Federal Budget

Pakistan's urban population up from 75.67m to 93.75m in six years

Pakistan's urban population up from 75.67m to 93.75m in six years


The rural population decreases from 63.56pc to 61.18pc

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ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The government is taking proactive measures to control population growth and fertility rates, says the Economic Survey report. 

The rapid population growth and high fertility rates are significantly straining the country’s economic development and its ability to provide essential services like healthcare, education, and social protection. 

According to the Economic Survey 2023-24 launched by Minister for Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb on Tuesday, the government launched an awareness drive through media campaigns and provided Family Planning services through Family Welfare Centers (FWC), Reproductive Health Services Centers (RHS-A), Regional Training Institutes, and Mobile Service Units. 

Rural population: In 1998, the rural population in Pakistan was 63.56 percent. In 2017 and 2023, the rural population was 61.18 percent. 

Urban population: In 1998, the urban population of the country was 32.5 percent, in 2017 the population was 36.44 percent and in the year 2023 it was recorded at 38.82 percent. Pakistan’s urban population increased from 75.67 million to 93.75 million between 2017 and 2023, making it one of the most urbanised nations in South Asia.

Almost 39 percent of its population lives in urban areas. Urbanisation strongly impacts a country’s economy and development, leading to changes in various areas such as labour market opportunities, family structures, education, health, environment management, security systems, and governance. 

The Population and Housing Census of 2023 revealed that the urban population is increasing, with 38.82 percent, currently living in urban areas. 

This trend is observed in most provinces, except in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the share of the urban population decreased from 16.55 percent in 2017 to 15.01 percent in 2023. 

The urban population in Islamabad decreased from 50.37 percent in 2017 to 46.90 percent in 2023. 

The data demonstrates that from 2017 to 2023, the share of the urban population in Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan increased due to better education, health, and earning opportunities in urban areas.

Among all the provinces, Sindh has the highest urban population, from 51.89 percent in 2017 to 53.73 percent in 2023.

Punjab ranks second with an increase from 36.86 percent to 40.70 percent in the same period.

Similarly, Balochistan’s urban population rose from 27.62 percent in 2017 to 30.96 percent in 2023. However, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa differed from other provinces as the percentage of the rural population increased due to the merger of Fata into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.