Pakistan Human and Economic Geography 2007

By | December 18, 2021

South Asian state. According to the census data, in 1998 the Pakistan counted 132,352,279 residents, while in 2005 the population was estimated at about 157,935,000 residents; to this figure must be added a number of Afghan refugees difficult to specify: according to the estimates of humanitarian organizations there are between 2 and 3 million individuals, 150-200,000 of whom are allocated in the refugee camps of Waziristan and in the tribal border areas. The average density is over 198 residents per km 2, but significant differences persist within the country; as well as in urban regions, where 34 % of the population is concentrated, the density values ​​are above average in large irrigated areas. The Pakistan population is confirmed to be characterized by a strong incidence of young people, a consequence of the high rate of demographic increase, which reached its peak in the 1980s. The main metropolitan areas are Karāchī (14.6 million residents) and Lahore (7.7 million residents), while the capital Islāmābād does not reach one million residents. For Pakistan 2000, please check

The great Asian country continues to be the scene of a persistent situation of instability that conditions its path towards economic development and social growth. In 2005, however, it seemed to have freed itself from the economic crisis of the three-year period 2000-2002, at the origin of which numerous causes have contributed, including a significant drop in investments (public and private). On the public side, the Father had to deal with a certain containment of the debt; as regards the private sector, on the other hand, investors’ mistrust had gradually spread, linked to various reasons, not all attributable to the economic context alone. The persistence of tensions with India has led the Pakistani government to strengthen investments in the military sector, creating the conditions for a significant decrease in the resources available for development policies. Heavy economic repercussions were then produced as a result of the sanctions imposed on the country after the 1998 nuclear tests, as well as economic policy initiatives – such as the freezing of foreign currency accounts – which have contributed to aggravating discontent in the business world. The climate of progressive deterioration of the country’s public administration and infrastructure, aggravated by growing social and religious discontent, accentuates the economic unease. The support provided by the government of Pakistan Musharraf to the coalition led by the United States on the occasion of the war in Afghānistān, if on the one hand led to the abolition of the sanctions imposed in 1998 on the other hand, it decreased the level of internal security due to the strengthening of the Islamic fundamentalist component. A further factor of the crisis in the Pakistani economy lies in the uninterrupted succession of years of drought that have penalized agriculture and increased the already serious situation of extreme poverty in rural areas. Despite these difficulties, in the range 1995-2004, GDP grew at an average annual rate of 3.6 %, reaching in 2004 the 6.4 % – the highest value compared to 2003, higher than the growth rate budgeted (5, 3 %) – and reaching 8.5 the following year%. It is not yet possible to assess the impact on economic growth of the strong earthquake that hit the north-western regions in October 2005. The Pakistan denounces a situation of fragility of the economic-social fabric connected both to the scarce diversification of the productive sectors and to the massive social and territorial inequalities. Large gaps persist in the distribution of income: poverty is still a widespread phenomenon, but a small elite of families enjoys a very high standard of living and a good level of education. There remain marked imbalances between different ethnic groups and, above all, between men and women. The illiteracy rate is just under 50 %, but out of 100 illiterate 66 are women and only 34 men. At the health level, girls between the ages of 1 and 4 have a mortality that is over 60 % higher than boys; this situation is worse in the countryside and in the poorest regions of the country. Investments in the social field are conditioned by the low level of development and have been negatively affected by the containment of expenditure for the reduction of public debt. Social development plans have regularly failed programmatic goals. Agriculture employs just under half of the workforce and participates for less than a quarter in the formation of GDP. In the early 21 Century, the sector was strongly affected by the prolongation of a severe drought which dried up the water reservoirs used for agriculture. To allow irrigation, it was decided to resort to the use of groundwater, much more expensive than traditional sources as their extraction requires a greater amount of energy. Farmers therefore preferred to expand the areas devoted to crops that require less irrigation (cotton), or that provide a greater profit margin (sugar cane); traditional crops, largely destined for food consumption, are decreasing because they need large volumes of water (rice), or because of the low market value (wheat). The use of more modern irrigation techniques, if it protects farmers from the risks of drought,

At the beginning of the 21st century. the industrial sector underwent a contraction due to the unfavorable international situation to which was added a drop in domestic demand; in 2004 the sector showed a moderate increase (+ 13 %). The growth is largely to be connected, in addition to the recovery of international demand and exports, essentially to the improvement of external accounts, the modernization of some sectors (in particular textiles), the privatization policy of public enterprises and the resumption of state investment. Leading the growth process were large and medium-sized companies whose turnover in 2004 had an overall increase of more than 15%. According to data from the State Bank of Pakistan, the best results were obtained in the textile sector (+ 25 %). In recent years, the executive has launched measures in favor of foreign industries that produce technology (tax exemptions, elimination of import duties for computers, incentives in favor of venture capital) and has made available financial resources for scientific training. The tertiary sector is the only sector to have maintained constant growth even in the period of crisis; in 2001 it registered an increase of 4.8 %, rising to 5.1% the next year. The situation of the infrastructures is very precarious, which have suffered from the lack of public investments. Overall, the Pakistani economy has responded satisfactorily to domestic and international events in recent years. However, the country has not managed to fully win the trust of foreign investors also due to the deterioration of security connected to Islamic radicalism; the country’s economic growth is however linked to the increase in domestic demand, social investments and the recovery of a situation of stability.

Pakistani economy