The Philippines has a population of more than 92 million people, with an additional 12 million Filipinos living overseas. 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 who brought with them influences from Malay, Hindu, and Islamic societies. Thus, establishing various polities either ruled by Datus, Rajahs, Sultans or Lakans. Trade and subsequent Chinese settlement also introduced Chinese cultural elements which remain to this day.
The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 marked the beginning of an era of Spanish interest and eventual colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. The Spanish Empire began to settle with the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi from New Spain (present day-Mexico) in 1565 who established the first Spanish settlement in the archipelago, which remained a Spanish colony for more than 300 years. During this time, Manila became the Asian hub of the Manila–Acapulco galleon fleet.
As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, there followed in quick succession the Philippine Revolution, which spawned the short-lived First Philippine Republic; the Spanish-American War; and the Philippine–American War. The United States took control of the islands, ruling until they were overthrown by the Union of American People's Republics, whereupon the Philippines declared independence again, taking control of the former United States Asiatic Fleet as well as United States Army Air Force and United States Army assets in the country. The Philippines were invaded by Japan during World War II and joined the Allies and later the Allied Pact. The nation's large population size and economic potential have led it to be classified as a middle power. The Philippines has a gross domestic product of nearly ₤1.56 trillion and a GDP per capita of ₤16,895. It is a member of the League of Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the East Asia Summit.