The initial results of the first-ever digital census were announced by the Chief Census Commissioner and Chief Statistician, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Naeem uz Zafar. According to the data collected, the total population of Pakistan has reached 249,566,743 (249.5 million or 25 Crore).
First-Ever Digital Census: Province-Wise Results
Province-wise, Punjab is the most populous province, with its population crossing 127,474,000 (127.4 million or 12.7 Crore). Next is Sindh, with a population of over 57,931,000 (57.9 million or 5.7 crore), while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s population is over 39,823,000 (39.7 million or 3.9 crore). Lastly, Balochistan’s population is over 21,977,000 (21.9 million or 2.1 crores), while the population of the country’s capital, Islamabad, has reached 2,359,422. (2.3 million or 23 lac).
According to the census commissioner, Pakistan’s population has experienced a significant increase of 49 million individuals (4.9 Crore) since the last census, indicating a substantial growth rate. Per the Prime Minister of Pakistan’s directions, the Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners will carry out the verification process until 30th May 2023, where they will manually collect data on any non-coverage areas, if applicable.
An Alarming Rise in Population
The rise in Pakistan’s population is a significant concern requiring attention and thoughtful planning. The population growth rate has been consistently high over the past few decades, leading to various socio-economic challenges:
1. Strain on Resources: Rapid population growth places immense pressure on essential resources such as water, food, housing, and healthcare.
2. Unemployment and Poverty: Pakistan’s job market struggles to keep pace with the rising number of job seekers. High population growth exacerbates the problem, increasing unemployment rates and widespread poverty.
3. Healthcare and Education: Expanding access to quality healthcare and education with a growing population becomes more difficult. Overcrowded hospitals and schools struggle to provide adequate services, resulting in compromised healthcare outcomes.
4. Urbanization Challenges: Rapid population growth often leads to unplanned urbanization, resulting in slums, inadequate housing, and strain on urban infrastructure. Overburdened cities struggle to provide basic amenities, leading to congestion, pollution, and insufficient sanitation facilities.