Based on the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (2020 CPH), the province of Isabela posted a total population of 1,697,050 persons as of May 1, 2020. With 1.70 million total population, the province of Isabela had the biggest population in Cagayan Valley, accounting for around 46 percent of the total population. The 2020 population of the province is higher by 0.10 million compared with the population of 1.59 million in 2015; by 0.21 million compared with the population of 1.49 million in 2010; and by 0.41 million compared with the population of 1.29 million in 2000. (Figure 1)
Isabela was ranked 15th in the country's list of provinces with a population of more than one million people.
The population of Isabela increased by 1.33 percent annually, on average, during the period of 2015 to 2020. This means that there were about 13 persons added per year for every 1,000 persons in the population. The annual population growth rate (PGR) was lower at 1.29 percent during the period 2010 to 2015 and higher at 1.47 percent during the period 2000 to 2010. (Figure 2)
Of the two component cities (City of Cauayan and City of Ilagan) , one independent city (City of Santiago) and 34 municipalities of the province, City of Ilagan had the biggest population in 2020 with 158.22 thousand, followed by City of Santiago with 148.58 thousand, and City of Cauayan with 143.40 thousand. The population of these three cities accounted around 26.53 percent of the province’s total population. Furthermore, these three cities posted the highest increase in total population in 2020, with the City of Cauayan gaining 13.88 thousand, City of Santiago 13.75 thousand, and City of Ilagan 12.65 thousand people.
In 2020, the four Coastal towns of Isabela were the smallest municipalities in terms of population size in the entire province. The municipality of Maconacon with 3.98 thousand persons, Dinapigue with 5.82 thousand, Divilacanan with 5.83 thousand and Palanan with 17.68 thousand persons. (Table 1)
In terms of population growth rate, the municipality of Dinapigue is the fastest growing municipality in Isabela with an average annual population growth rate of 3.23 percent in 2015 to 2020. Delfin Albano (2.50 percent), Echague (2.37 percent), City of Cauayan (2.16 percent) and City of Santiago (2.06 percent) were among the five fastest growing towns in the province. (Table 2) Meanwhile, the municipality of Maconacon posted a negative growth rate (–1.40 percent) from 2015 to 2020. The same was recorded for the municipalities of San Agustin (-0.73 percent) and Jones (-0.02 percent). Also among the municipalities with the lowest population growth rates were Benito Soliven (0.09 percent) and Cabatuan (0.31 percent).
There are 1,055 barangays in the province of Isabela as of 2020 and among these, two barangays of Santiago City, Rizal and Rosario had the largest population size, 14,362 and 12,399 respectively. Barangay San Fermin and District I of Cauayan City followed with 12,047 and 11,355 respectively. Barangay Batal and Plaridel of Santiago City, Cabaruan, Cauayan City, Imelda Bliss Village and Alibagu of City of Ilagan, and Bugallon Norte of Ramon completes the list of top ten most populous barangays in the province. (Table 2)
With 99 persons, Catalina in the City of Cauayan is Isabela's smallest barangay. It was followed by Cassap Fuera, City of Cauayan (105), Sisim Abajo, Tumauini (108), Uauang Tuliao, Santo Tomas (113), and Canadam, Maconacon (150), Fugu Sur, Tumauini (169), Diana, Maconacon (192), Carabatan Bacareno, City of Cauayan (204), Carikkikan Sur, City of Ilagan (208) and Dibulos, Divilacan (211) comprise the rest of the ten least populous barangays in the province. (Table 3)
Proclamation No. 928 s. 2020 designated May 2020 as National Census Month, stating that the 2020 Census of Population would be held in May 2020, with May 1, 2020 as the reference date. Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the census enumeration has been postponed until September 2020. However, information on the population count was collected using 12:01 AM on May 1, 2020 as the reference time and date, as stipulated by Batas Pambansa Bilang 72. Under Proclamation No. 1179 President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has proclaimed the country’s population counts official for all purposes on 06 July 2021.
JULIUS M. EMPERADOR
Chief Statistical Specialist