One of the areas where Pakistan should take measures on war-footing is birth control if the projected population, released in the 2020 World Population Data Sheet by the US Population Reference Bureau, Washington, is to be viewed. According to the datasheet, Pakistan’s current population is estimated at 220.9 million with an annual fertility rate of 3.6 children per couple, which makes it among the fastest growing countries. The projection predicts that as per Pakistan’s growth rate, its population will double in 19.4 years – 2039. Pakistan is not alone in contributing to make the world population oversized, as the whole South Asian region standouts with the shameful contribution. According to the report, South Asia is among the fastest growing regions in the world and within the region, it marks Afghanistan and Pakistan as the fastest growing populations. Afghanistan’s growth rate is even faster from Pakistan, 4.5 per couple. The government as well as the public needs to take the population matter seriously and bring the growth rate down to two per cent a year to reduce its population. This is not going to happen if our attitude towards population is to be viewed. We remember that when the government released census results back in 2017, instead of taking the figures seriously and working towards population control, provinces and ethnic groups hurled allegations of hiding their real numbers. In our part of the world, more population means more rights on national revenue in the finance commission. Social and economic scientists need to educate the people about the value of less population.
In fact, the whole world needs to work on population control as the data sheet states that the world today has a total of 7.8 billion inhabitants with China on the top of the list followed by India. But the two countries have shown a tremendous decrease in fertility rate – China 1.5 and India 2.2. With these fertility rates, China’s and India’s population will decrease. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has also underscored the need for population control as the report warns that “population density in urban areas, household size, and population aging contribute to our vulnerability to pandemics”. Other than Pakistan and certain other countries, fertility rate is going down around the world as older adults ages 65 and older now make up nine per cent of the global population. The report is an opportunity for our government and the people to make population a debatable issue and take measures to tackle the population bomb or leave a starving legacy.
Other than Pakistan and certain other countries, fertility rate is going down around the world as older adults ages 65 and older now make up nine per cent of the global population.