Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Reproductive Behaviour in Pakistan: Insights from the Population, Labour Force, and Migration Survey 1979-80

Pakistan, with a population of83 million at the 1981 census, ranks as the ninth largest nation in the world. Owing to the persistently high levels of fertility and the concomitant relatively low levels of mortality, Pakistan’s population has registered an annual growth rate of about 3 percent over the last two decades. This high growth rate poses a problem to all those concerned with the effects of rapid population growth in the face of limited global resources. Although a slight decline in Pakistan’s fertility had been recorded in 1975, it was considered to be of little significance and a phenomenon too recent to influence population growth [I). A 12•percent decline in fertility during the 1970- 75 period, as suggested by the Pakistan Fertility Survey (PFS) data, however, generated hopes that Pakistan may well be entering into an era of declining fertility. There is an urgent need to investigate whether this decline was real and whether it continued in the late Seventies. Answers to these queries are of paramount importance both for population related research and for policy formulation. In this context, the data collected for Studies in Population, labour Force, and Migration (PLM) – a PIDE/ILO-UNFPA project [5] – may be extremely useful.

Zeba A. Sathar, Mohammad Irfan

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