Unfolding Demographics: Pakistan's Population Growth And Resource Resonance

Unfolding Demographics: Pakistan's Population Growth And Resource Resonance
According to the recent 7th census Report on August 5 2023, Pakistan population growth rate is 2.55% which is alarming not only for the economic growth of the country but for its overall prosperity and progress. According to the Bureau of statistic Report Pakistan population Growth in 1998 was 2.69% and in 2017 it was 2.4%.  In addition to straining infrastructure and resources, this frightening demographic expansion also constituted a serious barrier to sustained economic growth as the resources of the country are not increasing with the potential needed.

Pakistan has a long history of being flexible and resilient because of its diverse geographies and rich cultural heritage. However, discussions regarding the practicality of this trajectory have been encouraged by the country's recent rapid population expansion. The population of Pakistan has increased to over 250 million in 2023, making it the 5th most populous nation in the world. If this exponential expansion is not stopped, it may put an unmanageable burden on the infrastructure and resources of the country.

Population is an essential variable as it influences the growth rate of the country. It can have an impact on the state economy both favorably and unfavorably. Pakistan is facing its negative impacts as the core socioeconomic issues of Pakistan's is population surge. It was the 13th most populous nation in the globe when it first emerged in 1947.

According to the World Bank Indicator 2021, West Pakistan and East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, had roughly equal populations at the time of their creation, at around 59 million and 65 million, respectively. Bangladesh successfully implemented family planning initiatives after gaining independence, and the country's population growth rate slowed, currently having 172 million population. Pakistan population increased more than four times since its inception, during the five decades 1950-2001, Pakistan’s population has increased 430 percent.

At the time of Independence Pakistan added only one million in a year. Now every three month within days, the one million population multiply. In this situation no development plan can bear such a population growth rate. High population growth not only puts a country’s economic assets under stress, but also increases the dependency ratio of young people and thus limits the production growth in the economy.

As per a United Nations Report Pakistan will account for densely populous country of the worlds by 2050, making it one of the nine countries with the highest concentration. According to a UNDP report 2019, Pakistan's population is growing by one kid every eight seconds and will reach 403 million people by the year 2050. The causes of population growth include high fertility, low mortality, early marriages, poverty, poor status for women, illiteracy, societal dogmas, habits and a low frequency of contraception. Additionally, one of the factors contributing to the rapid population rise is the government's failure to properly enforce family planning regulations.

According to a research conducted by John C Caldwell The Cultural Context of High Fertility in sub-Saharan Africa” published in 1987 reveals that  developing countries are often characterised by high fertility rates. Such demographic trends in developing countries find roots in the socio-economic behavior of the people. Sub-Saharan Africa's high fertility culture reflects that there is a religious and economic base that supports the people's belief in high fertility. Understanding the fertility pattern also requires a recognition of women's social status. Due to low social equality indices, early child marriage is connected with a high fertility rate in the least developed nations like Pakistan.

According to the World Bank Indicator for the year 2020 the population growth rate in Pakistan increased steadily, although the growth rate of the GDP per capita varies throughout time. Pakistan's population increased by 2.3 percent in 1961, while it’s GDP per capita increased by 3.51 percent.

Poverty reduction measures are difficult to implement due to high population growth since with each new person added to the existing population, more people must share in the economic gains. Because of the population's continued growth, poor individuals receive a decreasing part of the per capita growth, which traps them in a cycle of poverty. The rapid depletion of economic resources, coupled with low hopes for growth possibilities, fuels the fire.

The effects of this unrestrained growth were numerous and gradually spread over the country's economic landscape. The burden on the essential infrastructure was one of the most urgent issues. Slums spread out across urban areas as rural migrants moved to cities in quest of employment. Overburdened healthcare institutions struggled to meet the population's healthcare needs, while overcrowded schools struggled to deliver high-quality education.

Poverty reduction measures are difficult to implement due to high population growth since with each new person added to the existing population, more people must share in the economic gains.

Resource allocation was also impacted by population expansion. Public health initiatives were hampered by the insufficient supply of hygienic facilities and clean drinking water, which led to the spread of disease and decreased productivity. The nation's resources were under tremendous strain due to the rising demand for food, water and energy sources, which complicated efforts to achieve sustainable development.

Like the majority of developing nations, Pakistan has significant environmental issues and population growth is accelerating it further. The nation's natural resource base is under tremendous strain due to the country's rapid population growth and strong GDP growth, which have also led to much higher pollution levels.

There are significant health issues in many regions of the country as a result of the rapid expansion of industrial output and urbanisation, which has increased levels of industrial waste, water pollution, solid waste, and automobile emissions. Rapid population growth and poverty are strongly correlated in the current scenario. A prolonged rise in population would lead to rising relative and absolute poverty with stagnant or declining work prospects.

Even while unchecked population expansion left its scars, the country's resolve to face this problem head-on paid off. The lesson was that without addressing the demographic pressure that was straining resources, opportunities, and development programs, economic progress could not be sustained. Pakistan policy makers should have to understand the importance of implementing a multifaceted strategy to combat this worrying trend. There is a need for the introduction of comprehensive family planning programs with a focus on education and access to contraception

. With the goal of empowering women and promoting smaller families, efforts to enhance the healthcare and educational systems have to gain momentum. To change cultural beliefs about family size and economic prosperity, public awareness initiatives should be prioritised by the government to cope with the negative impacts of population growth.