Pakistan’s population attains new mark amid economic slump


The total population of Pakistan has reached 249,566,743 (249.566 million), as per the initial results of the seventh national and first-ever digital population census 2023, said Chief Census Commissioner and Chief Statistician, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Naeemuz Zafar.

While addressing a press conference, the Census Commissioner stated that as far as the province-wise breakdown is concerned, “Punjab is the most populous province with its population crossing 127,474,000 (127.4 million). Sindh’s population is over 57,931,000 (57.93 million).

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa population reached 39,823,138 (39.823 million), while Balochistan’s population is over 21,977,000 (21.9 million). The population of the federal capital, Islamabad, has reached 2,359,422 (2.35 million).“

The Census Commissioner pointed out that Pakistan’s population had increased by 49 million since the last census. Where the overall cost is concerned, the Census Commissioner stated that the total cost for first-ever digital census would be over Rs34 billion.

He further said that 10.7 million more people were counted additionally by expanding the census timeline. “After the results are out in June, a request will be made to the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to use this data for the election,” the Chief Census Commissioner added.

More than 0.2 million complaints were received regarding the census, said Chief Census Commissioner, adding that most of the complaints, including those of political parties, had been redressed.

All services provided at province, district and Tehsil levels like monitoring dashboards and access of tablets for data entry will be closed on 22nd May 2023 by midnight.

As per directions of the prime minister, the verification process will be completed by the DCs/ACs till 30th May 2023. They will get data manually regarding non-coverage, if any. Non-coverage complaints at CSC by DCs/ACs and PBS Call Centres will be entertained subject to the provision of NIC number and redressed till 30th May 2023. Retrieval of tablets at the Census Support Centre (CSC) will be commenced from 24th May 2023 after synchronization of the data, if any.

The headcounts data of restricted areas and collective residences will be incorporated in the population counts of the respective block. All Census District Officers will provide a completion certificate and payments to the census field staff will be made by DCs/ACs after the provision of the completion certificate. Demographers Committee will finalise its recommendations for consideration of CMC after analysing census data by applying demographic techniques.

The census field operation commenced on 1st March 2023 and continued without any interruption and major technical glitches. The overall progress of the census was very encouraging and satisfactory, he added.

The census field operation in heavily snow-bound, law and order affected areas was not conducted. The respective governments have been requested to indicate appropriate time for field census operation in snow-bound areas comprising 129 blocks of AJK, 80 blocks of G-B, and 16 blocks of (Mansehra) KP.

The provincial governments have been requested to indicate the appropriate time for census field operation for law and order affected 57 blocks of Rojhan, Punjab and 11 blocks of Ghotki, Sindh. The Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has also been requested to indicate the appropriate time for census field operation in Kohistan after devising a comprehensive strategy.

The committee of renowned demographers was constituted pursuant to the decision of the Census Monitoring Committee (CMC) to analyse the census data for pointing out departures from the normal trends, if any.

The Committee of Demographers will finalise its recommendations for consideration of CMC after analysing census data by applying demographic techniques, keeping in view forensic reports.

The population count will be changed owing to data synchronisation, the addition of restricted areas and collective residence aggregated counts and change on the basis of recommendations of the demographers’ committee approved by the CMC.

-Business Recorder, 2023