|The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,100
islands covering nearly 300,000 square kilometers. It is
located between the South China Sea in the west and the
Philippine Sea in the east. The two largest islands in the
chain, Luzon and Mindanao, comprise about 65 percent of
the country's total landmass. Most of the country's people
are concentrated on 11 main islands.
The Philippines is Southeast Asia's only predominantly
Christian country. The large majority of Filipinos are Roman
Approximately 84.5 million people live in the Philippines. Of
these, more than 30 million are under age 14.
Nearly 40 percent of all Filipinos live in poverty;
three-fourths of the poor live in rural areas. Forty percent of
the population works in agriculture. The average annual
income per capita is $1,040.
More than 4 million Filipino children work; 2 million work in
hazardous conditions. Nearly one million Filipinos every
year go abroad to work, many going to other Asian
countries, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, and the
Middle East. They often perform domestic and unskilled
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