Manila is by far the largest metropolitan area in the Philippines, and the second largest in Southeast Asia after Jakarta, Indonesia.
Philippine manufacturing is highly concentrated in or near metropolitan Manila, with area firms employing more than one-half the country's manufacturing industry workers. This is due to a number of factors, including Manila's role as the principal port of entry for imported raw materials and other goods; the city's excellent harbor, which is deep and sheltered; the existence of a large local market; a pool of skilled labor; and the presence of the nation's major financial, governmental, and cultural institutions.
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Manufactures include textiles, clothing, and electronic goods; the latter two are the nation's leading exports. Watches, iron and steel, food and beverages, cigars and cigarettes, leather goods, and shoes are also manufactured here. Additionally, local entrepreneurs (often with foreign financial partners) continue to process primary commodities for export, including plywood, refined sugar, copra, and coconut oil.
Manila is also the major destination for tourists who visit the Philippines. Numerous points of interest in the city attract about 1 million visitors annually from all over the world. Many of Manila's tourist sites are found in the old downtown area and along Roxas Boulevard, which parallels Manila Bay.
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Manila is by far the largest metropolitan area in the Philippines, and the second largest in Southeast Asia after Jakarta, Indonesia. About 12 percent of the population of the Philippines is concentrated in the Manila metropolitan area; by comparison, the population of the nation's second largest metropolitan area, Cebu, is only about one-eighth that of Manila.
The metropolitan area has experienced rapid population growth through heavy rates of migration from rural areas, especially since the end of World War II (1939-1945). During the 1960s and 1970s annual rates of population growth in metropolitan Manila approached 5 percent, compared to national growth rates of less than 3 percent. While the overall growth rate slowed to 2.8 percent during the 1980s (compared to the national rate of 2.3 percent), most of the outlying suburban areas of metropolitan Manila grew much more rapidly. Manila proper actually lost population to the suburbs during this period. Such rapid population growth has led to overcrowding, traffic congestion, pollution, and housing shortages. By some estimates, for example, between one-quarter and one-third of the city's population lives in slums and squatter housing. At the 1990 census, Manila proper had a population of 1,601,234, and the metropolitan area registered 7,948,392 people.
Major cities near Manila:
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