CENSUS 2017: Provisional Results – Issues and Concerns

By Hira A. Shafi
Research Analyst, Spearhead Research

The provisional results were finally presented to the Council of Common Interests on August 25, 2017 and subsequently released to the public. The results show a total population of 207.8 million. The male population is recorded at 106.4million, the female population is recorded at 101.3million while officially recognizing transgender as the third gender was recorded at 10,416.

An overall increase of 57% is recorded in population since 1998 with an average annual growth rate of 2.4%. It has been noted that the overall national growth has declined in comparison to the growth from 1981-1998 – which showed an increase of 146%. However, Pakistan’s growth rate is considered significantly higher in comparison to other South Asian Countries. 

The Provinces of Sindh and Punjab in particular have shown a decrease in overall growth rate since 1998. Whereas, KP, FATA and Balochistan have indicated an increase.

Trends in Urbanization-in all provinces except for ICT- have also shown an increase. 36.38% of the population is noted to be residing in Urban Areas. Sindh is noted to be the most urban province. The 10 largest cities by population are as follow: Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Pindi, Gujranwala, Peshawar, Multan, Hyderabad, ICT and Quetta.

According to PBS “The total population as per the provisional results includes all persons residing in the country including Afghans and/or other aliens. The provisional results however do not include Afghans residing in refugee villages, diplomats and the population of AJK & GB (a population and housing count has been conducted for AJK & GB.) Overseas Pakistanis have also not been added to the count. 

The provisional results show a count from a total of 130 districts (excluding AJK AND GB) :-

KP: 25 districts, FATA: 7agencies, Punjab: 36 districts, Sindh: 29, Balochistan: 32 and ICT:1.

The country was divided into 168,000 census blocks and each block was to include a 200-250 households. The census was conducted by 91,000 enumerators and the Army provided 200,000 security personnel.

The release of these provisional results have created ripples of multidimensional concerns at the social, economic, political and security fronts. But currently, the procedures and methodologies used in deriving the provisional results remain challenged by various voices. For now, causing some hiccups in release of verified results. Owing to widespread doubts regarding the inaccuracies, The Senate Standing Committee on Privatization and Statistics has recommended a reassessment of 1% of the census blocks, all this is to be done prior to May 2018 which is a deadline offered to PBS to present a final compilation of all results.

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