Population growth

In 1951, Pakistan’s population was a mere 33 million. Today, it has surged to 212 million, with some estimates reaching 228 mil­lion. Comparatively, China and In­dia have reduced their annual pop­ulation growth rates to 0.18% and 0.70%, while Pakistan’s hovers around 2% (1.91% precisely).

High population growth’s well-known reasons include religious beliefs against contraception and marrying at legal ages. Some re­ligious leaders and educated seg­ments oppose interventions, con­sidering every new mouth a divine blessing.

Uneven population growth is ex­acerbated by distributing financial resources among provinces based on population through the Nation­al Finance Commission (NFC). Im­plementing population optimiza­tion policies becomes challenging when resources are allocated based on headcount.

Pakistan lacks a Malthusian fig­ure to portray the horrific impacts of high population growth, and there’s no leader initiating a dras­tic policy like China’s one-child policy (1979 to 2015). Countries rationalising their populations witness progress, lifting millions out of poverty.

Poverty, unemployment, terror­ism, crime, deforestation, pollu­tion, political polarisation, and the energy crisis are directly linked to uneven population growth.

The question remains: who will address this billion-dollar issue? Existing policies and structures are against curbing high popula­tion growth. If the trend continues, the sword of default will loom over the fragile economy.



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