The Pakistan Pyramid

by on September 29th, 2010
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As of publication, Pakistan holds the rank of the sixth most populated country in the world and the fourth most populated country in Asia. As its population burgeons, a pyramid in age differences develops. The population pyramid of Pakistan clearly shows that it has a high birth rate and a low life expectancy rate, according to the Population Reference Bureau.


With such a population explosion, the sustainability of resources has become a serious concern in the country. The World Food Programme provides food to almost 2 million people in Northern Pakistan. Refuges who streamed into Pakistan from neighboring Afghanistan and local Pakistani people who have been displaced because of constant wars are faced with inadequate food supplies and medical attention. The people in southern Pakistan have been further impacted by the unrelenting monsoons which devastated the country’s wheat crop. The World Food Programme supplied food to over 7.5 million Pakistani people afflicted by the monsoons in the southern province of Sindh in November 2011. With the pyramid in Pakistan reflecting such a staggering population growth over the last two decades, the needs of the young in the nation become a burden on the actively working of the country, according to Joshua R. Goldstein, author of “How Populations Age”.


The growing population of the region has an adverse effect on the countryside and the environment. The rivers and groundwater have become soiled and disease filled. The municipal solid waste systems are inadequate and struggle to control the waste produced by such an expanding population. Bio-medical waste and plastic pollution in the country also pose a significant danger to the region. The environment of Pakistan has become one of the most degraded in the world because of over population, according to the International News Jang Group.

Life Expectancy and Air Pollution

The population pyramid of Pakistan shows a very low life expectancy rate in the country. The US Central Intelligence Agency lists the average life span for a person in Pakistan as 65 years. Air pollution contributes to the low life expectancy in the region. The BBC states the country suffers from some of the highest air pollution levels in the world. The emissions in the country from industries, refineries, thermal power plants and vehicles all contribute to heart disease, lung disorders and cancer.


Uncontaminated water sources have become scarce in Pakistan. The sewer lines and the fresh water lines drain directly into the street, according to the World Wildlife Federation. Municipal and factory waste pours into the Neelum River. When the monsoons of the region occur, widespread flood occurs and spreads the waste which makes a disease filled cesspool in the country’s streets. Dengue fever and malaria is prevalent in the region. The country’s overpopulation, unsanitary conditions, rampant poverty and inadequate health services causes outbreaks of bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever. The unvaccinated animals in the region often spread rabies to the humans. Cases of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza have also occurred in the country. Residents of Pakistan suffer form ongoing outbreaks of plague, Rift Valley fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, leptospirosis, meningococcal meningitis, Chikungunya, yellow fever, African trypanosomiasis, cutaneous leishmaniasis and Japanese encephalitis.

References U.S. Cental Intelligence Agency: The World Fact Book [] Princeton University: Population and Human Capital Development in Pakistan to 2050 [] Pearland School District: Interpreting a Population Pyramid [] World Food Programme: Pakistan: 8 Hunger Facts [] World Food Programme: Pakistan Emergency [] World Food Programme: Pakistan: Food Lifeline Provides Stability To Displaced Families [] Population Reference Bureau: Pakistan Still Falls Short of Millennium Development Goals for Infant and Maternal Health []

Resources (Further Reading) The Washington Post: Spotlight on Afghan refugees in Pakistan [] Joshua R. Goldstein: “How Populations Age” [] BBC: Pakistan ‘faces pollution crisis’ [] World Wildlife Federation: Water Pollution Factsheet [] International News Jang Group: Overpopulation Burdens Economy and Environment [] IRIN News: In-depth: Running Dry: The Humanitarian Impact of the Global Water Crisis [] MSNBC: Pakistan Flooding: Misery, Disease, Little Aid to Victims [] Index Mundi: Pakistan Major Infectious Diseases []

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