According to the census of 2017, the population of Azad Kashmir is almost 4.045 million individuals. Azad Jammu and Kashmir, commonly known as AJK or Azad Kashmir, is an autonomous region located in the northern part of Pakistan. The region is known for its scenic beauty, rich culture, and diverse population. The population of Azad Kashmir has been a subject of interest among researchers and policymakers for decades. In this article, we will explore the demographics of Azad Kashmir and analyze the factors that have contributed to its population growth.

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Overview of Azad Kashmir Population

Moreover, Azad Kashmir is a small region with a total area of 13,297 km². According to the latest estimates from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the population of Azad Kashmir is around 4.5 million. The region has a population density of 340 persons per km², which is significantly higher than the national average of 287 persons per km². The majority of the population in Azad Kashmir resides in rural areas, with only 28% living in urban areas.

Gender and Age Distribution

Like most other regions in Pakistan, Azad Kashmir has a young population with a median age of 23 years. The gender ratio is slightly skewed towards males, with 52% of the population being male and 48% female. The region has a relatively high birth rate, which has contributed to its population growth in recent years.

Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity

Azad Kashmir is a diverse region with various ethnic and linguistic groups. The majority of the population is made up of Kashmiris, who are the indigenous people of the region. However, there are also significant populations of Punjabis, Pashtuns, and other ethnic groups. The official language of the region is Urdu, but many people also speak Kashmiri and other regional languages.

Religious Composition

Islam is the dominant religion in Azad Kashmir, with around 99% of the population being Muslim. The majority of Muslims in the region are Sunni, with a small minority following Shia and Ahmadiyya sects.

Factors Contributing to Population Growth

The population of Azad Kashmir has been growing steadily in recent years, mainly due to natural increase and migration. Let’s take a closer look at the factors that have contributed to this growth.

High Birth Rate

First of all, one of the primary factors contributing to the population growth in Azad Kashmir is its high birth rate. The region has a total fertility rate of 3.8, which is significantly higher than the national average of 2.6. This high fertility rate can be attributed to various factors, including cultural and religious beliefs, lack of awareness about family planning methods, and limited access to healthcare services.

Migration

Secondly, similar to High birth rate, Migration is another significant factor contributing to the population growth in Azad Kashmir. The region has historically been a hub of migration, with people coming from various parts of Pakistan and other countries. In recent years, there has been a significant influx of people from the neighboring region of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, which has contributed to the population growth in Azad Kashmir.

Improved Healthcare Services

Thirdly, improved healthcare services have also played a vital role in the population growth of Azad Kashmir. In recent years, the region has seen significant improvements in healthcare infrastructure, including the establishment of new hospitals and health centers. This has led to a reduction in infant mortality rates and an increase in life expectancy, contributing to the overall population growth in the region.

Challenges and Opportunities

While the population growth in Azad Kashmir presents various opportunities, it also poses significant challenges. Some of the major challenges facing the region include:

  • Limited access to quality healthcare services, particularly in rural areas
  • High poverty rates, which limit access to education and healthcare services
  • Limited economic opportunities, leading to high levels

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