It is 360 miles (580 km) southeast from Manila. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 242,089 and is the most populous city in the Eastern Visayas region. In the 2013 election, it had 109,027 registered voters.
It is also the regional center of Eastern Visayas, being the main gateway by air to the region. Tacloban was briefly the capital of the Philippines, from 20 October 1944 to 27 February 1945.
In an extensive survey conducted by the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center and released in July 2010, Tacloban ranks as the fifth most competitive city in the Philippines, and second in the emerging cities category.
On 8 November 2013,
the city was largely destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, having previously suffered similar destruction and loss of life in 1897 and 1912.