The fastest growth is often in the least developed countries - those least equipped to sustain increasing demands for food, clean water healthcare, housing, education and other necessities.
Many of the biggest cities are growing twice as fast as the rest of the population. They are becoming a threat to the health, to the environment and to the development.
Poverty, population growth and environmental destruction mean more pressure to migrate. - 1 .2 billion people live in absolute poverty.
- The 1990s will see the largest increase in the population o developing countries of any decade of history.
- Poverty and population growth combine for environmental degradation.
Pakistan - a developing and one of the most populated countries ranks at No. 9 in respect of population. With 16.6 million population in 1901, it reached 32.5 million at the time of independence in 1947 Today it is estimated that the population of Pakistan has risen to the tune of 115 million. During the same period, 1901 - 1991, the world population grew by 3 times, the population of developing countries increased by 4 times and the population of Pakistan increased by ~ times.
If the population continues to grow at the same rate, it will reach over 150 million by the year 2000. This means that the population of Pakistan will grow 9 fold over one century (1901 - 2000), as com-pared to the population of the world which will increase four times and the population of the developing countries which will increase six fold.
The rapid population growth in Pakistan has resulted in decline in death rate over the last 80 years whereas the birth rate has remained largely un-changed.
The total fertility rate in Pakistan is about 6.5 which means that on average each woman has six or seven children during her life time. This rate is among the highest in the century but has declined quite dramatically during this century due largely to the introduction of modern anti-biotic, the success of public health and sanitation programmes.
The difference between the birth and death rate is the rate of natural increase. In the beginning of the century, the population of areas, now comprising Pakistan, was growing at less than one per cent per year. Since the birth rate has remained high while the death rate has declined, the rate of growth of population has increased to over 3% per year. It is quite visible that if the birth rate remains high while the death rate continues to decline, the growth rate of population could go even higher, to perhaps 3.5% per year.
As a result of rapid growth, the population of Pakistan is now composed primarily of young people. In Pakistan, more than 44% of population is under the age of 15 and 52% of the population is between the age of 16 and 64.
Presently, due to over population, Pakistan is facing a lot of problems like poverty, illiteracy, un-employment, lack of housing facilities, lack of schools/colleges etc. The situation thus cropped up has already driven us to frustration, aggression, drug addiction etc. Every citizen feels in-secure as the law and order situation is also worsening day by day.
Realising the importance of the issue, which is the issue of the world, the United Nations has stated that the World Population Day will be observed on July 11.
July 11, is World Population Day - a day set-aside to reflect on issues of tremendous importance which affect every-one living on this planet.
Accessible family planning is needed more than ever to help slow world population growth and meet the reproductive needs of the human race.
Family Planning is one of the cheapest developing tools available. It is safe to use and the family health benefits and freedom of choice it brings to women, have contributed to its voluntary take up rate rising from 10% of couples in 1 960s to 51% today.
Let us join hands in conveying the message to the masses that family planning is a basic human right and it guarantees the health of family at large and welfare of mother and child in particular.
This is the high time that we realise the gravity of the problem and respond to the call of the hour and make every citizen aware that whatever is our cause is a lost cause without population planning.
(Contributed by: PAASBAN, Family Planning Association of Pakistan, Lahore).
To focus world attention on the alarming growth of population, Pakistan Post Office is issuing a special postage stamp of Rs. 10/- denomination on "World Population Day" on July 11, 1991.