Population Growth and Economic Development in Pakistan

3177 words (13 pages) Essay in Economics

5/12/16 Economics Reference this

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“The average annual percentage change in population resulting from surplus of births over deaths and balance of migrates entering and leaving a country. The rate may positive or negative. The growth rate is a factor in determining how a great burden would be imposed on a country by the changing need of its people for infrastructure (e.g school. hospital, roads, resources (e.g. food, water, electricity) and jobs. Rapid population growth can be seen as threatening by neighboring countries”


There are two types of Population growths

Logistic growths

Exponential growth

Logistic growth:

It is a type of population growth in which there is indirect relationship between growth rate and numbers of people until it reaches at zero when population level at maximum.

Exponential growth:

It is a type of population growth where a constant rate of growth applied to a continuously growing base area a period of time

History & comparison:

Pakistan is sixth largest country with respect to population. According to survey of 1994, it is estimated that Pakistan will be the 3rd largest country with respect to population by the year 2050. The average population growth rate between 1994 and 2004 was 4%. Around 60% of total Population resides in rural areas of Pakistan.

Following table will provide a comparison of Population growth rate of Pakistan with some major countries of the World:


Growth rate


1.80% (2010 est.)


1.40% (2010 est.)


0.66% (2010 est.)


1.29% (2010 est.)

United states

0.98% (2010 est.)


0.28% (2010 est.)

Following table will provide the Population Distribution of Pakistan in all the provinces:

Population (In Millions)

























Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa








Following table will provide a comparison of Pakistan Population growth rate in past years:


Growth rate















Literature Review

Article 1: Population Growth and Development Prospects of Pakistan by Fakhari A. Siddiqui

Since the Pakistan came into being, It suffered from high population growth rate. In 1950, Pakistan was the 13th largest country and moved to 7th largest country according to the Population size. It is estimated that Pakistan will be the 3rd largest Population country by the year 2050.

In 1996, Pakistan lies 6th in population contribution in world Population growth after China and India. One of the major problems is that large portion of Population in Pakistan is under 14 years and half of the population is less than 20 years

Another Problem which Pakistan is facing is the high fertility rates. There is a huge difference between the birth rate and the death rate in Pakistan. The resources in Pakistan are inadequate to meet the needs of the people which include health services, education and employment. There is a high unemployment rate in Pakistan due to shortage of jobs.. Labor force is continuously growing. According to a study by Rashid Amjad, Pakistan need to create 2.3 jobs every minute to provide employment opportunities to the people of Pakistan.

The education level of Females in Pakistan is very low. We need to improve the status of women in our society to decrease the population growth. 20% of the Pakistan Population are females. If women are educated and skilled, they can help in increasing the household income and will therefore increase the living standard of the people. In Pakistan, Women are married in the age of 15-19 which is also the cause of increase Population growth. These women should be educated and aware of the fact that marriage at the early age decreases the economic development of the country.

Pakistan should focus on Population control in order to provide basic resources to the people. Huge Population is always a burden on the economy of developing countries. Decrease in Population growth will cause increase in economic development and will bring economic prosperity in Pakistan.

Article 2: Demographic Transition and Economic Growth in Pakistan by Shahzad Hussain, Shahnawaz Malik and M. Khizar Hayat

Pakistan has a population of 165 million in 2006 and is the seventh largest populated country in the world. Among many reasons, High fertility and declining mortality rates are the most important reasons in Population growth in Pakistan. Current Population growth rate is around 2.7 % which is very high as compared to international standards. Fertility rate was 6.5 % but it declined in 1990’s. At an average, there are 4-5 children per women. According to UN prediction, Pakistan will be 3rd largest Populated country by the year 2050.

However, Pakistan started its family planning program but failed to control the population growth rate. In 1990’s, there was a declining Population growth rate and is now under 2% as compared to 3 % in 1980’s.

It is predicted that there will be around 60 million people who will be in a working age group. It is seen that after the year 2000, growth rate of labor is increasing. High Population growth rate is a burden on economy of the developing country. Pakistan has failed to provide basic necessities such as education, employment and health services to its people and the reason behind these problems is the high population growth rate. Pakistan needs to control the growth rate by providing awareness to the people through its family planning program. Family Planning program should be focused in rural areas of Pakistan which contributes to 70% of the total Population.

Article 3: Fertility in Pakistan, Past, Present and Future by Zeba A. Sathar

Population growth rate of Pakistan was 2.7% in 1960’s. Due to high population growth, Pakistan’s Government decided to control the Population growth rate. In first twenty years of creation of Pakistan, there was no change in fertility rates and it was 6 to 7 child per women and population growth rate increased to 3%. However in 1990’s, fertility rate declined to 4-5 child per women which was a good achievement. In 2001, Population growth rate falls to 2.2%. In 1998 survey, Pakistan population was 130.5 million and is the 7th largest populated country in the world.

The main reason for high Population growth rate was high fertility. It was 6.7% in 1960’s and declined to 4.8% in 1990’s. The age at which females were married was increased from 15-19 years to 20-22 years. In 1990’s, there was also high rate of urbanization which caused decrease in fertility rates and decrease in Population growth. People started to migrate from rural to urban areas for better living standards.

Pakistan has a official policy to control population growth since 1965 till present day. The model of its family planning program is that the women themselves are expected to seek services of family planning program. The program has not derived good results due to lack of political commitment. However in 1990’s, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto addressed the issue of Population growth as a national priority. 1250 family welfare centers were setup by the government and with the help of NGO’s to control Population growth. The basic aim was to educate and provide awareness to women in rural areas about family planning. According to a survey, 40% of the married women don’t want to have more Childs. Family planning services have improved in recent years and people now know how to control the fertility rates.

Lack of education and health has contributed to high fertility. 70% of the Pakistan population lives in rural areas of Pakistan and there is high illiteracy in these areas. Due to lack of education, religious customs and women status and power in society have decreased the motivation of women to control fertility. Conservative people make use of fertility control when they are influenced by gender of the child. People in Asian countries such as India, Pakistan and China have a preference of a male child as compared to female one. This was one of the reasons in decrease in fertility rates and Population growth rates in 1990’s in Pakistan.

Reasons of Population growth in Pakistan

There are many reasons for the growth of Population in Pakistan. They are:

High Fertility Rate

High Mortality Rate

Lack of Birth Control

Illiteracy and Lack of Awareness

Migration from other countries

Inadequate Government Policy to control growth of Population

Poor Family Planning Program

Early Marriage of Females

Cultural and Religious Factor

Among many reasons, high fertility rate is one of the most major and important cause which contribute to high population growth of Pakistan. High fertility of 6.7 % causes increase in birth rate. In 1980’s, there were 6-7 children per women at an average but declined to 4-5 children in 1990’s. Pakistan is in a very temperate zone which causes the people to be more fertile. Another reason of increase in Population growth is the high mortality rate. There was a decline in death rate of people of Pakistan. This is due to advancement in medical field. Highly advance hospitals have been opened for increasing the health of a common man. However, such facilities are not available in rural areas of Pakistan. The difference between the birth rate and death rate has been widened in past years which are a major contributor in Population growth rate. People are not taking positive steps for birth control. This is due to lack of awareness among people especially in rural areas. People are not aware of the consequences of over population in a country. Government and NGO’s should work together to make people aware of the benefits of birth control through nationwide awareness program. Although Government had a policy of two children per family but it was not practically implemented. Marketing for Medicines to avoid Pregnancy and condoms should be implemented and should be available in retail stores in rural areas.

Illiteracy is also the major contributor of population growth in Pakistan. Illiteracy rate of Pakistan is 45 % out which 33% is contributed by women. Government should promote education especially in rural areas of Pakistan. Education will make the women of rural areas to learn the negative effects of over population. They should be able to learn that repetitive pregnancy can affect their health. Family Planning program of Pakistan’s Government was not effectively managed and did not derive any results in decreasing the Population growth rate. NGO’s should go to females in rural areas of Pakistan door-to-door and make them aware of the use of condoms and birth control pills.

Migration of people from neighboring Countries also contributes to increasing population growth. Just after independence of Pakistan in 1947, thousands of Muhajirs migrated from India to newly created Pakistan and continue to come until end of 1950’s. This proved to be a burden on the economy of Pakistan. After Pakistan absorbed thousands of Muhajirs, it was faced by another problem. Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan in 1979 due to which millions of afghan refugees migrated to Pakistan by crossing borders. By the end of 1980’s, total afghan refugees in Pakistan were 3.2 million which hurt Pakistan a lot; both economically and socially. Although many refugees were sent back due to the hard work of NGO’s but still 1.4 million refugees stayed back in Pakistan.

There is a common trend in Pakistan that females get married at very early age especially in rural areas of Pakistan. The average marriage age of females in Pakistan is 16-19. However, the marriage age in rural areas is even low i.e. 13-15 years, Early marriage will cause the women to get pregnant at a very early age and give birth to a child thus increasing the birth rate which eventually increases the population. However, education level of people living in urban areas has cause the marriage age to increase to 20-22 years.

Religious and Cultural beliefs also play a vital role in the growth of Population. In rural and backwards areas of Pakistan, there is still a trend of having as much children as possible because of the belief that children are the blessings of God. People in these areas don’t bother to acquire family planning services thinking of the fact that what their relatives will think, some think it is a sin.

Effects of Population Growth

Population growth has many effects to the economy of Pakistan. They are as follows:

Effects on GDP/GN P

Natural Resources

Men to land ratio

PCI(Per Capita Income)


Living standard

Agricultural system


Social infrastructure

Capital formation


Brain Drain

Physiological disorder

Each effect is explained briefly below:

Effects on GDP/GNP:

When the population increases, it directly effects the consumption of that particular country this effect decreases the GDP and GNP of that particular country and also increases the imports. All these effects are negative symptoms for the economy and economic development.

2. Natural resources:

More population guarantees more consumption. This leads to misuse or overuse of natural resources.

3. Men to Land Ratio:

Increase in population growth leads to decrease in man to land ratio. In the result, land become inelastic and one cannot increase the amount or supply of land

4. PCI (per capita income)

Excessive population has a negative impact on the per capita income as the population growth does not matches the labor force.

5. Eco-system:

Excessive population growth hurt the ecosystem as more and more people depend on land chances eco-damages increases.

6. Living standard:

Population growth affects the living standard of the people as increase in population leads to more consumption

7. Agricultural system:

Excessive population growth negatively affects the agriculture as agricultural land is consumed for residential purposes.

8. Unemployment:

The population and employment have a direct relationship. So due to this unemployment occur when increase in population because of shortage of jobs

9. Social infrastructure:

Excessive growth in population also affects infrastructure. For example, if one doctor attends more and more patients, similarly in other fields also.

10. Capital formation:

When population increases, there is a decrease in capital formation like distribution of national income.

11. Environment:

Increase in population also effects the environment and due to this urban slum also increases. The concentration of CFC’s is increased due to increase in population causing damage to Ozone layer.

12. Brain and Drain:

Due to increase in population it may lead to brain drain (consumption of local talent by foreign like Nigeria).

13. Physiological disorder:

It is a fact that those parents who have a lot of children’s cannot pay attention to the physical, mental, spiritual growth and betterment of their children’s which may cause development of complex among children’s and they feel neglected.

Role of Government and NGO’s

The main reason of Population growth in Pakistan is lack of education and awareness. It is a fact that only 30 percent of married couples support family planning program. Our government has taken some positive steps such as family planning program, forced the need of contraceptive methods and establishment of education centers for women. 1250 family welfare centers were opened throughout the country to educate women especially residing in rural areas of Pakistan about the benefits of birth control. Although Pakistan have an official policy to control population since 1965 but it does not have provided any good results to control population. The basic model of its policy is that the women should seek services of family planning program by her. It was seen that in 1990’s population growth rate declined. This was mainly due to steps taken by Benazir Bhutto who was the prime minister at that time. Government efforts were supported by NGO’s through clinic based services especially in rural areas.

While preparing 85th year Development Plan, a new scheme was introduced to offer services though community based family planning services. It was planned that several workers will be hired and trained for the purpose to provide services in their own villages and community. Ministry of health launched a scheme to provide 40000 lady health workers to go to door to door to educate and provide awareness to illiterate women of rural areas of Pakistan.

Government also laid great emphasis on the use of contraceptive methods for birth control. Following methods of contraception was introduced by the Government:


Combined Oral Contraceptive Pills


Intra-Uterine Contraceptive Device


Female Sterilization


Emergency Contraception


The government should formulate birth control policy in order to control the population growth

The idea of a small family should be propagated so, to convince the families to keep the family small

Incentives should be given to those families or parents who have small family

Government should arrange seminars and informal sessions for new and old parents in order to convince them about having less children

Contraceptive pills and protection should be made available at cheaper rates at retail stores in rural areas.

Government should put a ban on illegal immigrants and establish proper boarder control to prevent people crossing boarders from neighboring countries


It is important for any developing country to control its population growth in order to grow and prosper. The resources of the developing country are very scarce and it is difficult to meet the needs of every individual living in developing countries. There are many problems which may occur if population is not controlled by the respective Government. It is also our duty as citizens of a country to help our government and NGO’s to fight against the problem of increasing population growth and save our Country from several problems and obstacles which may arise from overpopulation.

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