'Population growth in Pak higher than India'

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{image-Population growth in Pak_13112008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Patna, Nov 13: When population control was top on the government agenda in almost every country worldwide, population growth in Pakistan was higher than in most other countries, including India, since 2005, a United Nations report has revealed.

The demographic indicators in the recently published United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report has revealed that in Pakistan the average annual rate of population growth since 2005 was found to be 1.8 per cent, while in India it was marginally less at 1.5 per cent during the same period like rest of the world. The prevailing fertility rate of every woman in Pakistan was also found to be much higher (3.46 per cent) compared to India (2.78 per cent) and elsewhere in the world. However, in terms of continent, the average growth of population was highest in Africa where it was expected to remain at 2.3 per cent per annum till 2010.

On the contrary the average population in Europe was projected to remain stagnant during the period between 2005-2010 when it was expected to remain zero per cent. This has made the continent having the lowest fertility rate.

In Latin America, Caribbean and the Oceania the average growth in population during the period would be 1.2 per cent,in Arab states it would be two per cent and in Asia it would be 1.1 per cent, the report said.

In terms of the demographic projections on the issue,as found in the report, the total fertility rate was highest in Africa,followed by the Arab states in West Asia Latin America, the Caribbeans, Asia and the Oceania. The cycle of fertility per woman in Europe stood at 1.45, the report said.

In African continent the current cycle of fertlity in every woman was 4.63,while in Arab states it was 3.3, in Latin America and Caribbean they were.

Meanwhile, founder of Centre for Action Research and Development Initiation (CARDI) and a social activist Ajay Kumar attributed poverty and illiteracy in the Muslim community as major factor for the higher average growth rate of population and the fertility rate. Mr Kumar said a large chunk of Muslim population was illiterate and was still reeling under poverty.Because of lack of awareness they preferred to have more number of children following which the average growth of population as well as fertility was towards higher side in the countries dominated by Muslim population.

The misconception was also there in the name of religion following which the community had larger number of children. He, however, added that such misconception was gradually being purged off with education and now the affluent Muslim families were preferring to have lesser number of kids.

Meanwhile, the report further revealed that the average population growth will be highest during 2005-2010 in Liberia in Western Africa where it has been projected to be at 4.5 per cent. In Burundi in Eastern Africa it will be at 3.9 per cent.

The current total fertility cycle of a woman is highest in Niger of Western Africa where it is at 7.16. Guinea- Bissau of the same continent has 7.04 fertility, while Afghanistan in Asia has 7.03 fertility cycle.

Giving reasons for the high fertility rates, the report said, due to high mortality rate under five the families favoured numerous and closely spaced birth for societys survival. The families consider their children as asset as they can be of great help in the family income.

According to the report, globally on an average every woman has 2.6 children. Their number in the developed countries is 1.6 and in the less developed countries it is 2.8.

Income quintiles within countries also reflect differentials.

Women from the lower income group had considerably higher fertility than those in the highest income bracket.

Due to lack of knowledge, the women in the low-income group used less contraceptives even though they do not want more kids, added the report.

UNI

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