The competition was moved to Bali from the capital, Jakarta, because of protests from hardline Muslim groups. Security for Saturday's event was high in Bali, a resort island with a majority Hindu population, but no further demonstrations were reported.
Miss France, Marine Lorphelin, came second in the contest and Miss Ghana, Carranzar Naa Okailey Shooter, took third place.
Wearing a glittering gown, Ms Young, who moved to the Philippines at the age of 10, wept as the Miss World sash was put over her shoulder by 2012 winner Miss China.
She told the cheering crowd in Nusa Dua in southern Bali she would "be myself in everything I do, to share what I know and to educate people".
|Megan Young won ahead of Miss France and Miss Ghana|
Miss France Marine Lorphelin placed second.
Miss Ghana Carranzar Naa Okailey Shooter placed third.
The US delegate to the pageant, Olivia Jordan, made the top 20 but did not advance to the top 10.
Miss Philippines Megan Young, the pageant's winner, was born in the US before moving to the Philippines when she was 10, according to her biography on the Miss World website.
"Megan has been appearing on screen since the age of 15, starring in films, TV shows and as a presenter. Megan has ambitions of moving behind the camera in the future, taking the role of director after gaining experience and finishing her qualifications," it adds.
She also apparently enjoys video games and Harry Potter.
"I promise to be the best Miss World ever," Young said after receiving the title. "I'm very, very excited."
If you live in the US and didn't catch Saturday's pageant, you're probably not alone.
It began at 8 a.m. EDT. The reason for the early US airtime? The pageant took place in Bali, Indonesia.
Speaking of Bali, this year's Miss World pageant was surrounded by a fear "that Muslim extremists may try to disrupt the event." according to the Associated Press. Thousands of security personnel reportedly patrolled the pageant's finale.
The Associated Press notes, "The Islamic Defenders Front, known for angry protests and violent raids on bars and prostitution dens, began holding demonstrations weeks ago with thousands displaying signs that read: 'Miss World is Whore Contest' and 'Miss World Go to Hell.' More mainstream groups, including an influential Islamic body, joined in and called for the show to be banned."
Pageant organizers replaced contestants' bikinis with sarongs to appease "a small but vocal group," the Associated Press explains.
This is different from Miss Universe, a global pageant that's part of the Donald Trump empire. It's not affiliated with the Miss America pageant system, either. Miss World contestants compete in a variety of challenges in the days leading up the pageant's finale.
A major difference between the Miss World pageant and others? With Miss World, you don't see the extensive preliminary competitions you might see in other pageant systems. For example, Olivia Jordan was appointed "Miss World United States 2013 by the Elite Models company, the license holder of Miss World Organization in the United States," according to Beauty Pageant News.
Previously, she was first runner-up in the Miss California USA 2013 pageant. Even though Olivia Jordan didn't win Miss World, she's slated to star in "Hot Tub Time Machine 2." So that's exciting.
Here are some other highlights from Saturday's pageant.
Winner: Miss Philippines
Second place: Miss France
Third place: Miss Ghana
Miss World Top 6: Miss France, Miss Philippines, Miss Ghana, Miss Brazil, Miss Spain and Miss Gibraltar (automatically advanced as People's Choice winner).
Some fun facts about our top 6...we see a pre-taped segment and then the contestants briefly tell the judges why they deserve to be Miss World.
Miss France is studying medicine and wants to be a pediatrician. She says, "I appreciate the fact that Miss World travels a lot and meets people around the world and tries to help them."
Miss Philippines wants to show the world that people from her country are hard workers. She's been caring for her brother and sister on her own since her mom moved to the US. She says she wants to show people the core values of humanity "so that as one, together, we shall help society."
Miss Ghana, a medical student, really wants to help people. She says Miss World should be someone who "truly embodies beauty with a purpose." She wants to embrace the title "and to make an impact on the lives of the less-privileged."
Miss Brazil tells us her family couldn't attend the Miss World finale because they don't have the financial resources. Through a interpreter, she says she sees Miss World "as a reflection of the values that the world should have."
Miss Spain tells us her country has never won a Miss World competition. She says, "I will give to those people who really need help, all my energy and all my passion."
Miss Gibraltar works as a as a client relationship manager. She lists her parents as her biggest influence. They taught her to be kind and humble. She says, "I want to be Miss World for all the right reasons...I truly believe that kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
Miss World Top 10: Miss Ghana, Miss Indonesia, Miss Spain, Miss England, Miss Philippines, Miss Nepal, Miss Jamaica, Miss France, Miss Australia and Miss Brazil.