This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Wadsworth Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 11th (which came out in December 2010), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.
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Sunday, August 29, 2010
Humanitarian Crisis Keeps Unfolding in Pakistan
The floods in Pakistan continue to devastate crops and livelihoods, displacing people and their animals in ways that are almost unimaginable. The New York Times reports on a village that had already been evacuated because of flooding suddenly becoming a safe haven for people whose villages were in even worse shape. The aftermath of this natural disaster is obviously hard to discern, but it will almost certainly be wrapped into the already changing political structure of Pakistan as it moves from a largely rural, feudal-based society to a more urban nation. At independence from India in 1947 only one in six Pakistanis lived in an urban area. By 2010 that had increased to more than one in three, and the United Nations projects that by mid-century six out of every ten Pakistanis will be urban. Karachi is already a city of 13 million and Lahore has another 7 million--a reasonable approximation to the rank-size rule.