It is estimated that in the year 2050 Asiafeeln population will cross 5.2 Billion. Among the Asian nations which are already the most populous in the World, Pakistan’s population has grown at a much faster rate than most of them. With a growth rate of 2.4 percent, it has increased from 32 million in 1947 to 207 million in 2017. Only 36% have access to safe drinking water and 63.5% have been provided with sanitation facilities. As of 2019, unemployment has increased by 5.7 percent. 55 million people are living below the poverty line (more than the total population in 1951).
These indicators are enough to highlight the effects of such a fast-growing population on the nation. Given the present economic situation, the problem is likely to have more serious implications than anticipated. Despite recognition of the problem at a very early stage, the Government of Pakistan has failed to prevent the population from growing at such a fast pace. The reasons are many and they range from social compulsions to the ineffectiveness of the government in managing the population planning.
General Trend. Pakistan is an Islamic state located in a relatively orthodox region of the world. Both religion and socio-cultural background have significant effects on the moral and ethical values of a society. These have affected the field of population planning also. The clergy in the country has never promoted the concept of population planning, they rather refuted it. Being a staunch Muslim society masses got influenced by this message and practically denied the utility of population planning. However, mere being an Islamic State does not suggest that the population should be so averse to the concept of population planning, for there are Muslim countries that have tremendous control over the population.
In our case, the orthodox nature of the society also prevented the message of population planning from getting across to the masses. Resultantly this important subject would never be discussed seriously. Due to the cumulative effect of these factors, measures suggested for population control were never used by the majority of the population. The vast majority still feels the same way.
Fertility Levels. Although the mean age at marriage for females has increased from 16.9 years in 1951 to 21.3 years in 2007, the fertility levels in Pakistan remain among one feel the highest in the developing countries of the World. Economic growth, urbanization, and, modernization, however, have made only a slight dent in fertility reduction. In Pakistan, an average woman today has about six live births during her reproductive period, with most births occurring in the age group 25 – 29 years. The high fertility rates are the result of continued high infant and child mortality. Moreover, continued high levels of fertility are primarily the result of the prevalent socio-cultural values which determine the status of women within the socio-cultural environments of the Pakistani society.
Mortality Rate. The major rise was caused by a rapid decline in mortality, which stood at 25 to 30 per 1000 population in 1947; it came down to 10.6 per 1000 by 1972 and to about 7.5overpopulation per 1000 at present. Compared to that the Crude Birth Rate had stood at 62.4 per 1000 in 1951, which declined to 29.8 per 1000 in 2016. During the next 30 years, the fertility rate will decline by about 20 percentage points. International migration is taken as having a zero effect, the population growth rate has been causing a tremendous increase in population. The maternal mortality rate was 340 per 100,000 live births in 1990 and The maternal2016 it stood at 178 per 100,000. It has slightly changed if not higher due to the lack of medical facilities in rural areas.
Political Reasons. Lack of political will is unanimously cited by NGOs as one of the main reasons for the limited success of the family planning program in the country. The population censuses were not held regularly even before 1971 just to gain political leverage. The Census due in 1981 was belated till 1998, and that too was conducted under the program’s supervision, the recent census of 2017, again highlighted the same issue when it was conducted after 19 years also under Army supervision. All the provinces wanted to show the maximum population to get maximum economic and political advantages. Therefore, though not consciously, the regional political leadership inadvertently promoted the cause of population growth in Pakistan.
Religious Orthodoxy. The `Mullahs’ and the `UllemaUlema’ always refuted the concept of population planning, thereby, preventing the population planprogramsammes from permeating into the society. Examples of the Islamic States such as Bangladesh and Iran, who despite a powerful clergy have one of the best family planning programs in the world are in front of us. On 5th Dec 2018, a symposium was arranged by the Supreme Court of Pakistan where renowned clerics were also invited to air their views on family planning. Religious Scholar Maulana Tariq Jamil and other Scholars were found amenable to the idea of family planning and it is hoped that they would use their influence in curbing the population growth rate instead of promoting it as in the past.
Early Marriages. Early marriages are a common feature in our society. Girls being married at the ages of 18 – 20 have very serious implications on the population growth of any country. The more the number of married couples, the more would be the more children, and the younger the married couple, the probability of more children increases. Though this trend is slowly diminishing, its effects are still visible.
The desire for a Son. This has very less to do with education, for the desire for a son is mostly a passion. Those who do not have a son are either pressurized by their families to try for it or remarry. This results in more children and consequently contributes to a large population. Our male to female ratio is 105 to 100 at present. This indicates that almost 50% of the babies born are female. Demand for a son is obvious in these environments. The strength of a family is also judged by the number of male members, all this adds to the population. Another reason for more children is the insecurity of parents at the old age. Contrary to modern societies where parents are looked after by the state, we have to look after the parents onMost our own. Most parents are entirely dependent on their children in old age. Lesser the children more the problems for the aging parents. These sensitive issues cause the parents to think in terms of more children especially the son
Economic Causes. Pakistan is an agriculture-based economy. In agricultural societies, the need for a workforce is always felt relatively more. In our environments where modern agricultural industry developed very late, the need for more population was all the more important. The farmers having access to less workforce produced less and remained poor. Though this exactly was not the case in the urban areas, due to lesser mechanization, manual work was relatively more. This, therefore, became one of the major factors in inducing farmers/ laborers to produce more children. Until the late seventies, this remained the trend. It is only due to the present mechanization that demand for a workforce has reduced and people have started to feel the pressure of large families. The abundance of means of subsistence has been another cause.
It is clear that if the current rate of population growth does not abate, the outlook for the future will be no less dismal than developments in the past. The country has managed a GDP growth rate of 5.4 percent in recent years, yet there is no adequate evidence of improvement in living standards and the quality of life. Per capita incomes have grown too little and too slow and social indicators persistently show stagnation. With growing congestion and pressures on natural resources, the prospects are indeed bleak. The major impacts of high population growth are:
Diluting the Impact of Developmental Efforts. The accelerated increase in the population of Pakistan has diluted the impact of development efforts, as is observed from the rate of increase in its Gross National Product (GNP). If the population continues to grow at this rapid rate, the economy will not be able to bring about a significant improvement in the standard of living for the masses. In the 11th Five Year Plan (2013—2018), it was expected that the growth rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would increase to 5.8 percent, with the primary aim of improving the quality of life of the people in the country. These goals, however, became even more difficult to achieve with a faster rate of growth of population, since the requirements of food and other consumables, as well as, housing, health, education, etc, are much greater than for a relatively slower-growing population.
Challenge to fulfill Basic Civic Needs. Pakistan’s economy is facing a great challenge to fulfill the basic civic needs of its 207 million population. The whole structure of Pakistan’s socio-economic development will be adversely affected if the population continues to grow at the current rate of 2.4 percent per annum. At present 80.7 million (39%) Pakistanis are living below the poverty line, 86 million (42%) are illiterate adults, only 74.5 million people (36%) have access to safe drinking water and basic health services, 53.38 percent of children under five years of age are malnourished. Despite these facts, 690 babies are born every hour.
Low Level of Savings. A high dependency ratio resulting from high and sustained fertility implies that a large proportion of the national income has to be spent on the rearing and caring of children and the upkeep of the old population. Families with a larger number of children will find it difficult to save so the volume of savings will be less and the level of net investment for augmenting the productive capacity of the economy will be below.
Encouragement of Child Labor. An increasing number of children under 15 years of age would impose a tremendous burden on their parents and the country’s educational system. The higher dependency burden will, therefore, force the young population to work and child labor may increase to supplement the family income. Further, high fertility will diminish the Government’s ability to raise funds through taxation.
Housing Shortage. The increasing population is exerting tremendous pressure on the existing housing stock in the country, which is growing very slowly about the population growth. Housing density has increased from 5.5 persons per housing unit in 1960 to 6.7 in 1980 and about 6.45 in 2017. More than half of the housing units in Pakistan comprise only one room with 6 persons living per room. The basic facilities, such as access to piped water inside the house, are only available to 13 percent of the housing units and 8 percent have such facilities available outside the housing units. Based on the 2017 Housing Census, the figure of 6.45 persons per housing unit, about 5 million additional housing units would be required by the year 2025. This will require heavy public and private spending in the housing sector.
Land Utilization and Agricultural Yield. Although the cultivable area in the country has increased from 36 million acres in 1947 to 51 million acres in 1990, because of the accelerated population growth the cultivable land per person has declined from 1.1 acres to 0.5 acres during the same period. If the same trend of population growth continues, this figure would further decline to 0.2 acres in the next 40 years. Out of the total area of 79.6 million hectares, 21.2 million hectares are cultivated; the rest of the territory is rangelands. The low yield per acre, together with a deteriorating man/land ratio, increased deforestation, waterlogging and salinity, overgrazed grasslands, especially in Baluchistan, scarcity of water, lack of scientific know-howThabo the in modern techniques, and agricultural management problems continue to be major obstacles for future growth in this sector.
Unemployment. Rapid population growth has resulted in a high rate of growth in therein thlaborThe unemployment unemploymenunemployment force. It is currently growing at about 2.4 percent per year. The future growth of the population will have an important influence on the ability of the economy to provide enough jobs for young people seeking employment. Unemployment Rate in Pakistan remained unchanged at 5.90 percent in 2017 from 5.90 percent in 2016. The unemployment rate in Pakistan averaged 5.49 percent from 1985 until 2017, reaching an all-time high of 7.80 percent in 2002 and a record low of 3.10 percent in 1987. Out of the total labor force as of the last year, 3,790,000 people remained unemployed and this number is sure to get higher in the coming years if new ventures are not looked over by the government. More the number of unemployed persons more the risk of crime gets into play.
Income Per Capita. Pakistan and South Korea in 1950 had almost similar economic circumstances. They had a population of 33 and 20 million respectively. Their incomes per capita were $79 and $82. In 2017, the population of Pakistan had increased to about 207 million and per capita income to $1,547 only. South Korean population on the other hand had increased only to reach the 51 million mark while the per capita income had increased to $29,742. The secret may be the rate of population growth. In Pakistan, the rate of population growth remained at3% while in South Korea it remainedaremainedremained remained at 1%.
Internal Threat and Security, Our population growth rate has resulted in a host of related problems and issues such as unemployment, health and education, law and order and, an overall atmosphere of despair. A feeling of uncertainty exists amongst the masses, about the future of the government, democracy, and the very existence of the country. The people are not certain of the schooling, the medical facilities, the job opportunities o,r the level of social security their children are going to inherit in the future. The feeling of despair exists due to some of the following factors: –
The growing population has become a menace, especially for underdeveloped countries while it’s a daunting task to control for developing countries, however this menace where nation-buildingisbuilding is being controlled by the developed countries, instead of becoming a burden it is playing a positive role in nation building nation area methods-building and maintaining the natural balance of food chain. Following are areas few points covering details on population growth’s effect on Pakistan:
Failures in our Family Planning Programme. By going through the eleven five years plans and government efforts. It is very easy to indicate some of the areasmethods programs lack that still require governments attention to make the family planning wholesome: –