Posted by Anjali Kaur on Jul 16, 2020

Development Path of Pakistan

Pakistan followed the mixed economy model like India. Let’s learn how the Pakistan path of development occurred;

  • In the late 1950s and 1960s, Pakistan introduced a variety of regulated policy framework for import substitution industrializing.
  • The policy combined tariff protection for the manufacturing of consumer goods with direct import controls on competing imports.
  • The introduction of the green revolution resulted in mechanization and an increase in public investment in infrastructure which led to an increase in the production of food grains.
  • In the 1970s, the nationalization of capital goods industries happened.
  • In the 1970s and 1980s, a shift in its policy orientation occurred when major thrust areas denationalized and the private sector encouraged.
  • Pakistan received financial support from western countries and remittances from the increasing outflow of emigrants to the middle east led to the economic growth of Pakistan.
  • In 1988, economic reforms initiated in the country.

Comparison of developmental Indicators of India, Pakistan, and China

Demographic Indicators:

Estimated Population – China is the most populous country in the world with 1371 million people. India ranks second with 1311 million people. The population of Pakistan is 188 million and accounts for roughly about 1/10th of China or India.

Annual growth of population – The world’s most populous country, China’s annual growth rate of population is 0.5%. As compared to India’s at 1.2% and Pakistan is 2.1%. This is largely due to “One Child Norm” introduced in China in the 1970s which reduced the population growth rate.

The density of population – Although China is the most populous country in the world, its density is the lowest. In China density of population is 146 persons per square km due to its large geographical area. In India, it is highest at 441 people per square km, and followed by Pakistan its 245 persons per square km.

Sex ratio – Sex ratio is low and biased in all the 3 countries. In India, the sex ratio is 929 females per 1000 males. In China, it is 941 females per 1000 males. In Pakistan, it is 947 females per 1000 males respectively. This is because of the son’s preference in all these 3 countries.

Fertility rate – It means the number of children born by a woman in the reproductive age of 15-45 years on an average. It is highest in Pakistan with 3.7 births per woman in comparison to 2.3 births per woman in India. In China, the fertility rate is 1.6 births per woman in China. This is because of the son’s preference.

Urbanization – In India, only 33% of people live in urban areas. 56% of people in China and 39% of people in Pakistan.

Growth Indicators (GDP and Sectoral contribution):

China is considered to be more advanced than India and Pakistan even though all these countries had similar growth rates in the 1980s.

The growth rate of GDP – China has the second-largest GDP of $19.8 trillion whereas India’s GDP is $8.07 trillion and Pakistan is $0.94 trillion. India’s GDP is about 40% of the GDP of China. In 1980-90, China was able to maintain a growth rate of 10.3% whereas India was at 5.7% and Pakistan was 6.3%. In 2011-15, there has been a decline in India, Pakistan, and China’s growth rates. India is 6.7%, China at 7.9%, and Pakistan at 4.0%.

Sectoral Contribution – It refers to the contribution made by each sector to the country’s GDP. Let’s look at each countries sectoral contributions;


  • The area suitable for cultivation is only 10% of the total land area due to topographic and climatic conditions. Till the 1980s, more than 80% of people in China were dependent on farming as the main and only source of livelihood.
  • however, the government encouraged people to leave their fields and pursue activities like handicrafts, commerce, and transport. This resulted in a decrease in the proportion of the workforce involved in agriculture to 28%, contributing 9% of GDP in 2014-15.
  • The secondary sector with a workforce of 29%, contributed highest to the country’s GDP at 43%.
  • The service sector with a workforce of 43%, contributed 48% to the GDP.
  • with development, China shifted its employment and output from agriculture to manufacturing to services.


  • Agriculture contributed 17% to the GDP, with 50% of the workforce.
  • The industry contributed 30% to the GDP, with 21% of the workforce involvement. Their contribution to GDP is higher than the output from agriculture.
  • The service sector contributed the highest 53% to GDP, with only 29% of the workforce involved in this sector.
  • As against China, India has shifted directly to the service sector from the primary sector.


  • Agriculture contributed 25% to the GDP, with 43% of its workforce involved in the primary sector.
  • The industry contributed higher than agriculture, 21% to the GDP, but involved only 23% of the workforce.
  • The service sector contributed the highest 54% to the GDP, employing 34% of its population.
  • The service sector in Pakistan contributed the highest.

As per sectoral share of output and employment in all 3 economies. The industry and service sectors have less proportion of workforce but contribute more in terms of output. If we look at the proportion of the workforce in the 1980s. Pakistan was faster in shifting its workforce to the service sector than India and China.

Human Development Indicators

The higher value of the Human Development Indicators implies higher growth and development levels of a nation. As per Human Development Report 2016, HDI for India, China, and Pakistan were 0.624, 0.738, and 0.55 respectively. The various indicators are;

Life Expectancy – It refers to the average number of years for which people are expected to live. A country that provides better civic amenities and health facilities secures a higher life expectancy for its citizens. China has the highest life expectancy of 76 years. The life expectancy of both India and Pakistan is 68.3 years and 66.4 years respectively.

Mean Years of Schooling – It is a calculation of the average number of years of education received by people based on education attainment levels of the population converted into years of schooling. It is 6.3% for India, 5.1% for Pakistan, and the highest 7.6% for China.

GDP per capita – Higher per capita GDP plays a major role in increasing HDI for a nation. In 2016, China’s GDP is highest at $14,400, followed by India at $6092 and Pakistan at $4866.

People below the poverty line – Those people are considered to be living BPL whose level of income and expenditure is not sufficient to meet specified minimum level of calorie. Pakistan has the highest people BPL at 44% than India at 37%, and China at 32%.

Infant mortality rate – It refers to the number of infants dying before reaching 1 year of age per 1000 live births in a year. Low IMR means better health care facilities and improved sanitation and hygiene. IMR is lowest in China with 9 infants dying before attaining the 1 year of age per 1000 live births. The corresponding figures for India and Pakistan are 38 infants and 66 infants respectively.

Maternal Mortality rate – High maternal mortality rate would imply the failures of a country to provide sufficient and competent health facilities during childbirth. For 1 lakh births, 27 women die in China, whereas in India and, Pakistan MMR is 174 and, 178 respectively.

Access to improved sanitation – India’s success to provide sanitation facilities to its citizen is far worse than China and Pakistan. India has been able to provide sanitation facilities to only 40% of its population whereas Pakistan and China are 64% and 77% respectively.

Access to improved water sources – It refers to the percentage of the population that has reasonable access to water and can obtain at least 20 lives per person per day. 94% of the population in India has access to improved water sources. The corresponding figures for China and Pakistan are 96% and 91% respectively.

Undernourished population – It refers to the percentage of the population which is unable to consume an adequate diet. 39% of India’s population, 45% of Pakistan’s population, and 9 % of China’s population is undernourished.

Adult literacy rate – It is the ratio of the literate adult population to the total adult population in a country. 95.1% of the population aged 15 and above are literate in China, whereas only 62.8% in India and 54.7% of the population corresponding to this age group is literate in Pakistan.

Read more about the development experience of India.

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