Demographic explosion | Editorial

The rich get richer and the poor get — children, writes F Scott Fitzgerald in his novel The Great Gatsby. On this World Population Day we need to seriously focus on the demographic explosion taking place in Pakistan like most Third World countries. Countries with manageable populations are doing splendidly well. Most overpopulated countries present a pathetic picture. After China and India, Pakistan is among the next 11 most populated countries of the world. Pakistan’s population is more than 20 million. By 2050, it is expected to double. Pakistan’s fertility rate is 3.48 births per woman. This needs to be reduced if we have to progress because with the present rate of population growth we will not be able to make any worthwhile progress. The rise in population in geometrical proportions cannot keep pace with the means of subsistence which increase in arithmetical proportions, if they increase at all.
Now is the time to convince people of the importance of birth control. We are facing various problems such as water shortage, persisting electricity shortage, housing shortage, etc. We are not able to provide the increasing number of people with jobs, healthy food, and educational facilities. The rapidly rising population is also leading to social tensions. New projections by Unesco indicate that one in four Pakistani children will not be completing primary school by the deadline of 2030. Unesco says the country will only be half-way to the target of 12 years of education for all, with 50 per cent of youths still not completing upper secondary education at the current rates. Drop-out rates at the school level in Pakistan is alarmingly high. A large number of Pakistani children are out of school. Placing emphasis on education is necessary to achieve a manageable population.
The population of a country should be near-stationary. There should also be an appropriate inequality. These are the keys to progress and development.
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