United Nations (UN) has projected that Pakistan’s fertility rate will double its population to be more than 400 million by 2050, which already ranks 5th in the world but 33rd per land size. It portrays a terrible future if comparing with human development indicators like health, education, housing, and other fundamental needs where it stands 152nd in the world.
According to the UNICEF, five million babies are expected to be born in Pakistan in 9 months since the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a huge number of expected births that will not only burden the women’s reproductive health but will cause the supply shortage of necessary medicine and health supplements in markets and hospitals already overburdened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This upcoming situation will increase Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) as 140 deaths per100,000 live births and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) as 52.30 per 1,000 live births which are already very high in Pakistan. In the global context, Pakistan is ranked 61st in the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and 20th in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR).
There are numerous factors in Pakistan which directly cause an unplanned high growth of population. It includes strong religious beliefs against family planning, poverty, lack of leisure and awareness, family structure, unmet need for contraceptives, high fertility rate, baby-boy preference, early age marriages, and family economic stress.
Which countries are growing the fastest?
Between 2019 and 2020, the world’s population grew by 1.1 percent. That may sound like a small number but it is more than 80 million people. While the world’s population is expected to increase over the next few decades, the speed at which it grows is slowing down.
The population of India is expected to overtake China by 2024, based on projections made by the UN’s Population Division. India would then become the world’s most populous country comprising one out of every six people on the Earth.
The animation below shows the top 10 fastest-growing countries per decade since the 1950s.
The fastest-growing continent over the past five years was Africa (2.51 percent) and the slowest growing was Europe (0.12 percent). In countries in the Middle East, an influx of foreign workers combined with a higher standard of living led to the sharpest population increases over the decades.