Pakistan’s population reaches 241 million

Pakistan’s population has reached 241.49 million, according to the results of the 2023 census conducted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The country’s top body the Council of Common Interests (CCI) unanimously approved the 7th census during its 50th meeting led by Prime Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and attended by chief ministers from all provinces.

Commencing on March 1, 2023, the 7th Population and Housing Census cunted over 241.49 million individuals across Pakistan in 18 months. The annual population growth rate was documented at 2.55%.

The census data will guide governmental decisions on the distribution of funds and aid to provinces, districts, and local areas. Moreover, it will facilitate the reassignment of National Assembly seats through the delineation of legislative districts.

Pakistan’s first digital census

The country’s first digital census was conducted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics throughout May 2023.

“The 7th Population and Housing Census is historic, as this largest digitization exercise of South Asia was planned in the shortest span of time, just 18 months” PBS said in its statement.

This rapid and comprehensive digitization was made possible through tablet-based data collection, offering citizens the novel experience of self-enumeration. Geographical tagging of all structures and the provision of online monitoring dashboards further solidified this initiative’s digital leap.

Delay in elections

The law minister has said the coming election due by mid-Novembe will be held on the basis of the latest census. There had been speculation the election could be delayed after the census results are ratified as it would require drawing new constituency boundaries.

The law minister said that it could take about four months to complete the process of drawing new constituency boundaries. “Now it is up to the election commission (ECP) how quickly it completes the (delimitations) of the constituencies,” law minister Azam Nazeer Tarar told Geo News TV channel.

Pakistan’s population grows by 35 million

Pakistan’s population has swelled by 35 million in just six years, according to the results of the latest census. The PBS said that the country’s annual growth rate of population was 2.55% while the population growth rate of the southwestern Balochistan province was 3.2% which is higher than the rest of the provinces.

Pakistan Population Census 2023 results
Pakistan Population results according to the 2023 census conducted by PBS. (Image Credit: PBS)

Growing Population – a big challenge

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the annual growth rate of 2.5 percent presented a “big challenge” for the cash-strapped nation. “Pakistan’s population growth rate is more than Pakistan’s economic growth,” Sharif said.

Sharif emphasized that the current rate of population growth is very alarming and stakeholders will have to take urgent measures to curb population growth.

“The limited resources of the country are insufficient and if the population growth rate continues at the current rate, poverty and unemployment will increase in Pakistan despite all our efforts,” he said.

Pakistan Population Census 2023 results
Distribution of Pakistan’s rural and urban population according to the 2023 census. (Image Credit: PBS)
Salma Khan
Salma writes on topics ranging from education to technology to business. She can be reached at Twitter and Facebook.

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