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Thursday, April 18, 2024

An increasing population: a growing calamity

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The global world is facing disparities of issues: climate change, floods, energy crisis, gender discrimination, and food shortage, but the increase in population is one of the biggest issues that the world is facing. The world population touched 8 billion in November 2022, and Pakistan’s population reached 230 million. It is an alarming issue for the world to manage. The growing population has increased the number of issues. For instance, decreasing land for living, agriculture decline, challenges in education, water shortage, and slow down the social and economic projects. This all-problem main reason is no policy by the government, low level of education, and no family planning. However, the issue can be managed through education, family planning, and governmental initiatives. 

To begin with, the increase in the world’s population is directly linked with the decline in living spaces. The world’s people are facing living issues as less land is available for building houses. There is also another reason for the increasing problem of accommodation, which is a change in family structure. The family structure of the world is moving toward a nuclear extension. The world population reached 8.5 billion, and Pakistan’s population of 230 million shows the problem in handling it. Therefore, population control is needed so people do not face further issues. 

Furthermore, the population expansion is also causing agricultural issues. People are changing agricultural land into residential areas, as it gives more capital to them. The increase in housing schemes exhibits the decline of agricultural land. The decrease in agricultural land creates two problems: firstly, mass famine, when agricultural land is decreased, and the population is increased. It directly creates mass famine. Secondly, it impacts the environment; agricultural land is important for the good climate in the world, but the world focuses on the estate, especially in Pakistan. 

In addition, the population increase in Pakistan has created problems in the educational sector. According to United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA), Pakistan is growing at an average rate of 1.9% and 3.6 children are born to a woman on average. The increase in the population of Pakistan is increasing illiteracy. According to the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey 2019-2020, 7 out of 10 girls and 5 out of 10 boys between the ages of 5 to 16 are reached or retained by the education system. Hence, it shows problems triggered due to overpopulation. 

The overpopulation is the main reason for the slowdown in different projects. The book “Population Bomb” by “Paul R. Ehrlich” paints a grim picture of environmental destruction. If there is no halt to population growth, the population directly impacts the environment in several ways. In the same way, the economy is slowing, and the population creates several economic challenges for any country. Pakistan is facing a different economic problem due to scarce resources and a high level of increase in population growth by the day. 

To handle these problems, the world needs to focus on the policies regarding alleviating the population rate in the world. There is not only a need for policies but also to implement them better. The increase in the marriage age can also decrease the population as the fertility level declines with an increase in age. Therefore, the practice of child marriage shall be stopped as soon as possible. Especially in Pakistan and India, there is no policy of population control. India will soon surpass China in Population due to the population of China declining and the population of India surging. In opposition to it, Pakistan also ranked  5th in Population, which is alarming for countries less than Pakistan, which is facing multiple issues. 

Additionally, education plays a vital role in the decreasing population of Pakistan. Firstly, when education is focused, it will lead to a high literacy rate, which is directly linked to the decline of the population. Secondly, education also increases the age of marriage, which is also helpful in controlling the population. Lastly, education makes people aware of the consequences of overpopulation at national and household levels. Hence, education can play an important role in decreasing the population. 

Lastly, family planning is one of the main factors in population control. Family planning is aware of those women who are less educated and cannot understand the repercussions of overpopulation. In Pakistan, every woman has approximately 4 children, but in rural areas, it is multiplied by 2, which means 8 to 10. The problem starts from here because educating these children is difficult with a high inflation rate. The education expenses are increasing daily, and employment opportunities are declining. This has led to a brain drain in Pakistan; most of the educated youth are moving toward European countries. Therefore, there is an urgent need to control the population so that many other social, economic, and environmental problems can be solved. 

In a nutshell, the world’s population will surpass 8 billion, while Pakistan’s population will be more than 230 million in the coming days, leading to many problems. Examples include a decline in land available for development, a decline in agriculture, difficulties in education, a water deficit, and a slowdown in social and economic undertakings. The main causes of all problems are a lack of governmental policy, a poor level of education, and a lack of family planning. However, the problem can be managed through governmental programs, family planning, and education.

Inamullah Kakar
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Inamullah Kakar is a student of BS final Semester in Sociology, in Quaiid-i-Azam
University, Islamabad.

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