ISLAMABAD: The government has called a meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) on Monday to consider, among other things, approval of final results of the 2017 national census without a post-enumeration audit of five per cent census blocks.
A senior government official told Dawn that the summary for the approval of the census results had been taken up at the last CCI meeting during the PML-N government, but it had to be dropped in the absence of the chief ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab as Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had raised objections that it would not be appropriate to rush through the process.
It was observed that without having the chief ministers of two provinces in attendance, the census results approval would lack credibility while controversies had already been surrounding the census exercise. Hence, it was felt more logical that a reconstituted CCI in the new political set-up should take a final decision on the census results.
It was finally decided to defer action on the summary submitted by the statistics division for approval of the final results of the sixth census that put the country’s population at 207.685 million, down by 68,738 (0.033pc) from 207.77m announced in the provisional results in August last year.
Fresh summary advocates doing away with post-enumeration verification because of long delay
Sources said the fresh summary advocated doing away with the verification of the results, as the five per cent audit had become redundant due to a long gap between the exercise conducted in the first quarter of the last year and re-verification in the last quarter of current year. It was argued that a sea change in results due to seasonal and other migrations could raise more questions than provide answers on the veracity of the results.
The final results showed the average annual population growth rate between 1998 and 2017 remained unchanged at 2.4pc. The population count stood at 132.352 million when the previous census was conducted in 1998.
The decrease in population count in the final results was almost identical in absolute numbers in Sindh (16,737), Punjab (16,435) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (14,451), followed by Balochistan’s 9,279. The final count also dropped by 8,632 persons in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and by 3,204 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
The final data puts Punjab’s population at 109.989m, followed by 47.855m in Sindh, 30.509m in KP and 12.335m in Balochistan. Fata’s population has been reported at 4.993m and that of the ICT at 2.003m.
The population growth rate is highest at 4.9pc in the ICT, followed by 3.37pc in Balochistan, 2.89pc in KP and 2.41pc in Sindh. The lowest growth has been witnessed at 2.13pc in Punjab compared to 2.4pc in Fata.
As such, the share of population among the provinces also changed over the past 19 years that would have far-reaching consequence on resource sharing and parliamentary representation.
In overall population, Punjab’s share dropped the most from 55.63pc in 1998 to 52.96 (a loss of 2.67pc), while KP’s share gained the most to 14.69 from 13.41pc, up by 1.28pc. Balochistan’s share also increased (by almost 1pc) to 5.94pc from 4.96pc, while a minor increase was noticed in the population share of Sindh at 23.4pc compared to the previous share of 23pc. Fata’s share remained unchanged at 2.4pc and the ICT’s share increased to 0.96pc from 0.61pc in 1998.
Data about the population distribution by mother tongue, which was missing from the provincial results, made it to the final census results. In this regard, perhaps the most interesting finding is a declining gap in the province of Balochistan between Pushto- and Balochi-speaking populations that stand at 35.34pc and 35.49pc, respectively.
Also, 17.12pc people in Balochistan were reported to be Brohi speaking. As much as 4.56pc people reported Sindhi as their mother tongue, followed by 2.65pc who speak Seraiki, 1.13pc Punjabi, 0.81pc Urdu and 0.28pc Hindko. Interestingly, 0.14pc people in the country’s largest province by area were reported to be Kashmiri.
In Punjab, about 69.67pc people reported Punjabi as their mother tongue, followed by 20.68pc Seraiki and 4.87pc people reported Urdu as their mother tongue. Among others, 1.98pc people in Punjab reported Pushto, 0.83pc Balochi and 0.15pc Sindhi as their native language.
When seen in the context of more than 52pc of the country’s population living in Punjab, the figures indicated that 38.78pc Pakistanis reported Punjabi as their native language. As such, Punjabi turned out to be the largest first language of the country.
On the national level, Pushto stood second with 18.24pc population reporting it as their native language, followed by 14.57pc people who reported Sindhi as their mother tongue. The data show 12.19pc people reported Seraiki as their native language, followed by 7.08pc people whose first language is Urdu while 3.02pc people reported Balochi as their mother tongue. Shares of other native speakers were 2.24pc Hindko, 1.24pc Brohi and 0.17pc Kashmiri.
About 76.86pc population in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported Pushto as their mother tongue, followed by 11.48pc Hindko and 3.72pc Seraiki. Only 0.9pc reported Urdu as mother tongue and 0.54pc as Punjabi, 0.09pc people were categorised in Sindhi mother tongue and 0.08pc in Balochi.
Sindhi has emerged as mother language of 61.6pc population of Sindh, followed by 18.2pc people whose first language is Urdu, 5.46pc people who reported Pushto as their mother tongue, 5.31pc who speak Punjabi, while 2.23pc people reported Seraiki and 2pc Balochi as their native languages.
In Islamabad, 52.27pc residents reported Punjabi as their mother tongue, followed by 18.5pc people whose first language is Pushto and 12.23pc people whose native language is Urdu. Among other residents, 6.4pc reported Hindko, 2.1pc reported Kashmiri, 2.12pc Seraiki, 0.77pc Sindhi and 0.15pc reported Balochi as their native languages.
In Fata, 98.4pc people reported Pushto as their mother tongue, followed by 0.49pc who claimed Urdu as their first language, while 0.28pc reported Punjabi, 0.10pc Sindhi and 0.08pc Balochi as their native language.
The final results show that the gender gap declining though it remains a challenge. The number of male population per 100 female has been reported at 104.91, down from 108.5 in 1998 and 110.6 in 1981.
The gap in gender ratio is more profound in Balochistan and the ICT where 110.8 males have been reported against 100 female, followed by 108.3 in Sindh, 104.5 in Fata, 103.4 in Punjab and 102.5 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The final census results put the number of male population at 106.3m compared to 101.3m female and 21,700 transgender among the national population of 207.68m.
Punjab’s male population has been recorded at 55.9m compared to 54m female and 12,400 transgender. Sindh’s population has been recorded at 24.8m male, 22.9m female and 5,900 transgender. KP’s male, female and transgender populations stand at 15.4m, 15m and 1,900 respectively. In Balochistan, population has been recorded at 6.4m male, 5.8m female and 780 transgender.
The final results show 63.56pc population living in rural areas compared to 32.5pc living in urban areas. Punjab’s urban population stands at 36.86pc, KP’s urban population at 18.8pc, Sindh at 51.92pc, Balochistan 27.62pc, the ICT 50.37pc and Fata 2.8pc. In contrast, rural population in Punjab stands at 63.14pc, KP at 81.2pc, Sindh at 48.08pc, Balochistan at 72.38pc, the ICT at 49.63pc and Fata 97.2pc.
Literacy rate at the national level has been reported at 58.92pc. The highest literacy rate of 81.49pc has been reported in ICT, followed by 64.01pc in Punjab, 54.57pc in Sindh, 54.02pc in KP, 43.58pc in Balochistan and 36.08pc in Fata.
Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2018