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Post-war Nepal bucks baby boom trend—-‘Absent population’ led to the drop in rate

NIRJANA SHARMA

KATHMANDU, SEP 30 –

Contrary to the trend of ‘baby boom’ (high growth rate) in post-war periods in other countries, Nepal’s census report published on Tuesday shows a significant drop in the growth rate.

Population experts say the population growth could have crossed an average annual growth rate of over 2.25 percent—more than the previous census—had Nepal followed the trend.

However, the absent population played a vital role in the significant drop to 1.40 percent in the annual population growth rate in the post-war situation in the country, they said.

According to the experts, the end of a war in a particular country brings about a baby boom there as people involved in the war return home with the beginning of the peace process. People are psychologically more relaxed and feel safe to spend more time together with the family, which ultimately helps population growth, census expert Bal Kumar KC said.

“The post-war period is also a time to begin new professions and build new families for people involved in and affected by the war. This is an important factor that comes into play in the population growth rate,” KC, who is technical advisor at the Central Bureau of Statistics for the past four decades, said.

However, this was not the case with Nepal, KC said.

While Nepali youths were yet to get good employment opportunities as a relief package after the war, dozens of developed countries opened workers’ visa for underdeveloped countries, and this paved the way for Nepalis to go abroad for employment. As a result, over 1.92 million population is recorded absent in the 2011 census.

Migrant workers and people who are absent in the country for more than six months at the time of census comprise the absent population . The absence of this group of the population who belong to the reproductive age group has significantly contributed to Nepal bucking the trend.

“The absence of a huge chunk of the reproductive population is the main cause for the low population growth rate even after the civil war,” KC said.

The annual population growth in rural areas is more than that in the urban areas in developing countries.

This year’s census records 1.63 million (1,637,469) as absent population , out of which 85.38 per cent belong to rural areas.

Another census expert Bidhya Bir Singh Kansakar agreed that the absence of this predominantly rural population has made a huge difference in slashing the growth rate.

Source: The Kathmandu Post Daily

Link: http://www.ekantipur.com/2011/09/30/national/post-war-nepal-bucks-the-population-growth-trend/341597.html

http://www.ekantipur.com/the-kathmandu-post/2011/09/29/top-story/post-war-nepal-bucks-the-population-growth-trend/226826.html

Page- 1, main story

Posted on: 2011-09-30 08:04

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About nirjanasharma

Nepali Journalist.

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