Caraga Region 467
and Misamis Oriental of Region 10; and on the east by the Philippine Sea and thePacic Ocean. The region has a total land area of 1,884,697 hectares. This represents6.3 percent of the country’s total land area and 18.5 percent of Mindanao’s. Of theregion’s total land area, 47.60% belongs to Agusan del Sur.
The region is characterized by mountainous areas, and at and roll-ing lands. Mountain ranges divide Agusan and Surigao provinces and subrangesseparate most of the lowlands along the Pacic Coast. The most productive agri-cultural area of the region lies along the Agusan River Basin. The famous AgusanMarsh also sits in the middle of Agusan del Sur. Among the lakes in the region, LakeMainit is the widest. It traverses eight (8) municipalities: Alegria, Tubod, Mainit,and Sison in the province of Surigao del Norte and Tubay, Santiago, Jabonga, andKitcharao in Agusan del Norte.
Land Classifcation and Major Land Uses.
Of the total land area, 71.22% is forestlandand 28.78% is alienable and disposable land. Major land uses include forestlandcomprising 31.36% and 23.98% of agricultural and open spaces.
Based on the nal results of the 2000 census, the total populationof the region was 2,095,367 which was 7.86% higher than the 1995 population of1,942,687. The annual population growth rate over the last ve years was peggedat a manageable 1.63%, one of the lowest in the country. Among the four provinces,Agusan del Sur registered the largest population at 559,294 and Surigao del Nortethe smallest at 481,416. In terms of growth rate, Surigao del Norte was the fastestgrowing province with an annual average growth rate of 1.84% over the last veyears, while Surigao del Sur was the slowest at 1.35% over the same period.Butuan and Surigao cities have a total population of 267,279 and 118,534, respec-tively. Butuan City registered an annual growth rate of 1.70% in the last ve years,while Surigao City posted 2.65%.
Poverty incidence in the region continues to upsurge from 51.20% in 1997to 60.10% in 1998. Both numbers are way above the national average of 31.8% in1997. On the other hand, the region-wide average annual family income based on the1994 and 1997 Family Income and Expenditures Survey (FIES) years posted 36.17%increase from Php52,508.25 in 1994 to Php71,498.50 in 1997. In 1997, the increasein average annual family income outpaced the increase in average annual familyexpenditures of Php61,540.25, thereby translating to an average annual savings ofPhp9,958.25 per family.