Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Simultaneous Estimations of Population Growth : The Pakistan Experience

The PGE (abbreviation for Population Growth Estimation) experiment has arisen out of the widely held feeling among economists and development planners that in many underdeveloped countries population growth is the most critical of all relevant variables. Demographers, census takers and registrars of vital events are unable to provide accurate and up-to-date information in this crucial field because of the difficulties inherent in collecting the information. This deficiency has been apparent in Pakistan for a long time. The current (Second) Five Year Plan, in fact, states: “It is important that there should be continuing surveys of the current size and characteristics of the population and the levels of birth and death rates”2. Judging by the experience of Western-type countries, a system of vital-events registration takes decades, if not centuries, before it reaches an acceptable degree of completeness. Periodic surveys provide, or at least aim at providing, a swifter answer but depending basically—as they do—on human recollection and on a consistent understanding of a time reference, they frequently produce obviously inadequate answers. The feeling has long been shared among demographers that a combination of both methods …………

Nazir Ahmed, Karol J. Krotki

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