‘Steps needed to contain population boom’
ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi and other stakeholders have sought measures to restrict population growth in Pakistan by “normalising family planning” as a report by the United Nations suggests that the global population could zoom past 9.7 billion in 2050 with half of the projected increase concentrated in eight countries, including Pakistan.
As the global population will surpass eight billion in November this year, the eight countries, in addition to Pakistan, responsible for this boom are Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, the Philippines and Tanzania, the ‘World Population Prospects 2022’ report released by the UN a day earlier to mark the World Population Day disclosed.
As per the latest projections, the population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, before reaching a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s. “Half of the eighth billion added to the world population as a result of Asia’s demographic expansion,” the report revealed. It added that India was on its way to surpassing China as the world’s most populous country in 2023 whereas the global population will reach eight billion on November 15, it said.
In 1990, Pakistan was in the eighth position among the world’s 10 most populous countries; however, in 2022, the country ranked fifth among the top 10 countries, and in 2050 Pakistan is projected to remain in the same position.
Global life expectancy at birth reached 72.8 years in 2019, an improvement of almost 9 years since 1990. But in 2021, life expectancy for the least developed countries lagged 7 years behind the global average. In many developing countries, the share of the population at working ages (between 25 and 64 years) has been increasing.
It took hundreds of thousands of years for the world population to grow to one billion — then in just another 200 years or so, it grew sevenfold. In 2011, the global population reached the seven billion mark; it stands at almost 7.9 billion in 2021.
‘Population boom not sustainable’
Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the burgeoning population growth is threatening the sustainable lifestyle along with the changes in climate that are compounding the problem faced by the country of over 225 million citizens.
To tackle the problem, the government is exercising all options to sensitise the the general public on negative implications of population growth.
President Dr Arif Alvi, in his message on the population day, referred to the meagre resources and urged awareness among the masses about the importance of containing the population growth rate for the sake of better healthcare, a stable economy, and sustainable social life.
The president cautioned, “If we don’t make a serious change, this population is likely to double in the next 30 years.”
“The data shows that the maternal mortality ratio in Pakistan stands at 186 deaths per 100,000 live births.