Pakistan’s population growing rapidly with annual fertility rate of 3.6: Report

(Photo/The Express Tribune)

New Delhi (NVI): With an annual fertility rate of 3.6 children per couple, Pakistan’s population is growing rapidly as the country is among the top two fastest-growing in the South Asian region, according to a world population report.

Pakistan’s total population is estimated at 220.9 million at present. The 2020 World Population Data Sheet, released recently by the US Population Reference Bureau, has also estimated the current global population at 7.8 billion.

India, with 1.4 billion people has the second largest population in the world but has reduced fertility rate, as compared to Pakistan, at 2.2, according to the report.

The report has also referred to the Covid-19 crisis in its estimates, warning that “population density in urban areas, household size, and population aging contribute to our vulnerability to pandemics”.

Meanwhile, the report marks Afghanistan and Pakistan as the fastest-growing populations. Although Afghanistan has a faster growth rate than Pakistan at 4.5 per couple, with high death rates and low life expectancy the country’s population is still at 38.9 million.

As per the report, at Pakistan’s growth rate — 3.6 — a population doubles in 19.4 years. A country needs to bring its growth rate down to 2 per cent a year to reduce its population. The replacement fertility rate is 2.1, the average number of children a couple needs to have to replace themselves.

Bangladesh’s total population in 2020 is estimated at 169.8 million, with an annual growth rate of 2.3.

On the other hand, China with a total of 1.424 billion people, still has the largest population in the world but has been able to reduce its fertility rate to 1.5. China’s population is projected to decrease by 2050, says the report.

The United States has an estimated 329.9 million inhabitants and between 2020 and 2050 its population is projected to increase, but at a much slower pace than in recent decades. The US has an annual fertility rate of 1.7, which forces it to allow immigrants to strengthen its workforce, says the report.

However, total replacement rates are below replacement level in 91 countries and territories, which account for nearly 45 per cent of the world’s population.

The report further finds that Middle Africa is the youngest region where 46 per cent of the population is under the age of 15 years. Southern Europe is the world’s oldest region with 23 per cent of the population aged 65 or above.