Island groups of the Philippines

The Philippines is divided into three island group, Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao

The geographical divisions of the Philippines are the three island groups of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Luzon and Mindanao are named after their main continent of the same names, while the Visayas (the Visayan Islands) is an archipelago.

Administrative divisions

Islands are organized into three distinct island group according to regions: Regions I to V, CAR and NCR are for Luzon, Regions VI to VIII and NIR are for the Visayas, and Regions IX to XIII and ARMM are for Mindanao. If a province is reassigned into a new region, it can also be reassigned to a new island group, as is the case with Palawan, when it was reassigned to MIMAROPA. The island groups themselves do not have governments of their own, but are instead divided into provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays, which do have their own local governments.

Although the island groups do not have local governments, hence capitals, certain cities have become the political, economic and cultural centers of the island groups. Manila is the national capital and is the de facto capital of Luzon, though Quezon City, a former capital, has more inhabitants than Manila. Cebu, on the province and island of the same name, is the chief city of the Visayas. Mindanao's main city is Davao, towards its southeast.

Group Largest city Population ±% p.a. Area Density

(2007)[1] (2000)[1] km2 sq mi /km2 /sq mi
Luzon Manila 48,520,774 42,822,878 4.65% 125,863 48,596 390 1,000
Visayas Cebu 18,003,940 15,528,346 5.53% 71,503 27,607 250 650
Mindanao Davao 21,968,174 18,133,864 7.23% 104,530 40,360 210 540
Total 88,492,888 76,485,088 5.45% 301,896 116,563 290 760


For a more comprehensive list, see List of islands of the Philippines.

See also


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