UN Report: Last Decade Saw 16.5 Million Pakistanis Migrate Overseas
Among 10 countries with the estimated net outflow of migrants exceeding 1 million over the period from 2010 through 2021, Pakistan saw 16.5 million migrants move overseas, the highest in the world, according to a report titled "World Population Prospects 2022" released by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).
|Pakistani Workers' Overseas Migration Data (2010-2021). Source: Bureau of Emigration|
In many of these countries with more than one million people leaving, the outflows were due to temporary labor movements, such as for Pakistan (net outflow of 16.5 million), India (3.5 million), Bangladesh, (2.9 million), Nepal (1.6 million) and Sri Lanka (1.0 million). The report also said that India's population will surpass China's in 2023. Over half of the global population increase up to 2050 will be in just 8 countries: Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines & Tanzania.
|Population Sizes of China, India and Pakistan 1950-2099. Source: Our World in Data|
|Top Remittance Receiving Countries in 2021. Source: World Bank|
Pakistan has received nearly $31 billion in worker remittances in 2021, up a whopping 20% from the prior year, according to the World Bank. This is a new record representing nearly 10% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). This money helps the nation cope with its perennial current account deficits. It also provides a lifeline for millions of Pakistani families who use the money to pay for food, education, healthcare and housing. This results in an increase in stimulus spending that has a multiplier effect in terms of employment in service industries ranging from retail sales to restaurants and entertainment.
Remittances from the European Union (EU) to Pakistan soared 49.7% in FY 21 and 28.3% in FY22, according to the State Bank of Pakistan. With $2.5 billion remittances in the first 9 months (July-March) of the current fiscal year, the EU ($2.5 billion) has now surpassed North America ($2.2 billion) to become the third largest source of inflows to Pakistan after the Middle East and the United Kingdom. Remittances from the US have grown 21%, second fastest after the EU (28.3%) in the first 9 months of the current fiscal year.
Pakistan's share of the working age population (15-64 years) is growing as the country's birth rate declines, a phenomenon called demographic dividend. This dividend is manifesting itself in high levels of worker exports and record remittances pouring into the country. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates(UAE) are the top two sources of remittances but the biggest increase (58%) in remittances is seen this year from Pakistanis in the next two sources: the United Kingdom and the United States.
|Projected Population Decline in Emerging Economies. Source: Nikkei Asia|
A common myth about emigration is that it is driven by poverty. But the fact is that the poorest and least developed people tend to stay put where they are; they do not migrate. It's only people who have a certain level of income and skills who are more likely to migrate to other countries for better opportunities. This fact has been well-established by multiple studies conducted in Africa.
Here's an except of African Development Bank report on migration:
"Results show that despite increase in the absolute number of migrants, Africa, particularly SubSaharan Africa has one of the lowest rate of emigration in the world .... Poorer countries generally have lower rate of emigration ......Bad socio-economic conditions generally seem to lead to higher rate of emigration by highly skilled individuals. Generally, migration is driven by motives to improve livelihoods with notable evidence on changes in labor market status. Often, self-employed or unemployed émigré ended up in wage employment. The paper outlines policy issues emerging from the migration trend in Africa."
|Migration vs Human Development Source: Hein de Haas|
Data shows that increased human and economic development is initially associated with increasing emigration. Any form of development in the poorest countries of the world is therefore likely to lead to accelerating emigration. Such findings contradict conventional thinking and force us to radically change our views on migration. Such rethinking can be achieved by learning to see migration as an intrinsic part of broader development processes rather than as a problem to be solved, or the temporary response to development “disequilibria”, according to The Conversation, a US publication.
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Highest ever remittances during FY22
Jun’22: $2.8bn, +2% YoY, +18% MoM
FY22: $ 31.2bn, +6% YoY
Remittances from the Indian diaspora in the US surged through the Covid months that saw a contraction in inflows from the traditional Gulf stronghold as jobs, contact-intensive and outdoor-oriented, were lost in West Asia through the initial shutdowns.
Research by central bank economists showed that the US surpassed the UAE as the top source country, accounting for 23% of total remittances in 2020-21. "This corroborates with the World Bank report (2021) citing an economic recovery.
"A lot of the remittance flow has got to do with the jobs and economic conditions in the host countries," said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at Bank of Baroda NSE 3.80 %. "Remittances from the Gulf region were almost nil because of the slowdown and many had to face job losses. But in the US where most Indians are employed in IT and other white-collar jobs, the employment situation was more stable during the pandemic restrictions.
As the top recipient, India was expected to be one of the worst affected - with a projected decline of 23% - as the host country basket of the diaspora was vulnerable to the twin effects of economic slowdown and slump in oil prices. Defying the early projections, however, India remained the top recipient, accounting for 12% of total global remittances, recording a marginal decline of 0.2% in 2020 and a growth of 8% in 2021.
The number is the highest in the past five years, U.S. being the country whose citizenship is most sought after
Over 1.6 lakh Indians renounced their citizenship in 2021, highest in the past five years, according to information provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Over 78,000 Indians acquired U.S. citizenship, the highest among all other countries, by giving up Indian citizenship. India does not allow dual citizenship. As many as 362 Indians living in China also acquired Chinese citizenship.
Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, responding to a question by Fazlur Rehman, said in a written reply that “individuals renounced Indian citizenship for reasons personal to them.”
In 2018, MHA revised Form XXII under Citizenship Rules and included a column on “circumstances/reasons due to which applicant intends to acquire foreign citizenship and renounce Indian citizenship.”
The reply stated that the number of Indians living in Australia who relinquished their citizenship stood at 23,533, Canada- 21,597, U.K.-14,637, Italy-5,986, Netherlands- 2187, New Zealand- 2643, Singapore- 2516, U.S.A.- 78284, Pakistan-41 and Nepal-10.
A reply furnished by the ministry in 2021 said that the number of Indians who gave up citizenship in the years 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 stood at 1,33,049, 1,34,561, 1,44,017 and 85,248 respectively.
The total number of undocumented Indian migrants apprehended at Southwest Land (US-Mexico) border by US Border Patrol (USBP) and Office of Field Operations (OFO) in 2022 FYTD (Oct 2021 to Apr 2022) were 8119 Indian, in 2021 (Oct 2020 till Sep 2021) were 2588, 2020 (Oct 2019 till Sep 2020) were 1120.
In 2022, undocumented Indian migrants surprisingly increased, numbers of undocumented Indian migrants in three months are equal to the number of undocumented Indian migrants in 2021 (October 2020 to September 2021) which is 2588.
On the US Northern Land (US-Canada) Border, the total number of undocumented Indian migrants apprehend at Northern Land Border by US Border Patrol (USBP) and Office of Field Operations (OFO) in 2022 FYTD (Oct 2021 to Apr 2022) were 5700 Indians, where in 2021 (Oct 2020 till Sep 2021) were 2225, 2020 (Oct 2019 till Sep 2020) were 3128.
In a series of tweets, Pakistan-born economist Atif Mian analyses how the Pakistani rupee has lost 20% of its value and that the key issue will be “rationing”, in the short run.
Atif said that the rupee has lost 20 per cent of its value in the last three months while the current account is currently negative.
“Pakistan has left itself almost completely at the mercy of foreign assistance – this is the real sin of its political elite. Energy is mostly imported, medicine are mostly imported, and even in food unfortunately, Pakistan is no longer self-sufficient,” he said.
He added that when oil prices were going higher, Pakistan was selling some of the cheapest oil in the world domestically. “PTI government reduced price domestically and started to subsidise it. How can Pakistan pay for it?”
He said that the toughest challenge Pakistan faces is bringing back some modicum of credibility with investors and its own people.
“The powerful are knee deep in unproductive, rent-seeking sectors like real estate and sugar. That must change. The taxation and incentive structure must favour productive activities over unproductive ones and open up the economy to women,” he further said.
Earlier, the rupee continued its fall in the interbank market, closing at a historic low of Rs225 against the US dollar.
According to the SBP, the rupee closed at Rs224.92 against the dollar, down Rs2.93, from yesterday’s close of Rs221.99.
Commenting on the rupee fall, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said: “The panic in the market is primarily due to political turmoil, which will subside in a few days.”
Pakistan's economy is in deep crisis
a long 🧵
The spread on $ debt (16%+) is in range where the number only matters for speculators now, the country is effectively shut off from private capital markets
Rupee has lost 20% of its value in 3 months, while current account remains negative and $ rollovers coming due
While the employment scheme was initially announced for 9 countries – Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Cambodia, and China – Pakistan may soon become the 10 country part of the list.
According to Ambassador Matsuda, Japan is about to open the working visas for skilled workers from Pakistan, in a bid to tackle the aging and shrinking population of the country.
Japan will make it easier to bring in talented foreign workers to regions outside the metropolitan areas by offering a fast-track path to permanent residency.
The government will revise a point system that grades individuals based on annual income, educational backgrounds and job experience. Those with high scores receive preferential treatment.
Now the government will add points for working at companies promoted by local communities. The government had rolled out the program on a trial basis in Hiroshima Prefecture and Kitakyushu and will now expand it nationwide.
The aim is to attract such specialists as researchers, engineers and business managers. Many companies in rural areas are facing a need for transformation in response to digitalization and decarbonization. In Hiroshima Prefecture, for example, semiconductor developers are trying to invite engineers.
An applicant whose point total reaches 70 will qualify for "highly specialized profession" status, and the period of stay in Japan required to obtain permanent residence will be shortened to three years from 10. At 80 points, only one year will be required. Parents and domestic servants will be allowed to come along, and spouses will be permitted to work.
Working in a local company will be worth 10 points and treated the same as having annual income of 10 million yen or more as a manager.
The number of workers certified as highly specialized reached 31,451 at the end of 2021. The number continue to rise despite the pandemic. By nationality, Chinese accounted for approximately 70% as of the end of 2020, followed by Indians at 6% and Americans at 5%.
Currently, daily arrivals are capped at 20,000 in response to COVID-19. The government is trying to lay the groundwork for stepped-up recruitment of foreign nationals in a post-coronavirus era.
It will also try to find smaller local companies seeking foreign talent with the help of the Japan External Trade Organization. In fiscal 2021, JETRO helped companies hire 180 people.
When the Modi government decided to crack down on black money and tax evaders, many Indians had applied this trick — let family members remain abroad for 182 or more days. This, by rule, made them “non-residents” with foreign accounts and businesses, which could be used by family members to stash money.
Affirmative action policies in India are also blamed for the exodus of Indians and that gives a hint that which social group is mostly migrating. The Economist has written in one of its commentaries that the Brahmins are forced to leave the country because of affirmative-action policies in India. Though this argument doesn’t hold good because affirmative action is only for the government jobs, which constitutes a miniscule percentage of the entire job market. In high-paying jobs, that percentage is further reduced.
My explanation for this exodus from the status of being an Indian citizen is twofold. One, successful Indians already have strong secessionist tendencies and two, they leave because only such people have means to leave.
If we check the urban elite spaces, we can easily see those secessionist tendencies of the rich. Their colonies or apartments have their own security systems, reverse osmosis water supply, private power generator sets, and even private recreational spaces. These colonies, in a way, function as separate micro nations. Their interaction with the State is manifested only when some crime or calamity happens. Most of these colonies are gated communities and RWAs are like a government there. In many metropolitan towns, RWAs in elite colonies erect gates at public roads and limit access to public parks and other government facilities.
In this case, there is a class in India that has actually become “independent” or “autonomous.” This class almost never uses government hospitals or educational facilities. It’s a big problem that they have to breathe the same air, but air purifiers have solved this problem also. Covid-19 proved to be a leveller when the elites were forced to share these spaces with the underclass, but that is one of exceptions. Under normal circumstances, there is a separate private infrastructure to cater to their requirements. This class goes abroad to spend holidays. This class sends their kids to the schools affiliated to international boards. Global citizenship and global village is not some distant idea or concept for them. There are people in India who live these concepts and migrate at the first opportunity.
Being part of this group is not at all bad. The fact is that the underclass aspires to enter these spaces not as trespassers but as legitimate members. Rich people are their role models. I am of the view that this aspiration is good and brings hope. ‘Satisfaction’ or ‘contentment’ is the word I hate. Only problem is that the Nahruvian Model of socialism never facilitated such transitions for the masses. Because of the extremely slow growth of the Indian economy in the formative decades of the nation, socialism became a model to distribute poverty. There was, in fact, not much to trickle down. The entrepreneurial potential of the nation was curbed.
1. 16.5 million Pakistanis emigrated in the last decade as against 3.5 million Indians while there are 6 times as many Indians as Pakistanis
2. Emigration is a sign that people are aspirational and skilled
If that is the case, we must welcome richer Indians emigrating as a positive side, no?
Rich people migrating from a lower middle income country signifies flight of capital.
Lower & upper middle class workers migrating from a lower middle income country is aspirational.
Remittances sent worldwide have increased 64.3 per cent in the past decade, rising from $420.1billion 10 years’ ago to $653.4billion in the last year, shows research by ACE Money Transfer, the online remittance provider.
Global economic growth is expected to slump from 6.1 per cent last year to 3.2 per cent this year — significantly lower than the 4.1 per cent anticipated in January. This is due to rising interest rates and spiralling inflation. This slowdown in growth is expected to hit low-income countries harder.
Remittances also play a key role in urban areas, helping drive investment into real estate and infrastructure in developing countries.
Rashid Ashraf, CEO of ACE Money Transfer, says, “Remittances have a massive impact on people’s lives across the world. When times are tough and economies are struggling, this is when remittances are particularly important.
“Around three-quarters of remittances sent globally are used to cover essential things, like putting food on the family’s table and covering medical expenses, school fees or housing expenses. In addition, in times of crises, migrant workers tend to send more money home to cover loss of crops or family emergencies.”
Countries facing significant economic stress at present include Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nigeria and Nepal. Remittances play a key role in supporting the economies of all mentioned countries.
Remittances key to helping Sri Lanka and Nepal’s struggling economies
Sri Lanka in particular has struggled following the pandemic, with its economy having collapsed. The country has been short of cash to pay for vital food and fuel imports and has defaulted on its debt.
Remittances are a key pillar of Sri Lanka’s economy, reaching $7.1billion in the past year, up from $6.7billion the previous year. Remittances in Sri Lanka support economic growth, reduce the burden on social security payments and help alleviate poverty. Increases in remittances could significantly aid Sri Lanka’s economic recovery.
How remittances can help moderate inflation in Pakistan and Nigeria
Pakistan and Nigeria are two other countries facing economic difficulties where remittances can play a key role in their recoveries. Both countries have been struggling with the effects of surging inflation this year.
Pakistan’s currency has devalued 28 per cent compared to the US dollar so far this year, fuelling surges in the prices of vital imported goods such as fuel, cooking oil and grains.
This has made remittances to Pakistan, which have risen 26 per cent to a record $33billion in the past year, even more important. Remittances are a key source of foreign currency for Pakistan and play a significant role in supporting its currency. This is in turn can help control inflation and the price of essential goods and services in the country.
The role of remittances in strengthening resilient economies like the Philippines
Remittances can also play an important role in countries where the economy has remained resilient. This includes the Philippines’ economy, which has continued to show rapid expansion this year despite global headwinds.
An important stabilising factor in its economy has been remittances, which have reached a record high of $34.9billion in the past year. Remittances in the Philippines are important in supporting domestic consumer spending, which has driven the country’s economic growth.
Remittances are a crucial source of foreign capital for many developing countries. Unlike other flows of private capital, remittances have remained resilient throughout the pandemic. As economics across the world continue to recover, remittances continue to play a vital role in helping countries build resilience and drive economic growth.
But as we cross eight billion people, it is worth considering that the world might never make it to 10 billion, or even nine billion, and that the world’s major demographic problems won’t stem from the growing masses but from shrinking countries, aging populations and dwindling workforces.
Later this year—any day now really—the global population is projected to cross eight billion people. The United Nations recently pegged the date as Nov. 15, but we don’t know with any exact precision.
Since the 1960s, when the global number of people first hit three billion, it has taken a bit over a decade to cross each new billion-person milestone, and so it might seem natural to assume that nine billion humans and then 10 billion are, inexorably, just around the corner. That is exactly what the latest population projections from the U.N. and the U.S. Census Bureau have calculated.
But as we cross eight billion people, it is worth considering that the world might never make it to 10 billion, or even nine billion, and that the world’s major demographic problems won’t stem from the growing masses but from shrinking countries, aging populations and dwindling workforces.
We aren’t talking about meteor strikes, alien invasions or apocalyptic scenarios (though, of course, that could do it, too) but rather straightforward demographic projections that conclude that birthrates have been falling so rapidly around the world that we could potentially reach the peak of human population in less than a generation.
The U.N.’s projections are the best known. But an alternate set of projections has been gaining attention in recent years, spearheaded by the demographer Wolfgang Lutz, under the auspices of the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital at the University of Vienna, of which Mr. Lutz is founding director.
These forecasts project the population peak is closer and lower. A look at the assumptions behind the forecasts shows they are hardly implausible.
“There’s two big questions,” Mr. Lutz explains, that determine whether his forecasts or the U.N.’s end up closer to the mark. “First, how rapidly fertility will decline in Africa…. The other question is China, and countries with very low fertility, if they will recover and how fast they will recover.”
The U.N. projects population using historical trends for each country, and calculating how other countries in similar conditions fared in the past.
Lyman Stone, the director of research for the population consulting firm Demographic Intelligence, compares this methodology to technical analysis in stocks, a method of looking for historical patterns and predicting if they are likely to recur.
The Wittgenstein forecasts, by contrast, look not only at historical patterns, but attempt to ask why birthrates rise and fall. A big factor, not formally included in the U.N.’s models, is education levels. Put simply: As people, especially women, have greater opportunities to pursue education, they have smaller families. (U.N. demographer Vladimíra Kantorová said the U.N.’s approach implicitly accounts for development, urbanization, women’s education and contraceptive use since it relies on historical data from countries that underwent similar transitions.)
The U.N. projects Africa’s population will grow from 1.3 billion today to 3.9 billion by century’s end.
Once education is accounted for, Wittgenstein’s baseline scenario projects Africa’s population will rise to 2.9 billion during that time period. In another scenario from Wittgenstein, which it calls the “rapid development” scenario, the population of Africa will only reach 1.7 billion by century’s end.
The ‘chancenkarte’ will use a points system to enable workers with required skills to come to Germany more easily.
It is part of a strategy proposed by Labour Minister Hubertus Heil to address the country’s labour shortages, which is due to be presented to the government this autumn.
Every year, quotas will be set depending on which industries need workers. Three out of four of the following criteria must also be met to apply for the scheme:
A degree or vocational training recognised by Germany
Three years’ professional experience
Language skills or a previous stay in Germany
Under 35 years old
Currently, most non-EU citizens need to have a job offer before they can relocate to Germany. A visa for job seekers already exists, but the 'chancenkarte' is expected to make it easier and faster for people looking to find work in Germany.
Citizens of certain countries with visa agreements can already enter Germany for 90 days visa-free but are only permitted to take up short-term employment.
The opportunity card will allow people to come and look for a job or apprenticeship while in the country rather than applying from abroad. Applicants must be able to prove they can afford to pay their living expenses in the mean time.
The exact details of the scheme are yet to be formalised.
Why does Germany need to attract skilled workers?
This year, the shortage of skilled workers in Germany has risen to an all time high. Earlier this year, the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) found 1.74 million vacant positions throughout the country.
In July, staff shortages affected almost half of all companies surveyed by Munich-based research institute IFO, forcing them to slow down their operations.
TOKYO/SINGAPORE/BANGKOK -- During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore tightly closed its borders. While many countries did the same, it was a sharp shock to the system for a city-state that had thrived as a hub for travel and as a magnet for foreign workers.
As some foreign nationals left, and entries were largely halted, Singapore's population dropped by 4.1% over the year through June 2021, to 5.45 million.
The latest data released on Sept. 27, however, shows nearly as swift a turnaround, thanks to a gradual lifting of restrictions. The population rebounded by 3.4% to 5.63 million, largely driven by workers in sectors like construction and shipyards -- the unsung labor that keeps the economy going.
Now, Singapore hopes to attract more highly skilled professionals with expertise and ideas that could jolt growth in the post-COVID era. "This is an age where talent makes all the difference to a nation's success," Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his annual National Day Rally speech on Aug. 21, days before his government announced a new type of visa designed to lure such people. "We need to focus on attracting and retaining top talent, in the same way we focus on attracting and retaining investments."
The city-state is far from the only place that covets high-flyers. From Thailand to Taiwan, a competition is heating up to entice the best of the best, and to fill hiring gaps with people equipped to excel in today's pandemic-altered workplace.
Innovative sectors like digital technology and biotechnology are especially hungry for talent.
Singapore's latest carrot is called the Overseas Networks and Expertise (ONE) Pass, a new visa for high-skill professionals who earn at least 30,000 Singapore dollars ($20,800) a month. The program will allow people with these visas to stay at least five years and work at multiple organizations.
Thailand, meanwhile, began taking applications on Sept. 1 for a new visa that lets global professionals stay in the country for 10 years. The government hopes to bring in 1 million foreign nationals with the Long-Term Resident (LTR) visa, designed for those with skills in targeted sectors such as electric vehicles, biotechnology and defense.
Tourism-oriented Thailand, like Singapore, has been hit hard by travel disruptions. Both also have aging populations. While Singapore is expecting growth in the 3% to 4% range this year, the Asian Development Bank's latest outlook forecasts Thailand's growth rate at 2.9%, far below Indonesia's expected growth of 5.4%, Malaysia's 6% and Vietnam's 6.5%.
Malaysia, for its part, aims to attract wealthy investors with its new Premium Visa Program. The program, which began accepting applications on Saturday, allows people who can deposit 1 million ringgit (about $215,000) in the country and have an annual offshore income of around $100,000 to stay for up to 20 years. During that time, they can invest, run businesses and work.
As part of a broader move to bring in more human resources, Australia recently raised its annual permanent immigration cap to 195,000 for the current fiscal year, from 160,000.
Overseas migration of Pakistanis is also diversifying, with an increasing number of migrants going to America and Europe. This is reflected in remittance sources. EU countries are now the fastest growing source of remittances to Pakistan.
The data shows that a lot more of the migrants are now skilled labor while the share of unskilled migrants is declining.
Here's an ILO report excerpt:
"Pakistani migrant workers were skilled
(42%) and involved in semi-skilled jobs such as welders, secretaries, masons, carpenters, plumbers and so
on. Another proportion of the labour migration was composed of unskilled labourers (39%) such as
agriculturists, labourers or farmers. Projections about future trends indicate that the number of Pakistani
labour migrants will continue rising to reach 15.5 million in 2020 (Government of Pakistan, 2018"
In 2020, Turkey hosted the largest number of refugees and asylum seekers worldwide (nearly 4 million), followed by Jordan (3 million), the State of Palestine (2 million) and Colombia (1.8 million).3 Other major destinations of refugees, asylum seekers or other persons displaced abroad were Germany, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Uganda and the United States of America.
In terms of regional migration corridors, Europe to Europe was the largest globally, with 44 million migrants in 2020, followed by the corridor Latin America and the Caribbean to Northern America, with nearly 26 million (figure 14). Between 2000 and 2020, some regional migration corridors grew very rapidly. The corridor Central and Southern Asia to Northern Africa and Western Asia grew the most, with 13 million migrants added between 2000 and 2020; more than tripling in size. The majority of that increase resulted from labour migration from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka to the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) (Valenta, 2020). While it is too soon to understand the full extent, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 may have slowed the growth of this regional migration corridor. In many of the GCC countries, tens of thousands of migrant workers in the construction, hospitality, retail and transportation sectors lost their jobs due to the pandemic and were required to return home (UN-Habitat, 2020).
India’s diaspora, the largest in the world, is distributed across a number of major countries of destination, with the United Arab Emirates (3.5 million), the United States of America (2.7 million) and Saudi Arabia (2.5 million) hosting the largest numbers of migrants from India. Other countries hosting large numbers of migrants from India included Australia, Canada, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. China and the Russian Federation also have spatially diffused diasporas. In 2020, large numbers of migrants born in China were living in Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and the United States of America. Migrants from the Russian Federation were residing in several countries of destination, many of which are member states of the CISFTA, including Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, as well as Germany and the United States of America.
ISLAMABAD: The process of the 7th Population and Housing Census, being conducting digitally for the first time in the country’s history, has been going on smoothly all across the country, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported here on Thursday.
“The overall progress and speed of the census process is very encouraging and satisfactory,” PBS said in a press statement issued here.
The process includes an option for self-enumeration, which was made available from February 20, 2023, till March 10, 2023, and field operations of house listing and enumeration commenced from March 01, 2023, that will continue till April 4, 2023.
Conducting a census digitally ensures transparency, data-driven procedures, real-time monitoring of progress through geo-tagging using GIS systems, and wider acceptability of census results, said PBS press statement.
It said structures were listed from March 1st to March 10, 2023, during which all the residential and economic units were geotagged along with the classification of economic activities as per international standards.
It said, the self-enumeration portal was very well received by people who have enumerated themselves using the portal launched and this method was optional.
Currently, the final phase of the census i.e. enumeration is ongoing starting from March 12, 2023, and would continue till April 4, 2023. In this phase, the data about household members and their demographic characteristics, various Socio-Economic Indicators, as well as Housing characteristics, are being collected.
PBS technical team is analyzing and assessing the data and trends on a day-to-day basis to ensure the quality of the data and progress in identified 291 blocks all over Pakistan. Physical verification and digital monitoring are being used for quality assurance.
PBS has established 495 Census Support Centers (CSC) at the Census District level and 495 Census Support Centers (CSC) at the tehsil level where over 1,095 IT experts of NADRA and PBS team are available 24/7 for technical assistance and facilitation of field staff.
The control room has been established at the CSC level which facilitates census field staff during field operation and for this purpose, NADRA technical teams are available to redress all IT-related issues.
A call center is operating 24/7 for facilitation, assistance and suggestions through the toll-free number 0800-57574.
It said, certain quarters were spreading false and misinformation, adding information shared on the PBS website and official social media should be believed and considered.
Fewer people might mean slower growth in China, which will be felt by the U.S. and beyond.
“They’ve now become, you know, the center of the global manufacturing superhighway and are typically the largest contributor to growth every year,” said Scott Kennedy with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C.
Chinese officials often credit the so-called one-child policy for preventing over 400 million births, but some analysts say China’s population would have declined regardless.
“It’s just simply a rule across all countries, that as you urbanize, and as you get a more educated female population that enters the workforce, fertility numbers fall,” Kennedy said.
The number of Chinese workers is already declining; according to the World Bank, in 2001, China had 10 workers to support one retiree.
“In 2020, that was down to five working folks for each retiree and by 2050 it’ll be down to two,” Kennedy said.
He believes China still has time to offset the effects of population decline, including by boosting productivity, increasing the retirement age and lifting restrictions on people from rural areas to freely settle in cities with their families.
“I don’t think the problem has become so severe that demography is destiny, and China is destined to radically slow down and its chances of becoming an economic superpower breaking out of the middle income trap have been dashed,” Kennedy said.
“[But] these are pretty significant challenges.”
28-year-old Joy Yu’s parents each had three siblings. As they were growing up in the 1970s, the Chinese government started to limit the number of babies born.
Government statistics show on average a woman in China went from having about three babies in the late 1970s to just one.
Four decades on, China’s leaders are asking women to have three children again, which doesn’t sit well for Yu, an only child.
“For me to give birth to three children, my future husband must be rich enough to make sure I can live well without a job. This is a big challenge,” Yu said.
Last year, China’s population dropped for the first time in six decades by 850,000. That still leaves the country with 1.41 billion people but if the decline continues, there will be multiple impacts on the economy.
China began enforcing birth limits in the late 1970s when the country was poor and there were too many mouths to feed.
In a Chinese propaganda film called the Disturbance of Gan Quan Village, the birth restrictions were justified on economic grounds.
“We should put our energy into getting rich rather than keep having children,” says one woman in the film.
She’s sitting among a group of women picking corn kernels off the cob. “Aren’t we getting poorer with each child we have,” she says. The rest of the group nods in agreement.
Chinese leaders enforced, sometimes brutally, the so-called one-child policy in 1979, just as the country was coming out of the tumultuous Cultural Revolution.
“The post-[Chairman] Mao leadership thought that economic development would be the new basis for the party’s political legitimacy and based on pseudo-scientific and demographic projections, limiting birth to one child per married heterosexual couple,” said Yun Zhou, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Michigan.
There were exceptions. Some ethnic minority groups could have up to three children. People from rural areas could try for a second child if their first-born was not a boy. Later, if both parents had no siblings they could have two children. Starting in 2016, China raised the birth limit for everyone to two children, but there was no sustained baby bump.