THE province of Tawi-Tawi has registered a 4.7 percent average annual population growth rate in a span of seven years, according to the National Statistics Office (NSO).

The NSO reported that Tawi-Tawi's population climbed by 128,029 to 450,346 persons as of August 1, 2007 from 322,317 persons in 2000 based on the 2007 Census on Population.

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The NSO said the number of households in Tawi-Tawi reached 77,052 or 22,707 households more than in 2000.

The average household size in 2007 was 5.8 persons, which is lower than the average household size of 5.9 persons in 2000, the NSO said.

Tawi-Tawi is composed of 11 municipalities.

Bongao town, the province' capital, was the most populated with 21.1 percent share to the total provincial population.

Bongao was followed by the municipalities of Languyan and Panglima Sugala with 11.4 percent and 11.2 percent share of the province total population, respectively.

The town of Turtle Islands had the least share of population with 1.4 percent, the NSO said.

Of the 449,291 household population in the province, 50.1 percent were females and 49.9 percent were males, or a ratio of 100 males for every 100 females. In 2000, the NSO said that Tawi-Tawi's sex ratio was 99 males per 100 females.

In 2007, the NSO said the household population of Tawi-Tawi had a median age of 17 years, which means that half of the household population was below 17 years old. The median age recorded in 2000 was 18 years.

Children in age group five to nine years comprised the largest proportion with 15.5 percent, followed by those in age group zero to four years with 14.7 percent.

The NSO said that males dominated the age group five to nine years and ages 35 to 79 years. The females meanwhile outnumbered males in the youngest age group (0 to 4 years), the oldest group (80 years and over), and ages 10 to 34 years. (Bong Garcia)