Pakistan’s population reaches 241.49 mln

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the South Asian country's population increased by over 35 million during the past six years, which is a cause for concern and a challenge because it is more than Pakistan's economic growth.

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People have Iftar, the meal to end fast at sunset, during Muslim holy month of Ramadan in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on March 29, 2023. (Photo by Saeed Ahmad/Xinhua)

Pakistan on Saturday verified that its population has reached 241.49 million after the country’s top body the Council of Common Interests (CCI) unanimously approved the 7th census conducted earlier this year, said the Prime Minster’s office.

The media wing of the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif chaired the CCI’s 50th session, which was attended by chief ministers and representatives of all political parties, and all participants deliberated and fully agreed with the results of the census.

On the occasion, the prime minister said the South Asian country’s population increased by over 35 million during the last six years, which is a cause for concern and a challenge because it is more than Pakistan’s economic growth.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics told the meeting that the country’s annual growth rate of population was 2.55 percent, while the population growth rate of the southwestern Balochistan province was 3.2 percent which is higher than the rest of the provinces.

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.

The prime minister also said the CCI is an important constitutional institution for the strength of the federation and its approval for the country’s first digital census is a great success.

Pakistan’s Digital Census 2023 held from March 1 to May 22 this year showed the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province recorded 40.85 million population, the eastern Punjab province 127.68 million, the southern Sindh province 55.69 million, the southwestern Balochistan province 14.89 million and the capital Islamabad recorded 2.36 million.

Xinhua News Agency

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