1 Overseas Workers 10 Years Old and Over by Age Group and Sex

Age Group

Overseas Workers (In thousands) 

Total Male Female
Total 1,505.2 852.0 653.2
Below 20 57.7 28.3 29.3
20 - 24 115.6 51.9 63.7
25 - 29 256.5 123.5 133.1
30 - 34 281.1 155.1 126.0
35 - 39 249.4 145.4 104.0
40 - 44 198.2 120.8 77.4
45 - 49 144.1 94.4 49.7
50 - 54 98.4 67.5 30.9
55 - 59 54.5 36.6 18.0
60 years and over 49.7 28.4 21.3
Median Age (in years) 35.8 37.3 34.0

Source:  National Statistics Office


Region IV-A topped in terms of number of overseas workers

Among the 17 regions in the Philippines, Region IV-A (CALABARZON) had the biggest number of residents who were overseas workers in 2010. It had a total of 301,067 overseas workers, comprising 20.0 percent of the country’s total overseas workers. Region III (Central Luzon) was the second leading region of origin of Filipino overseas workers with 15.4 percent of the total overseas workers originating from this region. It was followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 14.0 percent. The rest of the regions contributed less than 9.0 percent each. The smallest number of overseas workers came from Caraga with 1.1 percent share to the total overseas workers in Philippines. It was also the region with the smallest number of overseas workers in 2000.  



Five leading provinces of origin of Filipino overseas workers are located in Luzon

Cavite had the largest number of overseas workers (84,945 persons), followed by the provinces of Batangas (80,763 persons), Bulacan (67,347 persons), Pangasinan (64,106 persons), Pampanga (62,871 persons), and Laguna (60,294 persons). The number of overseas workers from the rest of the provinces ranged from 266 to 59,916, with the smallest number coming from Batanes.

Quezon City had the largest number of overseas workers among HUCs

Among the 33 highly urbanized cities (HUCs), Quezon City (43,641 persons) had the highest number of overseas workers. It was followed by the City of Manila (31,001) and Caloocan City (28,718 persons). The rest of the highly urbanized cities had less than 20 thousand overseas workers each.




                                                                                                                                                (Sgd) CARMELITA N. ERICTA




As in past censuses of population, the 2010 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) used the de jure concept of enumeration wherein households and persons are enumerated in the area where they usually reside as of the census reference date. For 2010 CPH, the reference period was May 1, 2010.

Under the de jure concept of census enumeration, family members who are overseas workers, including those on board oceangoing vessels, who have been away at the time of census but are expected to be back within five years from the date of last departure, are included as members of a household.

The 2010 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) included this question “Is __________ an overseas worker?” This question determines if there is a member of the household 10 years old and over who is an overseas worker.

There were 71,548,673 household population 10 years old and over enumerated in the 2010 CPH. Of this total, 0.08 percent had no response to the question on overseas workers.

Overseas Worker refers to a household member who is currently out of the country due to an overseas employment.  He/she may or may not have a specific work contract or may be presently at home on vacation but has an existing overseas employment to return to. Undocumented overseas workers are included in the count of overseas workers if the households still consider them as members and if they have been away for less than five years. However, immigrants are excluded.