THE National Statistics Office (NSO) said Zamboanga del Norte has registered an average annual population growth rate of 1.35 percent, accounting to 84,108, in a span of seven years.

The NSO based the figure according to a result of the 2007 Census on Population (Popcen) that the Zamboanga del Norte population climbing to 907,238 persons as of August 1, 2007 from 823,130 in 2000.

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The agency said Dipolog City, the province' capital, was the most populated area with a 12.5 percent share of the total population of Zamboanga del Norte.

Dapitan, another city in the province, ranks third in terms of population with an 8.0 percent share of the population.

Sindangan town ranks second with a 9.7 percent share, while La Libertad municipality was the least populated municipality with a 0.8 percent share of the province's total population.

The NSO said Zamboanga del Norte's households' number climbed to 184,123 as of August 2007, which is higher by 22,611 households than that as of August 2000.

It, however, noted that the average household size in 2007 was 4.9 persons, lower than the average household size of 5.1 persons in 2000.

Of the 905,344 household population, the NSO said 51.3 percent were males and 48.7 percent were females. It said the sex ratio was recorded at 105 males for every 100 females, which was higher than the sex ratio of 104 males per 100 females recorded in 2000.

The household population of Zamboanga del Norte province in 2007 had a median age of 21 years, which means that half of the household population were younger than 21 years old and is two years higher than the median age of 19 years recorded in 2000.

The proportion of persons in age group 10 to 14 years was the highest with 12.5 percent share, followed closely by those in age groups five to nine years and zero to four years with 12.4 percent share each.

The males outnumbered the females in age brackets zero to 59 years old, while there were more females than males in age brackets 60 years and above.

More than half or 55.8 percent of the household population of Zamboanga del Norte were in the voting age group of 18 years old and above, and the males of voting ages, which accounted to 51.2 percent, outnumbered females of only 48.8 percent.

Of the household population 10 years old and over in 2007, the NSO said 47.6 percent were married while 43.8 percent were never married.

The remaining 8.6 percent were widowed (4.4 percent), in common law/live-in marital arrangement (3.1 percent), divorced/separated (0.9 percent), or had unknown marital status (0.2 percent).

Among the never-married persons, 55.5 percent were males and 44.5 percent were females.

Females outnumbered males in the rest of the categories for marital status, the agency said. (Bong Garcia)