Malaybalay is originally the home of the Bukidnon lumads, but there has been an influx of settlers into the area during the last four decades continuing up to this time. The population now consists of immigrants from the Visayas and Luzon and their descendants. The Bukidnons have retreated up to the uplands as the migrants continued to occupy and dominate most of the barangay centers.
Data from the National Statistics Office show a variable pattern of growth and decline in Malaybalay’s population (Table 4: Historical Growth of Population). From 1918 to 1939, a period of 21 years, there was a very low growth rate of only 0.6%. This was followed by a period of decline, with an annual population decrease of 1.5% in the post-war years until 1948. However, in the following twelve years until 1960, the population nearly doubled from 16,458 in 1948 to 32,522 in 1960. Although the growth rate slowed down, the population continued to increase by as much as 6.7% from 1960 until the mid-70s. After another 5-year period of decline, Malaybalay’s population has been increasing since 1980.
The 1990 census registered Malaybalay’s population at 94,790. This increased to 112,277 in 1995, posting a growth rate of 3.4%. However, the growth rate has reduced to 1.98% in the year 2000 registering a total population of 123,672. Assuming this rate will continue, the population will be 150,018 by 2010. (Table 5: Projected Population).
According to 2000 NSO data, there were 23,521 households in Malaybalay, putting the average household size at 5.26 persons per household (Table 6: Pop, Household Population, Number of households per Barangay).
The current population estimates and projections for the city can be considered very conservative because of the assumption that the 1.95% growth rate is constant. Given the changes and development that have occurred in Malaybalay over the past 5 years, there is basis to presume that the growth rate may in fact be increasing. Population increase due to migration has not been considered due to absence of data. This increase in population both in rural and urban areas will place increasing demands for more agricultural land, energy, and other forest products.
The city’s 46 barangays may be classified into urban, urbanizing and rural barangays (Table 7: Population and Population Density by Barangay). The urban areas consist of 11 barangays in the Poblacion. There are 7 urbanizing barangays. These are Aglayan, Bangcud, Casisang, Kalasungay, Linabo, Managok, and Sumpong (See Base Map). The rest of the barangays comprise the rural areas.
The present urban population is 21,935 or 16.42% of the city’s total population. The 7 urbanizing barangays have a total population of 50,198 or about 39.57%. The rural population comprises the majority at 61,584 or 46.09%. Population is evenly distributed in the urban and rural areas, but the lumad-migrant population distribution and ratio in each of the barangay is still to be determined. Community mapping activity done in barangays within the forestland revealed that many migrants have already occupied even the interior mountainous areas where the remaining Bukidnon lumads are mostly found.
In the urban center, Poblacion 9 has the highest population with 24.86% share of the urban population followed by Poblacion 1 with 24.50% share. Among the rest of the barangays, those with high population are Dalwangan, Casisang, Aglayan and Sumpong, each of which has population of at least 5% share of the city’s total population.
By year 2010, urban population will reach 22,818, urbanizing barangays will have a total population of 57,367 and rural barangays 70,297 (Table 8: Population Projection by Barangay).
The entire city has a population density of 1.23 persons per hectare. Rural density is slightly lower than the entire city at 0.71, while urban density is 10 times more than the entire city at 12.76. (Table 7: Population and Population Density by Barangay)
Among all the barangays, Poblacion 8 has the highest density of 101.25 persons per hectare. This is probably because it is located at the heart of the poblacion proper. It is also a residential district with a land area that is quite small at only 8 hectares. Outside of the Poblacion, Sumpong is the most densely populated with 12.69 persons per hectare, followed by Violeta with 6.50 and Casisang with 5.15.
Rural barangays have larger areas compared with the urban, but rural barangays are mostly mountainous and classified as forestland. Rural areas mostly have steep slopes and highly elevated that the cultivated farms of communities appear in small patches. Due also to these area’s lack of infrastructure support (i.e. roads), they are less accessible, thus seldom reach by the government for the delivery of basic social services.
The city has a very young population. Based on 2004 data, the majority of the population is distributed within the 1- 19 age bracket (Table 9: Total Population By Age Group and), with an aggregate total of 52.09%. Further groupings indicate that at least 68.81% are below thirty years old. The 15 to 64-age bracket, which is often considered as the potential work or labor force, comprises 56.01% of the total population. About 2.71% belong to the above-65 category. The sex distribution of the total population is almost equal, with 51.25% male and 48.75% female. This represents a ratio of 100 males for every 95 females.
There are about 6 primary schools, 57 Elementary schools, 18 secondary schools, and 4 tertiary schools or colleges within Malaybalay. However, majority of these schools are in the urban centers. All primary schools are in the rural areas, while there are 40 elementary, 13 secondary schools and no tertiary level in the rural areas. The far-flung sitios near or within the forest lines like Mahayag and Tawantawan of St. Peter are unfortunately not reached by government educational services. Churches and non-government organizations established literacy centers in the uplands to serve the education needs of the indigenous people of the city. Bendum in barangay busdi has a complete elementary grade levels run by private entity but recognized by DepEd.
Being the capital of Bukidnon where educational facilities are located, Malaybalay’s literacy rate is high, with at least 91% of the population classified as literate, that is, able to read and write a simple message (Table 10: Projected Literacy of the Household Population 10 years and Over By Age Group and Sex). The literate population is higher among the younger age group or those under 19 years old compared to the above-40 age bracket. This is partly because basic education has become more accessible over the recent decade than it was two or three decades ago.
While the literacy rate in the city is high, a more analytical look at comparative data from 1995 and 2000 shows a decreasing trend in the literacy rate with a corresponding increase in illiteracy (Table 11: Projected Literate Population and Literacy Rates). The percentage of literate population dropped from 91.82% in 1995 to 91.64% in 2000. This translates to a 0.19% rate of decline in literacy. Illiterate population meanwhile rose from 8.18% to 8.36%, or a 2.15% rate of increase. Projections based on 1995 and 2000 data indicate that literacy for the year 2005 is already down to 91.58% and illiteracy is up to 8.50% of the over-10 years old population.
These figures mean that illiteracy is occurring at a much faster rate or eleven times more than the literacy rate. This can be partly explained by the typical phenomenon wherein the population is increasing faster than the pace at which basic education can be made available and accessible to the majority of school-age children.
If the present trend continues without the necessary intervention to make basic education accessible and affordable to families of school-age children, illiteracy rate will increase to 8.7% by 2010 and 8.9% by 2015.
Elementary or primary level is the highest educational attainment of the majority or 48.66% of the household population (Table 12: Household Population 5 Years Old and Over by Highest Educational Attainment and Age Group). About 22.97% reached the high school level, but only about 29.67% of that actually graduated. College undergraduates comprise 9.91% while only 4.04% have actually acquired an academic degree. A notable number of 6.34% (or 1 out of 16 people) of the population have not completed any grade level.
Educational attainment by age group shows that there are more persons below 20 years old who have not completed any grade level than in any age bracket. Of the total population above 5 years old, 6.34% have not completed any grade. Almost 3% are under 20, while 1.5% belongs to the 45-and above age bracket.
Based on conservative projections, the productive population (15-64 years old) increased from 76,298 in 2000 to 77,786 in 2005 (Table 13: Projected Household Population 15 Years and Over by Sex and Employment Status). Of the productive population about 60.2% are in the labor force and gainfully employed. Around 39.8% are unemployed and not in the labor force. This figure represents a nearly 1:1 ratio between employed and unemployed persons. This means that for every person employed, there is one that is unemployed. This figure underlies the need to provide employment to the working age population.
The 15-64 age bracket population is projected to reach 76,298 by 2005 and 84,042 by 2010 (Table 14: Projected Population by Age Group). If present unemployment trend continues and job opportunities are not provided to this segment of the population, the number of unemployed persons will increase to about 34,967 by year 2005 and 38,510 by 2010 (Table 15: Projected Labor Force).
In terms of labor force distribution by sex, there are more males employed than females. Employed males outnumber females by 2 to 1.
Cebuano is commonly understood and spoken by everyone and is therefore the prevailing medium of communication. However, the distribution of the population in terms of specific mother tongue or language originally spoken indicates the diverse origins of the city’s inhabitants (Table 16: Household Population by Ethnicity and Sex). About 52.5% are originally Cebuano speaking, 16.7% are native Bukidnon, 11.5% are native Boholanos and 9.7% are Hiligaynon-Ilonggo. The remaining 9.6% or so speak a variety of native (tribal) or indigenous languages as well as other regional dialects. If this data is taken as representative of the Bukidnon lumads and migrants distribution, this reflects that the city is now predominantly occupied by migrants. But it is also possible that there are quite a number of lumads in the city even in the poblacion centers that have used Cebuano as their medium of communication, that is why percantage of Binukid speaking population is low.
Majority or 74.9% of the population are Roman Catholics (Table 17: Household Population by Religious Affiliation and Sex). The other notable religious groups based on percentage share of the population are Baptists with 9.7%, Seventh Day Adventists with 3.2%, and Iglesia ni Cristo with 2.3%. The data further shows the “other” religious affiliation comprise about 9.2%, but it is not clear whether this includes the lumads in the forest areas, who until now are naturalists and have some pagan practices. Catholic Priests and Baptist missionaries have penetrated most of the remote areas and introduced Christianism to the lumads. In some areas, there are lumads who are converted to Catholicism or Baptists but have retained their cultural practices of doing rituals. The activities of the missionaries were not limited to religion but extended to health and education in Zamboanguita & Linabo. Islam has a share of about 0.7%
There are more married persons than there are single among those of marrying age (Table 18: Household Population 10 years old and Over by Age Group, Sex and Marital Status). About 46.01% are married, 44.95% single, and about 4.70% either separated or living with a common-law partner. There are more single men than women but more married women than men, while there are more widowed females than males.