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Based from the 2015 Philippine Statistics Agency (PSA) Survey of Population, the municipality of Sta. Magdalena has a total population of 16,848.  San Bartolome registered the highest number of population constituting approximately 18% of the total municipal population.  The least populated barangay is La Esperanza with about 3.5% of the total population.  The total number of households is 3,747.     The male population of the municipality slightly outnumbers the female by 3.5%, or 51% of the total population. 

Approximately 46% of the total population belongs to the working age group (15 to 64 years old bracket) while 48% falls within the dependent age group (0-14 and 65 years old and over).  The computed age-dependency ratio is 117.1134% which means that for every 100 members of the working population, there are 83 dependent populations. The population is considerably young with the 5-9 age groups posting the highest number. 

With a population of 16,848 and a land area of 4278.8409 hectares, the municipality has a population density of 3.94 persons per hectare.  The urban area of the municipality is composed of the four Poblacion barangays while the rest are considered rural.  At present the urban population comprises 22.5% of the total population with density of 115 persons per hectare. 

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Historical Growth of Population

The table below shows that the population of Sta. Magdalena is increasing steadily in the most recent surveys.   However, the record also shows several negative growth rates.   From CY 1960 to CY 1970 there was a decrease of almost 3,000 resulting to -2.10% growth rate.  During CY 1970-CY 1975 and CY 1980-CY 1990, the population also decreased by -602 and -847, respectively.  The slow and negative population growth rate is attributed to migration of skilled and professionals who choose to work and live permanently out of the municipality.

Population Distribution

Urban and Rural Population

The population residing in the urban barangays is 22% compared to the population residing in rural barangays which is 88%.  The average household size is 4.5.  The urban barangays classified by PSA are the four Poblacion barangays, with Poblacion 4 having the largest population.  In the rural barangays, San Bartolome has the highest population equivalent to 18% of the municipality.  It is the boundary barangay to the town of Bulusan, second to land area with the largest residential area almost like the Poblacion.  The barangay is a growth center catering its nearby barangays including barangays of Bulusan.  San Bartolome is also the center of the Buri handicraft industry.

Urbanization level

The urbanization level of Santa Magdalena for Census Year 2015 is only 21.75%.  The municipality has a decreasing urbanization level as shown Table and Graph DE-4.  This slow population growth in urban areas does not mean there is no development.  Factors include limited land area, highest threat of climate change as coastal barangays and migration because more households can send children to college.  Nevertheless, economic activities are higher in Poblacion. The rural barangays have higher growth rate compared to urban thus resulting to negative tempo of urbanization.