The Pakistan population in 1947 was 34.4 million which has increased to 207.800
million according to the provisional figures of the 2017 census.
AMIDST intense political wrangling and a show of national indignation over
International Bigwigs, a more important issue affecting the future of this
country has gone almost unheeded. Pakistan inherited many chronic problems at
the time of its inception. Problems like illiteracy, poverty, unemployment,
corruption, lawlessness, political instability, poor infrastructure etc. were
uncalled gifts for Pakistan.As with most socioeconomic issues of the country
lack of attention, procrastination and complacency have managed to bring a
fairly manageable problem to an unsustainable level. Pakistan’s population
growth rate is at a staggering 2.4% that is at least double of other regional
countries like India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.In this day and age,Pakistan’s
population has reached around 210 million making Pakistan 5th most populous
country of the world, after China, India, USA, Indonesia,and surpassed
Brazil,Japan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, South Korea, Russia etc.
In terms of land area Pakistan is 34th and shares 0.6% of the world area and in
terms of Human Development Index, it has 150th position in the world.
With abysmal human development indicators, this population explosion presents a
most serious challenge to the socioeconomic stability and security of this
country. With 60-65pc of the population under the age of 30 and fewer job
opportunities, it is a disaster in the making.
The whole world is in the grip of overpopulation. It has crossed the seven
billion mark. After terrorism, the population explosion can be called the
biggest problem the world is facing today.
We come across the often repeated phrase, “Population Bomb is ticking”.
There are numerous threats to Pakistan including military threat from
neighboring enemy country like India, the economic threat through rising
international debt liabilities, drug addiction, ideological threats,
provincialism, sectarianism, terrorism, corruption, political instability,
disturbed political conditions, heightened security concerns, unstable law and
order situation, soaring oil, food and other commodity prices etc., but the real
threat to peace and development of Pakistan is the growing problem of “Pakistan
Explosion” along with its serious and grave consequences.
If the population of the country continues to grow with the same rate
I.e.2.4%,it is likely to double in next 37 years, making Pakistan 3rd most
populous country of the world; whereas land area will remain the same rather
will be reduced due to residential plans.
Major factors responsible for high population growth in Pakistan are high
fertility, low contraceptive prevalence rate, high unmet need of family
planning, declining mortality, custom of early marriages, son preference,
poverty, illiteracy especially of women and lack of women empowerment, religious
constraints, beliefs, customs, traditions and lack of recreational activities.
Failure of proper implementation of government’s population planning policies is
the major cause of population growth as our contraceptive prevalence rate
instead of increasing is decreasing and at present it is 30-35%.
Another reason is that government did not have a monitoring system in place to
regulate health centers or keep records of the population growth.
Free distribution of contraceptives, increased access to sterilization and
edicts from religious leaders is doable given the right amount of
government/institutional backing must be provided. Otherwise if this already out
of hand growth rate is allowed to increase further then sustainable economic
growth will remain little more than a pipe dream.Remarkably, while so many parts
of the world have seen a reduction in fertility rates and population growth,
Pakistan’s growth rate has increased. Pakistan’s fertility rate is among the
highest in the region. Indeed, this is a scary situation. But is anyone
Agriculture is another sector, which has been adversely affected by the rapid
increase of population. About 70% of Pakistan’s population rely on agricultural
sector. Overpopulation is even having an adverse effect on agricultural outcome.
More population means smaller farms and that leads to a decline in productivity.
The same happened with the forests and also with the availability of fresh
water.We are already a water-stressed country with no big dams and water
“Pakistan will remain a low-income country even after 30 years when it turns
100, if it does not control the exploding population bomb,” said Illango while
speaking at a seminar.
For the next 30 years, there are two possible pathways for Pakistan’s economy
and two different futures, he added. The recent population census revealed a
number of 210 million. If we project that to 2047, then Pakistan’s population
will be 405 million people, he added.
The World Bank official said that the next 10 years are critical to lay the
foundation for a more prosperous economy when Pakistan turns 100 years old. This
miracle can be achieved in a generation.The United Nations Population Division
estimates that “by 2025 nearly` half the country’s population will live in urban
areas.”Pakistan, being one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of
climate change, has to bear the consequences of the increasing population. The
existing environment management capacity cannot sustain such a large population
if it is to provide a good quality of life.
Meanwhile, for a country confronting violent extremism, such a high population
growth rate and huge youth bulge with apparently shrinking economic
opportunities make it far more difficult to deal with the rising menace of
militancy.An illiterate and unemployed population provides readymade volunteers
for militant groups of all hues.
Despite the adverse effects of rapidly growing population, the government of can
mitigate these effects and can achieve control on population. Following are some
• Family planning facilities be made a part of health facilities.
• There should be a greater role for local and provincial governments.
• Role of NGOs and doctors in disbursement of Aid received for family planning
should be increased.
• Males should be urged to cooperate more.
• Status of women be raised in society by providing more economic opportunities.
• Better health and educational facilities be provided for women.
• Issue to be taken as a nation crisis.
• Role of media be encouraged especially in rural areas.
• Government programs should involve Ulemas and NGOs
• Greater participation of landlords.
Dr.Zeeshan Khan is a medical doctor by profession ,a content writer, freelance
writer, certified trainer and Poet.He is a motivational speaker,Cultural-cum-Political
Analyst and columnist and has written for a number of English and Urdu dailies
like Dawn,Express Tribune,The Nation,The Business,The Educationist and Roznama
Pakistan etc.He is also Alumni of LUMS and Winner of all Pakistan Ubqari story