Demographics of Azad Kashmir
The population of Azad Kashmir is composed of many communities and tribes. According to the last census conducted in Pakistan in 1998, the total population of Azad Kashmir was 2,973,000 and according to 2006 estimate, it had reached to 3,500,000. Almost 100% of the population is Muslim. The Rural: urban population ratio is 88:12. The population density is 270 persons per Sq. km. The literacy rate which was 55% in 1998 census has now risen above 60%. Approximately the infant mortality rate is 56 per 1000 live births, whereas the immunization rate for the children under 5 years of age is more than 95%.
Education has been a priority of the Govt. of Azad Jammu & Kashmir as about 26% of its total recurring budget besides 8 % of the total development budget is allocated to this sector. As a result of this substantial investment, AJ&K’s literacy rate is well above 60% which is significantly higher than the national average of Pakistan. At present the gross enrolment rate at primary level is 95% for boys and 88% for girls (between the age of 5-9 years).
Area under cultivation is around 166432 hectares, which is almost 13% of the total Geographical area out of which 92% of the cultivable area is rain-fed. About 84% households have very small land-holdings between one to two acres per family. Major crops are maize, wheat & rice whereas minor crops include vegetables, grams, pulses (red lobia) and oil-seeds. Major fruits are apple, pears, apricot and walnuts. Agriculture and livestock income ranges between 30-40% of household earnings. The remaining share comes from other sources including employment and business etc. Reduced agriculture productivity has very adversely affected the traditional lifestyle and average per capita income of the rural household.
The Azad Jammu and Kashmir region comprises many tribes and communities. The people mostly share ethnic and linguistic similarities with the people of Northern Punjab. While Urdu is the official language of the region, other languages commonly spoken are Pahari, Gojri and Potohari. The main communities living in this region are as follows:-
Jat- They are one of the larger community of AJK and primarily inhabit the Districts of Mirpur, Bhimber and Kotli. A large Mirpuri population lives in UK and it is estimated that more people of Mirpuri origins are now residing in UK than in Mirpur district. The district Mirpur retains strong with the UK.
Awan - A clan with significant numbers found in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Besides Azad Kashmir they also reside in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Other smaller tribes include Gardezi, Douli, Hoteel, etc.
- Pahari Rajput
- Muslim Rajputs
- Bhimber District
- Kotli District
- Poonch District
- Muzaffarabad District
- Bagh District
- Human Rights Watch (September 2006). "With Friends Like These..." (Report) 18. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- The Role of Biradaris pages 128 to 133 in The untold story of the people of Azad Kashmir by Christopher Snedden London : C. Hurst & Co., 2011-https://books.google.ae/books/about/The_Untold_Story_of_the_People_of_Azad_K.html?id=autVo01f2AsC&redir_esc=y
- Moss, Paul (November 30, 2006). "South Asia | The limits to integration". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
- Government of Azad Kashmir
- Introduction to Azad Kashmir
- About tourism in Azad Kashmir
- Britannica – Azad Kashmir
- District Profile – Muzaffarabad/Neelum Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority 2007
- District Profile – Rawalakot/Poonch Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority 2007
- District Profile – Bagh Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA)
- The limits to integration, BBC