Syria’s population is increased by 560,000 people annually while country is facing shortage and difficulty in its limited resources.
Syria’s population reached 20.6 million people in 2010 and will increase to 42.2 million people in 2050 due to the population growth rate which is 2.38%, the country’s report on population status of 2010 said.
The report expected the population’s annual growth volume to reach 450 thousand in the 80’s of the last century and will continue to increase to reach 560 thousand people annually during the coming decades.
Identifying the population’s growth rate itself is very misleading because it is purely a quantitative rate that should be coupled with what is purely a qualitative one as well.
Since the unemployment rate in Syria is about 13%, the annual increase of the population in Syria will continue in the age group that is in the work age (15-64) within the human power category. During the coming decades the population’s volume within the human power will increase from 59.4% in 2010 to about 67.4% in 2050, which means an increase of 13-15 million people.
The economic growth over the past decade was weak, and studies indicate that the unemployment rate was stable and has not fallen below 8 % at best while the rate of women participation in economic activity has fallen over the past five years. This means the Syrian economy was unable to create fresh job opportunities, the report said.
On the other hand, the poverty rate has increased from 11.4 % in 2004 to 12.3 % in 2007. Although poverty rate is not high, 22 % of the population is subjected to drop below the poverty line in case there is a problem or shock that negatively affects the economic performance the report warned.
What all that mean?
This means the developmental vision, strategies and policies should be based on the principle of shifting the human power to a labor power and decreasing gaps between them in light of the integration between the ‘standby labor power’ concept and the ‘human power that can be developed into a labor power’ concept.
Syria’s population growth rate led the country to occupy the 23rd position in the world, in spite of the fact that the growth rate decreased from 3.3 in the 80’s of the last century to 2.3 in 2010, the average of the annual population rate increased from 250.000 in the 80’s of the 20th century into 450.000 per year, Dean of the Higher Institute for studies and Population Researches and Studies Mohammad Akram al-Qash said.
Syria’s minister of Labor and Social Affairs Rodwan Habib tried to be optimistic and expressed the government’s plan of institutional reform programs which the report considered one of the fundamental issues in the population growth.
Will the left four coming years of the government’s five-year plan be able to answer the questions raised by the report in the field of the population issue? And will the government start adopting plans – including establishing a Population Ministry - to avoid more difficulties the Syrian society may face, at least, during the coming four decades, or it will be too late?