Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

P & R Vol.2 Issue 4
Face-Off with Street Vending in Pakistan
Publication Year : 2021
Author: Zia Banday

With around 220 million inhabitants, Pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world. Its urban population is estimated at over 81-million in 2020. As per 2017 census, the country has 97-cities having a population of 100,000 and above. Its per capita annual GDP hovers around $1500, which makes it a low-income country. As per the OPHI-UNDP’s multidimensional poverty index, 38.8% of the country’s population are accounted as poor. Geographical dispersion of the poverty is stark, which creates a pull for migration from poorer regions to major cities for livelihood, hence creating more pressure on the urban resources in the country. During the last decade, Pakistan underperformed economically in regional comparison, while simultaneously registering higher population growth rate. It simply retards the poverty alleviation process. Economy is low on competitiveness; hence it is not producing substantial range of products or services that may fetch premium pricing or demand in international markets. Official urban unemployment rate is 7.2%, but substantial underemployment exists. COVID-19 has further exacerbated the employment environment.