Danger for India, Pakistan population rises 57% to 210000000

Islamabad, Aug 25: Pakistan's population has surged to 207.77 million, having experienced a 57 per cent increase since the last census in 1998, according to the provisional census data presented to the Council of Common Interest (CCI) on Friday. The sixth population census in Pakistan, carried out by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) earlier this year after a gap of nearly two decades, revealed an acceleration in the population growth rate of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), Dawn newspaper reported.  However, the population growth in Punjab and Sindh slowed compared to previous results. Pakistan houses 106.45 million males, 101.31 million females and 10,418 transgenders, the provisional data revealed. The results showed that 30.5 million people reside in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 5 million in Fata, 47.9 million in Sindh, 12.3 million in Balochistan, 2 million in Islamabad, while Punjab -- the largest province in terms of population -- houses 110 million people. An increase in the urban-rural ratio was observed in all administrative units except Islamabad, which nonetheless remained the second most urbanised unit of the country, the provisional data stated. Over 52 per cent of Sindh's residents live in urban areas, which has surpassed the capital territory as the most urbanised territory of Pakistan. Close to 36.4 per cent of Pakistanis live in urban areas, the provisional results revealed. Balochistan, the least urbanised of Pakistan's provinces, experienced the fastest average annual growth rate since 1998 of 3.37 per cent.  Punjab's average annual growth rate remained the slowest at 2.13 per cent, slightly below the national average of 2.4 per cent. The provisional results excluded data from Gilgit Baltistan and Jammu and Kashmir, which is likely to be included in the final report, the daily said. The census is likely to have important implications for the upcoming general elections, the report said.

IANS