Provisional Census Results: Balochistan Records Highest Annual Growth Among Provinces

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Adnan Aamir
Quetta: Balochistan records highest annual growth rate in population among all provinces of Pakistan as compared to 1998 census, revealed provisional results of 2017 census which were made public on Friday after meeting of Council of Common Interests (CCI).
Pakistan conducted its 6th annual census after gap of 19 years earlier this year. According to the provisional results the population of Pakistan is 207.77 Million (Mn) and there has been an annual growth rate in population of 2.4% per year since 1998.
Province-wise population
According to the provisional results population of Punjab is 110 Mn, Sindh 47.88 Mn, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 30.52 Mn, Balochistan 12.34 Mn, FATA 5 Mn and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) 2.0 Million. Population figures of Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) were not announced and will be announced later.
Balochistan recorded the highest annual population growth rate with 3.37%. Same rate for KP is 2.89%, FATA2.41%, Sindh 2.41% and Punjab 2.13%. As compared to 1998, annual growth rate decreased in National Level, Punjab and Sindh whereas it increased in Balochistan, FATA and KP.
Population increase in Balochistan and KP can be attributed to naturalization of Afghan refugees and higher birth rates as compared to other parts of Pakistan.

Population increase in Balochistan and KP can be attributed to naturalization of Afghan refugees and higher birth rates

Read also: Inclusion of Foreigners in Census not Acceptable: Jirga Tells Federal Government
Urbanization
Similarly, the census results showed that Urbanization level in Pakistan has reached to 36.38% in the country. Urban population is 50.88% in ICT, 52.02% in Sindh, 27.55% in Balochistan, 18.77% in KP and just 2.84% in FATA.
Balochistan has higher Urbanization rate as compared to KP despite having a lower less promising Human Development Indicators as compared to KP. The plausible reasons can be that huge portion of population of Balochistan has shifted to Quetta – the only Metropolitan city in Balochistan.
Gender Imbalance
Results about gender population comparison showed that 51% population of Pakistan consists of Males. This means that for every 100 women there are 106 men in Pakistan.
Likewise, there are 110 men in Balochistan, 108 men in Sindh, 104 men in FATA, 103 men in Punjab and 102 men in KP for every 100 women.
Again, Balochistan has the highest proportion of gender imbalance in the country. This merits investigations and studies on abnormally lesser population of females.

Higher urbanization rate in Balochistan can be that huge portion of population of Balochistan has shifted to Quetta – the only Metropolitan city in Balochistan

Controversy
Criticism on census results has already started and mainly coming from Sindh based on the allegations that population of Karachi has not been accurately recorded.

Complete results of census are expected to be announced in next few months.
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