The Bicol peninsula comprises the southeastern most extension of the island of Luzon. Generically, the people are referred to as Bicolano although in terms of language the population is highly differentiated not so much because of physical circumscription but socially. Total population is 4,469,082 (NSO 1990). The Bicol speakers include those in the provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur. The Bicolano also inhabit principally the islands of Catanduanes, Masbate, Ticao, and Burias. Bicol Naga is the lingua franca in the general area.
The most densely populated is the Bicol plains specifically the Legaspi-Albay agricultural areas which support nearly half of the population. Naga and Legazpi are the primary urban centers. The economy is basically subsistence and commercial agriculture. Rice is the dominant crop with small surplus production due to irrigation. Upland rice is also produced. Corn is second only to rice. Coconut and abaca are the leading cash crops. The mining of gold, copper, iron, chromite, manganese, and others is a developed industry. Fishing and forest industries are flourishing.