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Demographic Profile of Pakistan

By adilhijaz Mar 21, 2011 1782 Words
• The Islamic Republic of Pakistan covers an area in South Asia of 310,000 square miles, about twice the size of California. The country borders India in the east, China in the north, Afghanistan in the north-west, Iran in the west and the Arabian Sea in the south. It has four major provinces (Punjab, Sindh, North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan) and two territories (Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Islamabad Capital Territory). The most populous province, Punjab, has only 26 percent of the land area but is home to about one-half (56% in the 1998 census) of the 143 million people estimated to live in Pakistan in 2002. Pakistan, a former British colony, gained independence on August 14, 1947. It was formed at that time by partitioning British India to create a homeland for India's Muslim population separate from the largely Hindu India. However, this partition was never fully resolved. Originally, Pakistan comprised West Pakistan (now Pakistan) and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). After a third war between Pakistan and India in 1971, East Pakistan seceded to become the separate nation of Bangladesh. A dispute over the state of Kashmir, which lies between Pakistan and India, is ongoing. The government of Pakistan is a parliamentary democracy. The Prime Minister serves as the head of the government and is elected by the National Assembly. The President functions as the head of state and is elected by the National Assembly, the Senate, and the four provincial assemblies. The capital of Pakistan is Islamabad, which had 529,000 residents in the 1998 census. The national language of Pakistan is Urdu, which is spoken by eight percent of the people. The mostly widely spoken language is Punjabi (44%). The main ethnic groups are Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtun (Pathan), Baloch and Muhajir (immigrants from India and their descendents). Islam is the state religion, and 96 to 97 percent of the population are Muslims. The remainder is Hindus, Christians and members of other religions.









Population Characteristics
• Pakistan has sustained significant population growth in the past century. In 1901, the population was estimated at 17 million. According to the first census in 1951, Pakistani population was 34 million. By the 1998 census, the population had quadrupled to 132 million inhabitants, making Pakistan the seventh most populous country in the world. At its current rate, Pakistan’s population will double by 2035.



Having grown at an average rate of 3.1 percent between 1951 and 1981, the population growth rate in Pakistan has been declining steadily thereafter (it averaged 2.7% from 1981-1998) and reached 2.1 percent by 1998. Yet its growth rate is still comparatively high, and according to UN projections, Pakistan will become the fourth most populous country by the year 2050. Although its urban population is steadily increasing, Pakistan remains a largely rural country. In 1998, 32.5 percent lived in urban areas, up from 28.3 percent in 1981. Urban population was only 17.8 percent at the time of first census in 1951. In 1981, three cities had population of more than one million. By 1998, the number had increased to seven. Karachi was the largest city with 9.3 million in 1998, followed by Lahore with 5.4 million and Faisalabad with 2.0 million. The population density in 1998 was 166 persons per square kilometer (430 persons per square mile), more 10 times the population density of 16 per sq. km in North America. The average household size is 6.8 persons, according to 1998 census, with 6.5 for urban and 7.4 for rural areas.







Health
• In 1999, life expectancy was estimated at 65 years by the Pakistani Federal Bureau of Statistics. Despite higher female mortality at younger ages and during the reproductive years, a woman's life expectancy was 66 years, compared to 64 for a man. In 1999, the birth rate was 30.2 births per 1,000 population and the crude death rate was 8.3 per 1,000 population. The infant mortality rate was 81.5 per 1,000 births. Only 49 percent of children aged 12-23 months receive full immunization. Maternal mortality ratio is 300-550 women per 100,000 live births according to different surveys. Almost one-half of women received no antenatal care during their last pregnancy and 72 percent received no postnatal care. Threein-four mothers had their last delivery at home. In 1999, the estimated number of persons living with HIV/AIDS was 74,000. The prevalence of AIDS in adults (15-49 years) is 0.1%. In contrast, the Hepatitis-B carrier rate is much greater. A randomized study estimates it to be between four and ten percent of the whole population.







Fertility
• Although there are indications of a downward trend, fertility rates in Pakistan remain high. In the 1970s and 1980s the total fertility rate (TFR - total number of children that would be born per woman if current fertility rates persisted) was more than six children per woman. TFR dropped to between five and six children during the 1990s, and most recently, it is estimated to be 4.8. There is a wide gap between urban and rural TFR. The 1996-97 Pakistan Fertility and Family Planning Survey found TFR in rural areas to be 5.9 while in urban areas it was only 3.9.



Fertility rates have also been declining due to modest increases in contraceptive use. Among married women of reproductive age, six percent were using some form of birth control in 1975. According to the 2000-01 Pakistan Reproductive Health and Family Planning Survey, the proportion increased to 27.8 percent, with 95.7 percent of married people having knowledge of at least one method of family planning. Unmet need for family planning was 33 percent. Contraceptive use is more prevalent among more educated women and women in urban areas. Among the 27.8 percent of women who practice family planning, the most commonly used method is female sterilization (6.9%) followed by the use of condom (5.5%), IUD (3.5%), injectables (2.6%) and the pill (1.9%). The traditional methods of withdrawal and periodic abstinence are also quite popular; 6.9 percent of the population uses them. The remaining 0.5 percent uses other methods. Among married Pakistani couples, there is a strong preference for male children for socioeconomic and cultural reasons. According to the 1998 census, the sex distribution in Pakistan is 52 males for every 48 females. Infant mortality rates for girls are 10 percent higher than for boys. The average age of marriage was 25.8 years for males and 21.7 years for females in 1998. This is up from 25.1 and 20.2 years respectively in 1981, continuing the upward trend that has been observed since Pakistan’s first census in 1951.







Population Policy



Family planning was introduced in Pakistan in 1953, and it became part of the government's health service in the 1960s, although funding has been inconsistent. The government perceives the population growth rate to be too high and aims to pursue policies to reduce the growth rate. The government is also concerned with mortality levels, especially those of infants and children under five and women of childbearing age. Factors related to high fertility rates in Pakistan include high illiteracy and low educational attainment, low status of women, high mortality, conservatism, fatalism, and religious conservatism. These factors combine to limit the effectiveness of family planning services. Social attitudes are a serious impediment to the use of contraception in Pakistan. In 1991 only a quarter of Pakistani women could go unaccompanied to a clinic because of purdah, or the practice of female seclusion. Poor communication between spouses adds to the problem: in families with three children, more than 50 percent of the women want no more children. While non-governmental organizations have run some family planning programs, they suffered from lack of funds since the U.S. discontinued aid to Pakistan in 1993.





Education
• Over 56 percent of the Pakistan’s adult population was illiterate in 2001. There was a significant gender gap with 55 percent of males and only 32 percent of females being literate. The literacy rate in urban areas is 63 percent, while in rural areas it is 34 percent. Only one-half of Pakistanis have ever attended school (66% of men and 34% of women); 37 percent have at least a primary education (49% of men and 25% of women). The 1998 Census found that 35 percent of households had access to a television, 24 percent to a radio and 21 percent to a newspaper.





Economy
• The GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita in Pakistan was about $2,100 in 2000, slightly less than India’s $2,500. The GDP growth rate estimated to be 3.3% in 2001.



The labor force in 1998 was estimated at 39.4 million, or 30 percent of the total population. The unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. Many laborers are either self- or family-employed. Agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing accounted for 47 percent of employment in 2000, down from 51 percent in 1991-92. Wholesale and retail trade employed 14 percent, services 14 percent, manufacturing and mining 12 percent, construction six percent, and other industries the remaining seven percent. In 2001, 123,000 Pakistanis migrated in order to find work.





This Executive Summary was updated by Becca Jones, Population Resource Center and Umar Karim Mirza, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (http://www.pieas.edu.pk). Sources include: Energy Information Administration, Pakistan Country Analysis Brief, US Department of Energy, March 2002. http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/pakistan.html Government of Pakistan, Economic Survey of Pakistan 2001-2002, Finance Division: Economic Advisor’s Wing, 2002. www.finance.gov.pk Government of Pakistan, Demographic Indicators – 1998 Census, Population Census Organization. http://www.statpak.gov.pk/depts/pco/statistics/statistics.html

Population Association of Pakistan, Pakistan’s Population: Statistical Profile 2002, Islamabad, Pakistan, 2002. http://www.pap.org.pk/files/sp.pdf Zeba A. Sathar, Fertility in Pakistan: Past, Present and Future, Workshop on Prospects for Fertility Decline in High Fertility countries, UN Secretariat: Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, US: New York, 2001. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/prospectsdecline/sathar.pdf Zeba A. Sathar and John B. Casterline, The Onset of Fertility Transition in Pakistan, Population Council, Working Paper, 1998. http://www.popcouncil.org/pdfs/wp/112.pdf Tourism Development Corporation of Pakistan, Pakistan Information, 2001-2002. http://www.tourism.gov.pk

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook 2002, 2002. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook

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