Life expectancy — the number of years that a person is likely to live — has slightly dropped to 65 years in Pakistan from 65.4 a couple of years ago, according to the latest demographic figures.

Other notable indicators calculated by the Pakistan Demographic Survey (PDS) 2020, released on Tuesday, included the infant mortality rate, total and general fertility rates, crude birth and death rates, and the rate of natural increase.

It’s the 20th round of a series of surveys, started in 1984, and comes after 13 years since the last one.

However, its results were compared with relevant indicators of the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) 2017-18 and the Pakistan Standard of Living Standards Measure­ment Survey (PSLM) 2018-19, and most of them “show close proximity”, Chief Statistician Dr Naeemuz Zafar said in the latest survey.

The latest figures showed that although the overall life expectancy has dropped, it rose among men from 64.3 to 64.5. For women, it fell from 66.5 to 65.5 but was still higher than for men.

Life expectancy also increased for the 1-4 age group to 71.3, including 70.6 for males and 72 for females.

The infant mortality rate has fallen to 56 deaths per 1,000 live births. It was 60 in PSLM 2018-19, and 62 in PDHS 2017-18.

While the general fertility rate was 124, the age-specific data shows the rate was highest in the 25-29 age group at 215, followed by 176 in the 20-24 age group, 164 in the 30-34 age group, and 94 in the 35-39 age group.

This last age group (35-39) also saw the most significant jump when compared with the PDHS figure of 79.

The general fertility rate was also quite higher in rural areas (138) compared to urban areas (102).

The PDS shows that the country’s population has reached from 207.6m in 2017 to 220.42m now, including 111.69m men and 108.73m women. Most people continue to live in rural areas (139.41m) compared to urban areas (81m).

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