Population Growth in Pakistan: A Crisis or an Opportunity?

Episode 4

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics’ recent 2023 population census, the enumerated population has reached 230.4 million—indicating an increase of 8.1% from the 2017 census or by 17.2 million people. While the fertility rate has dropped globally; it remains stubbornly high in Pakistan where women and girls lack access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, including contraception. Rapid population growth seems like a daunting prospect for a country struggling with public finances and political meltdown. In this episode, Dr. Ijaz Nabi and Dr. Zeba Sathar discuss some key issues concerning population growth in Pakistan.

Dr. Zeba Sathar is a senior programme associate with the Poverty, Gender, and Youth programme and the Country Director of the Population Council in Islamabad, Pakistan, where she manages one of the largest Council offices, overseeing a diverse program of technical assistance, research, and capacity building. Dr. Sathar has a PhD in Medical Demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and an MSc in Demography from the London School of Economics.

Dr. Ijaz Nabi is a Country Director at the International Growth Centre (IGC) and the Executive Director at the Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR). He is also part of the visiting faculty at the Department of Economics, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Previously he worked at the World Bank. Dr. Nabi has a Ph.D. from Warwick University.