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The Philippines' location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world's greatest biodiversity. The Philippines has an area of 300,000 km2 (120,000 sq mi), according to the Philippines Statistical Authority and the WorldBank and, as of 2015, had a population of at least 100 million. As of January 2018[update], it was the eighth-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. Approximately 10 million additional Filipinos lived overseas, comprising one of the world's largest diasporas. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. In prehistoric times, Negritos were some of the archipelago's earliest inhabitants. They were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples. Exchanges with Chinese, Malay, and Indian nations occurred. Then, various competing maritime states were established under the rule of datus, rajahs, sultans or lakans.

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