Philippine Provinces: Size and "Prosperity"

Because of the plebiscite on Republic Act 9495 -- a law that creates the new province of Quezon del Sur and renaming the remaining* part of Quezon into "Quezon del Norte" (which will effect a significant change for the people of the province) -- I have dug into this research** to see what stand statistics*** will support: "Yes" to the change or "No".

"Smaller is better," the proponents said, for the development of the province. Let's see what statistics says.

[Land area is expressed in square kilometers; source of geographical data****: Wikipedia]

||Quezon Province: 8,706 sq. km (5th largest) ||


(R = Region)
  1. Bulacan: 2,637 sq km (29th smallest) -- Central Luzon, R3
  2. Rizal: 1,309 sq km (10th smallest) -- CALABARZON, R4-A
  3. Laguna: 1,757 sq km (17th smallest) -- CALABARZON, R4-A
  4. Bataan: 1,373 sq km (11th smallest) -- Central Luzon, R3
  5. Cavite: 1,297 sq km (9th smallest) -- CALABARZON, R4-A
  6. Batanes: 209 sq km (smallest) -- Cagayan Valley, R2, island
  7. Benguet: 2,599 sq km (49th largest) -- CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region)
  8. Pampanga: 2,180 sq km (23rd smallest) -- Central Luzon, R3
  9. Nueva Vizcaya: 3,904 sq km (33rd largest) -- Cagayan Valley, R2
  10. Ilocos Norte: 3,399 sq km (27th smallest) -- Ilocos Region, R1


(R = Region; ARMM = Autonomous Region in Muslin Mindanao)
  1. Masbate: 4,048 sq km (30th largest) -- Bicol Region, R5, island
  2. Maguindanao: 4,900 sq km (21st largest) -- ARMM
  3. Sulu: 1,600 sq km (15th smallest) -- ARMM, island
  4. Ifugao: 2,518 sq km (24th smallest) -- CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region)
  5. Lanao del Sur: 3,872 sq km (34th largest) -- ARMM
  6. Camiguin: 230 sq km (2nd smallest) -- Northern Mindanao, R10
  7. Camarines Norte: 2,112 sq km (25th smallest) -- Bicol Region, R5
  8. Tawi-Tawi: 1,087 sq km (7th smallest) -- ARMM, island
  9. Agusan del Sur: 8,966 sq km (4th largest) -- Caraga, R13
  10. Romblon: 1,356 sq km (11th smallest) -- MIMAROPA, R4-B, island


10 largest provinces (simply copied and pasted from Wikipedia :'p lazyboy):
Province  ↓Capital  ↓Region  ↓Population  ↓Area (km²)  ↓Pop. density
km²)  ↓
PalawanPuerto Princesa CityRegion IV-B755,41214,896.350.7
Isabela [2]IlaganRegion II1,287,57510,664.6120.7
CagayanTuguegarao CityRegion II993,5809,002.7110.4
Agusan del SurProsperidadRegion XIII559,2948,966.062.4
QuezonLucena CityRegion IV-A1,679,0308,706.6192.8
BukidnonMalaybalay CityRegion X1,060,2658,293.8127.8
Negros Occidental [3]Bacolod CityRegion VI2,565,7237,926.1323.7
Zamboanga del NorteDipolog CityRegion IX823,1306,618.0124.4
CotabatoKidapawan CityRegion XII958,6436,569.9145.9
Davao del SurDigos CityRegion XI1,905,9176,377.6298.8

10 smallest provinces (simply copied and pasted from Wikipedia :'p):

Province  ↓Capital  ↓Region  ↓Population  ↓Area (km²)  ↑Pop. density
km²)  ↓

BatanesBascoRegion II16,467209.378.7
CamiguinMambajaoRegion X74,232229.8323.0
SiquijorSiquijorRegion VII81,598343.5237.5
BiliranNavalRegion VIII140,274555.5252.5
GuimarasJordanRegion VI141,450604.7233.9
Metro ManilaManila
(Regional center)
Dinagat IslandsSan JoseRegion XIII106,951802.12133.3
MarinduqueBoacRegion IV-B217,392959.3226.6
BasilanIsabela CityARMM322,8281,234.2243.8


I gotta sleep now... I can't interpret this now (It's 06:09 :'o).

Nevertheless, here's my short take: at first glance, it seems that the small provinces in Luzon really do have the lowest incidence of poverty, i.e., they're the most prosperous.

As for the "most poor", I think there's no comparison. Most of the poor provinces are in Mindanao (R10 and above, ARMM) where it's conflict-ridden. The two others in the list of the poorest that are not in Mindanao -- Camarines Norte and Ifugao -- are mountanous (right? please verify...). So, it's likely there's nothing to compare, really. Quezon's geographic and political conditions are different.

*Try saying that several times as fast as you can :'p
**It's actually only something I stumbled upon. At first I thought about writing on how dividing the the Province to enable its development is an insult to (i.e. a testament to the incompetence of) the present officials of our Province.
***This is probably because I just watched the movie 21 yesterday :') It's about a group of MIT students who beat the blackjack system in Casinos in the U.S. using Mathematics. It's inspired by a true story.
****I'm afraid my rounding off of the numbers (from decimal to whole) was inconsistent. Cut me some slack, please. Land stuff moves. Sands are blown, rocks are built into houses, erosion, plate tectonics...
+ Sorry if there are errors in the data... I'm exhausted. I don't want to double check now. Or maybe not ever.