Population Planning in Pakistan: How to Meet the Challenge?
Syed Ali () and
G. Mustafa Zahid
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G. Mustafa Zahid: Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.
The Pakistan Development Review, 1998, vol. 37, issue 4, 523-540
The recent decline in the total fertility rate (11-R) borne out by recent surveys and supported by the results of the 1998 population census of Pakistan (see Table 1) indicates that onset of fertility transition has been made in Pakistan. However, still these rates (5.3 children) excepting Nepal (5.4 children) are the highest in this region. A high proportion of young population (43 percent under 15 years) resulting in population momentum has made the situation grimmer as the task of achieving zero population growth seems to be many decades away even after attaining replacement level fertility. As per United Nations projections, Pakistan in 2050, will leave behind United States, Indonesia, Brazil and Russia and will become the third most populous country of the world with a population of 380 million. A very high rate of population growth in the recent past annihilated most of the developmental achievements and the country remained poor in terms of socio-economic indicators. For example, the average annual per capita income is $460, 24 percent females and 50 percent males are literate, about 60 percent population has an access to safe water whereas, satisfactory sanitation is available to only 30 percent of population [Population Reference Bureau (1997)]. This situation warrants immediate need to accelerate the pace of fertility decline in Pakistan.
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