Island groups

Map of the Philippines highlighting the island groups of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao

There are three main island groups in the Philippines; Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The largest islands by island group are Luzon, Palawan, Mindoro, Masbate, and Catanduanes for the Luzon group, Samar, Negros, Panay, Leyte, Cebu, and Bohol for the Visayas group, and Mindanao, Basilan, Jolo, Tawitawi, and Dinagat for the Mindanao group. These also serve to organize the regions by geographic location. The regions of I, II, III, IV‑A, MIMAROPA, V, NCR, and CAR are covered by Luzon, VI, VII, and VIII by the Visayas, and IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, and ARMM by Mindanao.

Island groups and component regions

Of these three, the most populated (as of 2015) is the Luzon island group having 57,470,097 inhabitants (representing 56.91% of the entire population of the Philippines), followed by Mindanao with 24,135,775 (23.90%), and the Visayas with 19,373,431 (19.19%).

Island groupPopulation
Growth Rate
Most populated
city/town (2015)
Least populated
city/town (2015)
Luzon57,470,09752,362,9991.79%Quezon City
Kalayaan, Palawan
Visayas19,373,43118,003,9401.41%Cebu City
Maslog, Eastern Samar
Mindanao24,135,77521,968,1741.81%Davao City
Burgos, Surigao del Norte
Extreme points (town center)Map of the Philippines highlighting the island groups of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and their extreme points

Based on extreme points, Itbayat (the northernmost town of the Luzon group), Caraga (the easternmost of the Mindanao group), Kalayaan (the westernmost of the Luzon group), and Sitangkai (the southernmost of the Mindanao group), also serve as the extreme points in the entire Philippines. The following table shows the extreme points (based on city/town center) by island group.

Island groupNorth ↑East →South ↓West ←
LuzonItbayat (Batanes)
20° 47' N, 121° 50' E
Gigmoto (Catanduanes)
13° 47' N, 124° 24' E
Balabac (Palawan)
7° 59' N, 117° 4' E
Kalayaan (Palawan)
11° 3' N, 114° 17' E
VisayasBiri (Northern Samar)
12° 41' N, 124° 22' E
Guiuan (Eastern Samar)
11° 2' N, 125° 43' E
Siaton (Negros Oriental)
9° 4' N, 123° 2' E
Caluya (Antique)
11° 56' N, 121° 33' E
MindanaoLoreto (Dinagat Islands)
10° 22' N, 125° 35' E
Caraga (Davao Oriental)
7° 20' N, 126° 34' E
Sitangkai (Tawi-Tawi)
4° 40' N, 119° 24' E
Turtle Islands (Tawi-Tawi)
6° 4' N, 118° 19' E


  1. Data on population derived from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
  2. Maps utilize OpenStreetMap data available under the Open Data Commons Open Database License.
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