Pakistan is all set to make another record in population growth. It is projected to become the world’s fifth most populous country. Of this, large segments will continue to live below the poverty line.
At present, Pakistan is currently the sixth most populous country in the world. It has the highest population growth rate among SAARC countries at 2.3%. This means an addition of 3.6 million people every year. The number of Pakistanis will reach a whopping 210.13 million by 2020. If that is not all, the population is predicted to double in size in the next 34 years.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is likely to talk about population-related problems today at the National Population Convention on Monday on the occasion of World Population Day.
Historically, the government has not taken the issue seriously. Its population has increased from 32.5 million to 177.1 million during 1947 to 2011. According to the first census in 1951, the population of the four provinces was recorded as 33.7 million and in 1998 it was 132 million, reflecting a quadruple increase in the size of population during 1951-1998.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) Representative Rabbi Royan expressed concern regarding the ever-rising population. The UN representative further said that educating the youth on use of contraception was a clinical step to control growth.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2011.