The urgent need for population control in Pakistan


With a population exceeding 220 million and growing at a rate of 2% per year, Pakistan, as it grapples with numerous socio-economic challenges, stands today as the fifth most populous country in the world.

This rapid population growth rate of 2% demands immediate attention and comprehensive strategies to bring it lower. If growth continues at this rate the population of Pakistan by 2050 will reach 355 million.

This increase, of about 130 million, is tantamount to relocating the entire population of Mexico to Pakistan.

One of the most significant repercussions of rapid population growth is the strain it places on the economy. With limited resources and a burgeoning population, there is a continuous struggle to provide essential services such as education, healthcare, and employment opportunities.

Reducing the population growth rate would alleviate the economic burden, allowing for more effective distribution of resources and increased investment in key sectors.

Education is a fundamental pillar for the progress of any society. However, the exponential growth in population has led to overburdened educational systems, resulting in inadequate facilities and compromised quality of education.

By reducing the population growth rate, the government can focus on improving the education sector, ensuring better access and quality, thus nurturing a more skilled and knowledgeable workforce.

An expanding population puts immense pressure on healthcare infrastructure, leading to a scarcity of resources and compromised medical services. A reduced population growth rate would allow the healthcare system to function more efficiently, ensuring improved accessibility to quality healthcare services for all citizens.

The increasing population exacerbates the challenge of unemployment and poverty. With limited job opportunities, a growing youth population faces difficulties in securing sustainable livelihoods. By curbing population growth, the government can channel resources towards creating employment opportunities, thereby alleviating poverty and fostering economic development.

Rapid population growth contributes to environmental degradation through increased demand for natural resources, deforestation, and heightened carbon emissions. A lower population growth rate would facilitate sustainable resource management and environmental conservation, promoting a healthier and more balanced ecosystem.

Family planning initiatives play a crucial role in empowering women by providing them with control over their reproductive choices. Reducing the population growth rate involves promoting women’s health, education, and economic independence. This, in turn, leads to healthier families, improved child-rearing practices, and increased overall well-being.

ReadFamily planning drive termed imperative

An expanding population strains existing infrastructure, resulting in congestion, inadequate housing, and overburdened transportation systems.

Reducing the population growth rate would enable the government to invest in infrastructure development, ensuring sustainable urban planning and improved living conditions for citizens.


A rapidly growing population can lead to social instability as resources become scarce, competition intensifies, and disparities widen. By addressing population growth, Pakistan can enhance social stability, fostering harmony and cooperation among its diverse communities.

Reducing the population growth rate necessitates a multi-faceted approach, which must include the following elements,

1) Comprehensive Family Planning:

Implementing robust family planning programmes to raise awareness and provide accessible contraceptives.

2) Education and Awareness:

Promoting education and awareness campaigns to enlighten the public about the advantages of smaller family sizes.

3) Women’s Empowerment:

Focusing on empowering women through education, employment opportunities, and healthcare access.

4) Economic Development:

Prioritising economic development to create jobs and improve living standards, discouraging large family sizes.

5) Government Policies:

Enforcing policies that incentivise smaller families and penalise unchecked population growth.
The importance of reducing the population growth rate in Pakistan cannot be overstated.

Addressing this critical issue is paramount to ensuring sustainable development, economic prosperity, and improved quality of life for all citizens.

Through comprehensive and concerted efforts, Pakistan can chart a path towards a more balanced and sustainable future, fostering a society where each individual can thrive.

It is imperative to understand that population policy is the lynchpin of the country’s policy structure. All other policies, education, health, development, transport, labour, employment, infrastructure and so on, depend for their success on limiting population growth. If this lynchpin fails the entire structure, no matter the integrity of its components, crashes to the ground.

Sadly, we do not see the issue of addressing population growth on the list of priorities of any of the major political parties or of the country’s economic planning establishment. They do not seem to understand that if we do not tackle this issue much of whatever else we do will be in vain.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2024
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