Afghanistan’s Economy and Population Growth Challenges

Hossain Sakhizada

Population growth has been a challenge for developing countries, posing an economic hazard. Many countries have been able to control their population size, but the issue remains difficult for countries like Afghanistan. This is because, despite extreme poverty and hunger, families are unwilling to limit the number of children they have, for a variety of reasons. In Afghanistan, this is due to traditional beliefs, which lead to childbearing without regard for social, health, or age standards, and can eventually lead to families selling their children due to poverty and hunger.

Rapid population growth can lead to an economic crisis, which can have a range of negative effects such as air pollution, lack of drinking water, high unemployment, poverty, and a decrease in the chances of maintaining a healthy environment. To address these issues, governments must implement a regular and practical system of management, and families must cooperate.

Main Reasons of Rapid Population Growth

Generally, Afghan families take pride in having more children, particularly males, which is a mindset rooted in tradition as they believe that God will provide them with enough food. Another challenge is the lack of health facilities to regulate childbirth, and in some cases, superstitious beliefs prevent the use of birth control.

Afghanistan is currently facing a severe economic crisis, and due to high unemployment, many people are trying to leave the country. The population is growing at an uncontrolled rate, which is making the situation worse. Although human labor is one of the four factors of production, too much growth can be dangerous. Generally, the value of something decreases as the quantity increases. In Afghanistan, the human labor force has grown so much that its value has decreased. According to economic theory, maintaining balance is essential for developing indicators of micro and macroeconomics. However, the population in Afghanistan has grown so much that it has thrown the balance off and put pressure on other sectors. Unemployment, poverty, pollution, lack of access to education, and lack of economic growth are the main issues that are being exacerbated by population growth. Here are some beneficial factors to consider when understanding the situation.


At present, there is an imbalance between the supply and demand of the labor force in Afghanistan’s markets, with the supply being much higher than the demand. This means that each year, the demand for jobs increases, but existing organizations have limited capacity. As a result, population growth is accompanied by an increase in unemployment.


Statistics show that Afghanistan is one of the few countries where more than 90% of the population lives in poverty. This is because large families spend all of their disposable income each month, leaving no savings. This, combined with unemployment and overpopulation, is causing the poverty rate to increase.

Trade Imbalance

For the past decade, Afghanistan has been struggling with a trade deficit. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (trade yearbooks), Afghanistan’s imports have been 7.85 billion dollars annually, while its exports have been less than 1 billion dollars. This means that the resources available in Afghanistan have only been able to meet the needs of less than 20% of the population, with the rest relying on foreign aid and loans from the international community. As the population of Afghanistan grows, the trade balance deficit increases, making Afghanistan a net consumer.

Environmental Pollution

Population growth is causing additional challenges such as environmental pollution and climate change. Afghans have experienced losses due to natural disasters, climate change, and environmental pollution, as frequent floods, earthquakes, and rains have become more common in Afghanistan and its surrounding areas. This has resulted in deaths and significant financial losses. Additionally, the growing population will lead to more environmental pollution and an increase in natural disasters.

Lack of Access to Education

According to research conducted by the Faculty of Economics at Kabul University in 2022, children from smaller families were generally literate and had access to education. However, children from larger, low-income families had limited access to education. It is important to note that families whose children are not educated provide an unskilled and uneducated workforce to society, which can create economic challenges for the nation.

No Economic Growth

According to the research, the economic growth of large families in Kabul City was mostly negative or stagnant. They did not experience any positive economic growth in the past year. However, some small families were able to experience economic growth and savings despite the difficult financial situation. This means that the more members a family in Afghanistan has, the more economic difficulties they will face. By having more unemployed people in the family, they create financial problems for themselves and for the national economy. On the other hand, small families usually have savings from their disposable income and are more likely to achieve economic growth.

Several factors are making the current economic crisis in Afghanistan worse. The most fundamental factor that has yet to be solved is the dramatic increase in population. Overpopulation in Afghanistan is causing major economic issues such as poverty, unemployment, trade deficit, environmental pollution, lack of literacy, and lack of economic growth. All Afghans must work to control the birth rate in their families in order to save their economy and achieve economic development.