Last in economic, first in population growth

Published: June 3, 2011
Eight were born, two died every minute on average in 2010, survey shows.

Eight were born, two died every minute on average in 2010, survey shows.

Eight were born, two died every minute on average in 2010, survey shows.
Eight were born, 
two died every minute on average in 2010, survey shows.

While Pakistan recorded the lowest GDP growth rate, 2.4 per cent, among regional countries in 2010-11, the country’s population swelled at a rate of 2.1 per cent, the highest population growth rate in South Asia, adding more pressure on meagre resources the country has.

Despite claims by successive regimes of allocating huge amounts over the years on ‘population welfare’ programmes, the country has witnessed a decline of only 1.01 percentage points in population growth rate during the last 30 years.

The figures released on Thursday also show that during the year 2010, on average, eight babies were born and two people died every minute, resulting into a net addition of six individuals into the country’s population every minute. The document says Pakistan’s estimated population on July 1, 2010 was 177.1 million.

Employed, but not paid

Quoting figures from official Labour Force Survey 2009-10, the economic survey says that Pakistan, with 54.92 million people falling in employable age, is the 9th largest country in the world with respect to availability of labour force.

Of this, only 5.6 per cent were unemployed in 2009-10, marginally higher than 5.5 per cent unemployed in 2008-09, the survey claims.

The breakdown for the employment status, however, shows that a whopping 29.1 per cent of the ‘employed’ are ‘unpaid family helpers.’

Of the remaining, 1.3 per cent are employers, 34.2 per cent are self-employed while 35 per cent are employed by others. Of the ‘unpaid family helpers,’ more than two-thirds are women.

Contraceptive prevalence

Comparative studies show that countries with higher contraceptive prevalence have lower population growth rates, survey says.

Therefore, it is not surprising to find Pakistan having the lowest contraceptive prevalence, at 30 per cent, not just in South Asia but among major Muslim countries.

Iran, which has been under a conservative regime for decades, has a contraception prevalence of 74 per cent. The average prevalence in Asia stands at 67 per cent.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • BruteForce
    Jun 3, 2011 - 7:57AM

    Wow! 2.1% birth rate and 2.4% growth. So that would mean in real terms the growth is only .3%!!

    I guess the biggest obstacle to lowering of the Birth Rate are the Mullahs who think by having more babies the Muslims can populate the entire Earth! It doesn’t work that way. Long before that happens, poverty hits!

    It would be best if Pakistan adopts the techniques employed by India in controlling the population growth. Every year it is coming down and the economy growth is increasing.Recommend

  • ashok sai
    Jun 3, 2011 - 9:01AM

    No worries, Hatf-IX will solve everything !!!Recommend

  • atheist
    Jun 3, 2011 - 10:55AM

    2.4 – 2.1 = 0.3.
    0.3% is the real growth rate of pakistan, it will take more than 200 years for pakistan to reach the current level of income in USA. Recommend

  • Abdul Bari Nizamani
    Jun 3, 2011 - 11:07AM

    2.4 is a Real growth rate. It’s inflation adjusted growth rate.Recommend

  • D. Powers
    Jun 3, 2011 - 1:08PM

    @BruteForce: One segment of the society considers US and Jews to be root cause of our ills while the the other puts the whole blame on mullah. None of the two elements are to be blamed, they are simply filling in the gap left by our politicians. If the successive governments had done something to root out corruption, ignorance and economic problems, the situation would have been different……… Instead of being objective, we all harp on our own tunes.Recommend

  • hamid
    Jun 3, 2011 - 3:46PM

    Per capita growth increase is (2.4-2.1)=0.3 % of per capita gdp

    our giant neighbor growth rate is 8.5 and population growth is 1.34%Recommend

  • AnIndian
    Jun 3, 2011 - 6:54PM

    Low Economic Growth & High Population growth have the same reason: UNEMPLOYMENTRecommend

  • sharma
    Jun 3, 2011 - 11:55PM

    Pakistani women could choose indian hindu men…

    we will help reduce the population growth :)Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 4, 2011 - 12:24AM

    End the fake wars…reduce defence budgets and spend on education and development, only then things will improve….time to find a real leader who is not a puppet.Recommend

  • Nirvan
    Jun 4, 2011 - 3:08AM

    Sex is free between couples and a condom can be immediatly costlier and religiously counterproductive than raising that child. Recommend

  • ziyad
    Jun 4, 2011 - 2:33PM
  • BruteForce
    Jun 4, 2011 - 5:10PM


    Yes, you are very right. In Countries like India and China this has been a major problem.

    Its a menace India and China are both fighting.

    Regarding population growth vs GDP growth, compared to India and China, Pakistan’s next door neighbours, Pakistan is doing very bad. A stagnant economy will only increase poverty, which will breed more Terrorists which again in turn will have an effect on the poverty rate and economy. This is a vicious circle.Recommend

  • Sane
    Jun 5, 2011 - 2:08AM

    Its a wrong notion that increase in population increases poverty. A progressive country might as well use those extra human resources to its benefit. What surely increases poverty however is creating money from thin air, like printing rupees, fractional reserve and interest based banking. All of these cause inflation. We say we are muslims but don’t practice it. Hasn’t Islam disallowed dealing with interest? And the fiat money is also non-islamic as it does not have any intrisic value and keeps on devaluating. Bring back the Gold Dinar I say. Moreover, there are many rich people in Pakistan but many of them have been exploiting the poor! We should strive to have more balanced distribution of wealth!Recommend

  • ziyad
    Jun 5, 2011 - 3:22AM

    very nicely put together, Good workRecommend

  • BruteForce
    Jun 5, 2011 - 12:22PM


    “A progressive country might as well use those extra human resources to its benefit. ”

    What a wrong thing to say, specially appalling because this seems to comes from a seemingly educated person.

    Reduction in birth rate will majorly help decreasing poverty. The case of China is the best example. India is also following suit.

    Heck, even Bangladesh recognizes this. They grew at a rate of 6.6% this year. Compare it with Pakistan’s measly 2.4%.

    Birth Rate of Bangladesh: 22.98/1000
    Birth Rate of Pakistan: 24.81/1000

    Now, if you observe the graph the birth rate of Bangladesh is on a decline. And, this newspaper had recently reported that the birth rate is coming down to do Government supported Family Planning programs, same as the ones going on in India.

    Now, let us look at the growth rate.

    Pakistan’s: 2.4%
    Bangladesh: 6.6%

    Apparently, Education doesn’t provide common sense in Pakistan. Hope its not true in your case.

    The Bengalis have kept the Religion aside and have started to think on their own. When will Pakistan follow suit?Recommend

  • Sane
    Jun 5, 2011 - 8:40PM

    @BruteForce: You said we should keep our religion aside. I ask you why? If 97% people in Pakistan are Muslim, why should we put our religion aside. Wouldn’t it be hypocrisy? And its not just Muslims like me who are against fiat money, fractional reserve and interest based banking. They are many non-muslims who are against it as well. In fact many people call bankers banksters (banker + gangster) because of their parasitic nature. To charge interest from poor people is tyranny!Recommend

  • BruteForce
    Jun 6, 2011 - 10:24PM


    ” If 97% people in Pakistan are Muslim, why should we put our religion aside”

    Because the interpretation of Religion is different for different people. That is why people like TTP exist, that is why there are so many sects,etc.

    Moreover just because you want Religion to be followed doesn’t mean everyone agrees with you.

    “To charge interest from poor people is tyranny!”

    I love the way how authoritatively you speak on the issue. Why don’t you open up such a bank like that and prove your system works and is better than other systems? I am sure there are many in Pakistan who would welcome it and put there money with you! Why dont any other Islamic country adopt it and prove the system actually works!! I wonder if such a financial system was viable why there isn’t even a single Islamic nation in G20?

    Jus because it is mentioned in a Holy book you believe in doesnt make it viable or the truth.Recommend

  • Sane
    Jun 7, 2011 - 1:20AM

    @BruteForce: You need to look no further than Lybia. It has socialist setup based on Islamic Principles and is one of the richest countries in Africa. The reason they wanted to throw Qaddafi was because he encouraged Muslims to sell Oil in exchange of Gold rather than Dollars. The reason G20 countries are rich is because they are on the receiving side of this interest based system. You know that interest based system favors the rich! don’t u?Recommend

  • BruteForce
    Jun 7, 2011 - 8:36PM


    Dude, you are soooo misguided. Please for God sakes learn to read about topics you discuss.

    You are talking about a dictator whom the people of the Country are fighting a Civil war against. This is the same guy who said his nation will never be like Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Its funny how you are praising this guy when he thinks so cruelly of you.

    “It has socialist setup based on Islamic Principles and is one of the richest countries in Africa.”

    Again, please read about Libya from learned sources(NOT Urdu media). Libya’s GDP growth is in the 94th position. Even Pakistan is doing better than Libya.

    And, its GDP is 74th biggest in the World. So much for your claim that it is one of the biggest economies in the World.

    “You know that interest based system favors the rich! don’t u?”

    Ufff.. I am tired.. Good day.. Recommend

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