The province consists of Cebu Island, as well as 167 smaller islands that include Bantayan, Malapascua, Olango and the Camotes Islands. Although the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue are independent cities not subject to provincial supervision, they are often grouped with the province for geographical and statistical purposes.
Cebu is the second most populous province in the Philippines. As of 2020, the total population is estimated to be 3,325,385. The province contributed 41.15% of the population in Region 7 and had the highest population among the provinces in the region. The annual population growth rate (PGR) of Cebu province from 2015 to 2020 is at 2.63% which is 0.41% higher than the population growth rate of Cebu province from 2010 to 2015 at 2.22%.
Cebu's climate is characterized by dry and wet, tropical climate. The wet and the dry seasons are the two distinctive seasons in the province. In terms of temperature, the warm months of the year are March through October; from November to February, the winter monsoon delivers cooler air. It is coolest from December to February and hottest from March to May. In the summer, temperatures can reach as high as 37°C. Beginning in July, the rainy season brings heavy downpours that can occasionally hinder daily activities.
Cebu is the center of economic activities in the Visayas and Mindanao areas. Identified as the country's second largest central urban economic hub, the province is base to over 80% of inter-island shipping capacity in the Philippines. The province also offers a wide range of world class amenities, such as luxury hotels, beach resorts, first class restaurants, latest in sports and recreational facilities.
The major industries of the province are tourism, agriculture, fishery, manufacturing, Information Technology (BPO), and mining. Cebu island’s unique topography give tourists easy access to the mountains as well as the seas and provides a variety of nature sites like rivers, waterfalls, springs, and caves. The main agricultural products are corn, rice, mango, coconut, banana, and peanut. The main marine products are tuna, lapu-lapu(grouper), sardine, flying fish, prawn, and crab. The industry (manufacturing) comprises not just the production of traditional furniture and handcraft, but also advanced hi-tech sector, with such major export products such as watch, semi-conductor, camera and electrical equipment, etc.. The country's largest dolomite quarry is mined in Pugalo, Alcoy. In order to promote exports and draw in international investments, special economic zones have been set up in the province.
Cebuano (Bisaya or Binisaya) is the language commonly used and is the native tongue of the province. While Filipino is commonly understood and spoken, the English language is widely used in business transaction and in education. In the Camotes Islands, particularly in Poro, people (residents) speak Porohanon, a Visayan language with Masbateo and Waray-Waray influences. In Bantayan Island, some locals speak Bantayanon, a Waray-Waray-related Visayan tongue.
The economy of the Province of Cebu is driven by the following industries: Manufacturing with 17.6 percent, wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles with 13.7 percent, real estate and ownership of dwellings, and professional and business services with 11.5 percent based on 2018 to 2020 annual average share. In 2019, the economy of the province grew by 4.7 percent but declined by 8.9