Monday, November 11, 2013

The hidden time bomb in neighbourhood:- Population Explosion in Pakistan

In India we always have though population explosion in Bangladesh and their illegal immigration is a big issue. We cannot be wrong in this. On the other side Pakistan is a much bigger issue in terms of Population. Bangladesh infact is doing very good in population control and even better than India. People talk about demographic dividend but for that countries need to form a base which Pakistan is badly failing to form that base. In such a case like many Sub Saharan countries it is leading to the opposite of Demographic Curse.  
Pakistan surely is lagging on key factors and I would like to highlight the same through comparison with India and BD Why these 2 countries because all 3 were part of British India so basically a comparison will have context

Country           1951 Pop           2011 Pop      Growth
Pak                      37M                  193M              5.21 Times
Ind                       370M                 1210M            3.27 Times
BD                        44M                   142M             3.22 Times

TOTAL FERTILITY RATE (Total Children a Woman has in her life)
Pak:- 3.3
Ind:- 2.55
BD:- 2.2

Annual Population Growth Rate
Pak:- 2.71% 
Ind:- 1.58%
BD:- 1.67%

Population Density based on Arable Area
Arable Area is the area in the country which can be productively used for Agriculture and other activities. For Eg area of Baluchistan or Rajasthan cannot be used in general besides few areas.
Pak:- 962
Ind:- 833
BD:- 1946 (But BD has one of the most fertile areas which gives 2.5 Crops per year as compared to 1.5 Crops in Ind and Pak, so the in equivalent terms this reduces to 1167 )

Median Age

Literacy Rate
Pak:- 57% 
(Pakistan has not switched to international definition of a person being literate if he can read and write a short para to be literate while both Ind and BD have. In Pak if a person can sign his name he is considered as literate. Hence the real literacy rates are though to be even lower but a certain number cannot be given)

School Enrollment Rate
Pak:- 72%
Ind:- 99%
BD:- 96%

Per Capita GDP (PPP)
Ind:- 3876$

GDP Growth Rate (2009-13, CAGR)
Ind:- 7.0%
BD:- 6.2%

Poverty         1992           2010
Pak                30.6%           28.0% (WB estimates this as Govt has not released fig since 2002)
Ind                  45.0%           29.2%
BD                 56.6%           31.0%
There are many definitions. I am taking as per World Bank Site 1.25$ PPP Definition

So as seen from these pts
1. Pakistan's population is growing at an Alarming pace much faster than Ind or BD (SL etc are even slower)
2. Pakistan is not sending it's children to school while both Ind and BD are doing a good job. This means though population is growing faster many more illiterates are being added in Pak which is not the case in Ind.
3. The GDP growth rates have not been growing to keep pace with population growth
4. Due to good GDP growth rates Ind and BD have been able to lift huge population out of poverty while Pakistan has been quite slow in the process
5. Pakistan has the youngest population which is least literate and hence in the worse position as compared to Ind and Pak to take advantage of the demographic dividend.
6. If population grows at the same pace it will put pressure on the land and it may surpass BD in the density/arable land (In equivalent terms)

My personal view is Pakistan is in a very critical situation and if something is not done it will be too late. Another worrying point is that if I compare Afghanistan with Pak on same numbers Afg is worse off. So Pak itself is in a crisis situation and it may have to bear Afghanistan which can increase load on it even earlier.

For the numbers I have tried to use many sources to come on the least controversial numbers. These include WB site, UNICEF site, Wikipedia.

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