Agta Demographic Database: chronicle of a hunter-gatherer community in transition

Statement of Responsibility:
Headland, Thomas N., Janet D. Headland, and Ray T. Uehara
Issue Date:

For the past half-century Thomas and Janet Headland have studied demographic change among the Agta, a hunter-gatherer population in the Philippines. Since the 1998 publication of Population Dynamics of a Philippine Rain Forest People, numerous scholars have asked about the raw data on which the Headlands based their study. Now those data are published with the full permission of the Agta people. Computer scientist Ray Uehara has worked with the Headlands to compile this database. This database consists of the records of 4,300 Agta individuals, 600 of whom are alive today. Of these, 284 are members of the San Ildefonso Agta, a subpopulation living on a peninsula separate from the larger Casiguran Agta Population on the mainland. Included in these records are the names, facial photographs, family histories, genealogies, and ancestors (dating back to the late nineteenth century) of today’s Agta. The data are complete with every birth, marriage, divorce, death, and in- and out-migration since 1950 to January 2010, for the 284-member San Ildefonso Agta subpopulation.

The Agta population has vital statistics that are extreme compared to industrialized humankind. These will be of interest to anthropologists, students of human history, and demographers. Today‘s Agta have an infant mortality rate of 220/1000 (vs. 7/1000 in the USA), a high total fertility rate of 7.0, and a life expectancy of just 23 years (vs. 78 years in the USA). Readers may use these data to check these and other demographic parameters, as well as for testing their own hypotheses of so-called primitive populations. The Agta Demographic Database provides a keyhole glimpse into how our human ancestors may have lived and died in prehistory. This is an ongoing work, to be re-released at intervals.

Version 2.0, 2011

20 p. + data files and reports
Table of Contents:
  • Main article
  • Informed consent text
  • Agta database field descriptions
  • Data and user interface with photographs
  • Data and user interface without photographs
  • Data in XML format
  • Data in CSV format
  • All documents (article, sample reports, auxiliary documents)
San Ildefonso
demography of prehistoric populations
demographic anthropology
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Relation Text:
SIL Language and Culture Documentation and Description 2