Urban-Rural Culture Life In Pakistan

Defining Rural and Urban

Initially in Pakistan, the terms ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ are primarily defined based on administrative or municipal status. These definitions, utilized in various censuses, have undergone changes over time. For example, the 2017 census redefined ‘urban,’ causing a significant shift in population categorization.

Census Classification Challenges

However, during past censuses, urban classification relied solely on local government status, disregarding the inherent differences between rural and urban areas. This approach, evident in historical censuses, failed to recognize numerous urban areas lacking administrative recognition.

Boundary Blurring in Urban Areas

Furthermore, administrative boundaries determine whether an area is classified as urban or rural. However, this method can be problematic, as illustrated in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city. Many residents residing just beyond administrative limits are excluded from urban categorization, despite their significant contributions to the city’s social and economic dynamics.

Complexities of Rural Classification

Conversely, while identifying ‘urban’ areas may seem straightforward, characterizing ‘rural’ areas is more complex. The 2017 census classified 64% of Pakistan’s population as rural, considering anyone outside urban boundaries as such. However, this definition overlooks areas like peri-urban zones, blurring the distinction between rural and urban.

In conclusion, efforts to accurately define and categorize rural and urban areas must consider not only administrative boundaries but also the socio-economic realities on the ground. By addressing these complexities, policymakers can better cater to the diverse needs of both rural and urban populations in Pakistan.

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