Pakistan's population has increased from 34 million in 1951 to 152 million in mid 2005. The addition of over 116 million Pakistanis in just five decades is due to the high population growth rates in the last thirty years. Continuing high population growth will amount to Pakistan's population reaching 220 million by the year 2020. Coupled with poor human development indicators such as low:
b) high infant mortality
c) low economic growth rates
d) poor health facilities
e) poor educational facilities
Such a large population will undermine efforts being undertaken to reduce poverty and to improve the standards of living of the populace.
While Population Growth Rate (PGR) has declined from over 3 percent in previous decades to its current level of 2.1 percent per annum, Pakistan still has an unacceptably high rate of growth compared to other developing countries. Therefore the Government of Pakistan is attaching the highest priority to the lowering of the population growth rate (PGR) from its current level to 1.9 percent per annum by the year 2004 and to reaching replacement level of fertility by the year 2020.
Pakistan is faced with its ever-largest adolescent population, because of its high levels of fertility over the last few decades and its very recent fertility decline. The adolescent population, in the age group of 15-24, as it enters into its reproductive phase embodies potential population growth for several decades. It constitutes population momentum in the future that has serious implications for provision of schooling, health services and other basic amenities of life for the coming decades. The Population Welfare Program has been able to create universal awareness about family planning with the current contraceptive prevalence rate of 30 percent. The challenge is to ensure continuous use by current users and increase existing CPR by meeting the percent unmet need for family... [continues]
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