- This article is about people from Pakistan as a pan-ethnic identity and nation. For information on the population of Pakistan, see Demographics of Pakistan.
|191 million approx.
2.7% of the world's population
|Regions with significant populations|
|United Arab Emirates||1,200,000+|
|Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Kashmiri, Brahui, Balti and others|
|Islam 97% (majority Sunni, while 20% being Shia, also Zahiri Muslims and Ahmadiyya) Other Religions: Hinduism, Christianity, Bahai Faith, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism|
|Part of a series on the|
Pakistan Monument, Islamabad
Pakistanis (Urdu: پاكِستانى قوم; Pakistani Qaum) are the people who are citizens of the modern State of Pakistan and their descendants. Pakistan is a multi-ethnic and multilingual state, and its people are predominantly Indo-Iranian both ethnically and linguistically, varying between predominantly Indo-Aryan and of Iranic subgroups. As of 2011, the estimated population of Pakistan was over 187 million making it the world's sixth most-populous country.
Pakistan has one of the world's fastest growing populations. As the country is located in South Asia, Pakistani people are a mixture of various ethnic groups. Several ethnic groups, invading armies and the migrations to the region by people passing through on their way to and from Indus have left their imprint on the population.
Pakistani people belong predominantly to seven main ethno-linguistic groups: Punjabis, Sindhis, Seraikis, Pashtuns, Mohajirs, Balochs, and Kashmiris, Ranghar, with substantial numbers of Brahuis, Hindkowans, Shins, Burushos, Wakhis, Baltis, Chitralis and other small, minority ethnic groups in the remote north of the country.
The Baloch people inhabit the southwest of the country and traditionally hold their origins to settlers from far off Aleppo (in modern day Syria) who arrived to the region and assimilated into the local peoples and gave their name to the province of Balochistan. The Punjabi people, the largest ethnic group in Pakistan, reside predominantly in Central and some Northern regions as well. Punjabis have been the primary inhabitants of the historical Punjab region which derives its name from the Sanskrit Panch meaning five (5) and Aap meaning water(s); hence the land of five rivers or Panch-Ap/Punjab. Considerable population of Punjabis live in Karachi as well. The Sindhi people, on the other hand have been settled in the southeast of the country and gave their name to the mighty Indus/Sindhu river, while regional groups such as the Seraiki people have inhabited the regions between Punjab and Sindh. The Kashmiri people are an important ethnic group of the Kashmir region in the north. There are other important indigenous people like the Balti, Hunzakots, and Gilgiti people(s) of the northern territories of Gilgit through whose territory ran the ancient Silk Route connecting Asia and Europe. The Chitrali people are another indigenous people who live high in the mountains in the northwest. Along with these main groups, there are smaller communities of Sheedi's who are descendants of African sailors and warriors who are believed to have arrived from the horn of Africa as well as Muhajir people who came as refugees from India when Pakistan attained its independence from Britain in 1947. There are countless other ethnic groups that make up part of Pakistani's mosaic such as the Bengalis, Burmese, Hazara, Tajik, Arab and Hakka; the last are an ethnic group that traces its origin to China.
Pakistan has a heterogeneous culture, with all of the provinces maintaining differing social mores. However, Islam is the driving force behind the unity of varying ethnic groups from different parts of the country, and has significantly shaped the values and traditions of Pakistanis. Pakistani culture falls in the category of high context.
Urdu is Pakistan's national language. Urdu was chosen as a token of unity and as a lingua franca so as not to give any native Pakistani language preference over the other. It is mostly learned as a second language, with nearly 93% of Pakistan's population having a mother tongue other than Urdu. Urdu is spoken as a first, second or at times third tongue by almost all Pakistani people. Numerous regional and provincial languages are spoken as first languages by the ethno-linguistic groups making up the country, with Punjabi having a plurality of native speakers with 45% of the total population. English is spoken at an official level and in most elite circles, as a legacy of the long British Raj colonial rule in the region.
The largest religion practiced in Pakistan is Islam. Other religious groups in Pakistan include Judaism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Ahmadiyya. There is a sizeable component of the population that is Atheist as well.
There are large populations of Pakistani ancestry around the world, due to emigration. The population of Pakistanis abroad is considered to exceed seven million and can be found in the Middle East, North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
- Starr, L.A. Frontier Folk of the Afghan Border—and Beyond. London: Church Missionary Society (1920).
- Qatar´s population by nationality bq magazine Retrieved 15 December 2014
- Piazza, L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi, Alberto (1994). The history and geography of human genes (google books). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. p. 242. ISBN 0-691-08750-4.
- Also see: British heritage of Pakistan
- Information on other countries: http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_20072008_EN_Complete.pdf
- Pakistani people