Pakistan's population tops 207 million, census shows

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 25.08.2017 19:24
Updated 25.08.2017 19:29
emSabah Photo/em
Sabah Photo

Pakistan's government says results from a recently conducted national census show the country's population has risen to 207.7 million.

Friday's government statement says Pakistan's population was just over 132 million in 1998 when the last census was done.

The results of the national census, which was conducted by officials by going door-to-door from March to May, were announced by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's office.

Abbasi has praised the army and government officials for successfully conducting the census.

Central Punjab province remained far and away the most populated, home to more than 110 million people or more than half the country -- but it also showed the slowest average annual growth rate, at 2.13 percent.

The areas with the fastest growth rates were restive southern Balochistan province, with a population of more than 12 million and an average growth rate since 1998 of 3.37 percent, and the Islamabad Capital Territory, whose population passed two million with an average growth rate of 4.91 percent.

The results from the count are also set to help give a clearer picture about religious minority numbers in the Muslim-majority country.

The weeks-long process, a challenge in a country known for corruption and dysfunction, deployed a team of more than 300,000 people and involved 55 million forms.

The results will be the basis for revising political boundaries, parliamentary seat allocations and finances ahead of national elections, due to be held by the end of 2018.

Powerful Punjab province, for example, could see its political grip weaken as a result of its population not rising at a similar rate to other provinces.

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