From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Flag of Pakistan.svg
Total population
c. 242,341,368[a]
Regions with significant populations
 Saudi Arabia2,600,000 (2017 estimate)[2]
 United Arab Emirates1,500,000 (2017 estimate)[3]
 United Kingdom1,174,983 (2011 official British census)[4][b]
 United States526,956 (2018 American Community Survey estimate)[5]
 Oman235,000 (2013 estimate)[6]
 Canada215,560 (2016 official Canadian census)[7]
 Kuwait150,000 (2009 estimate)[8]
 Qatar125,000 (2016 official Qatari estimate)[9]
 Italy118,181 (2017 official Italian estimate)[10]
 Bahrain112,000 (2013 estimate)[6]
 Spain82,738 (2018 official Spanish estimate)[11]
 Germany124.000 (2019 official German estimate)
 France104,000 (2017 estimate)
 Australia61,913 (2016 official Australian census)[12]
 Malaysia59,281 (2017 official Malaysian estimate)[13][14]
 Norway38,000 (2019 official Norwegian estimate)[16]
 Hong Kong18,094 (2016 estimate)[17]
 Ireland12,891 (2016 estimate)[18][19]
Urdu (national)
Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Saraiki, Balochi, Hindko, Brahui, Kashmiri, Kalasha-mun, Shina, Balti and others
Star and Crescent.svg Islam (96.28%)
(80–90% Sunni, 5–20% Shia)
Hinduism, Christianity, Ahmadiyya, Baháʼí Faith, Kalasha, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism[20]

Pakistanis (Urdu: پاكِستانى قوم‎, romanizedpákistáni qaum "Pakistani Nation") are the nationals and citizens of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Ethnically and linguistically diverse, the majority of Pakistanis natively speak languages belonging to the Indo-Aryan and Iranian language families. According to the 2017 census, the estimated population of Pakistan was over 212,000,000 people, making it the fifth-most populous country on Earth.[21]

Located in South Asia, the country is also the source of a significantly large diaspora known as overseas Pakistanis, most of whom reside in the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region, with an estimated population of 4,700,000.[22] The second-largest Pakistani diaspora is situated throughout Europe, where there are an estimated 2,400,000; over half of this figure reside in the United Kingdom (see British Pakistanis).[23][4]

Ethnic subgroups[edit]

Having one of the fastest-growing populations in the world, Pakistan's people belong to various ethnic subgroups, with the overwhelming majority being speakers of the Indo-Iranian languages.[24] Ethnically, Indo-Aryan peoples comprise the majority of the population in the eastern provinces of Pakistani Punjab and Sindh, while Iranian peoples comprise the majority in the western provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In addition to its four provinces, Pakistan also administers two disputed territories in the Kashmir region known as Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit−Baltistan; both territories also have an Indo-Aryan majority with the exception of the Baltistan subregion, which is largely inhabited by Tibetan peoples. Pakistan also hosts significant populations of Dravidian peoples, the majority of whom are historical South Indians (e.g. Muslims from Hyderabad Deccan) belonging to the multiethnic community of Muhajirs (lit.'migrants'; also referred to as Urdu-speaking peoples), whose arrival to the country en masse occurred as a direct result of the Partition of British India along religious lines in 1947.[25][26]

Major ethnolinguistic groups in the country include Punjabis, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Saraikis, and Baloch people,[27][28] with significant numbers of Kashmiris, Brahuis, Hindkowans, Paharis, Shina people, Burusho people, Wakhis, Baltis, Chitralis and other various minorities.[29][30]


Men dressed in Shalwar kameez in a general store on the road to Kalash, Pakistan

The existence of Pakistan as an Islamic state has led to the injection of Islam into most aspects of culture and everyday life, which has accordingly impacted the historical values and traditions of the Muslim-majority population. Marriages and other major events are significantly impacted by regional differences in culture, but generally follow Islamic jurisprudence where required. The national dress of Pakistan is known as the shalwar kameez, a unisex garment commonly worn throughout Central and South Asia.[31][32] However, Pakistani clothing varies regionally and traditionally reflects historical ethnolinguistic links,[33] with Indian cultural clothing such as kurtas, dhotis and saris having more prominence among the likes of the Muhajir and Punjabi communities[34] and Persianate clothing such as chador/burqa, khetpartug and perahan-o tunban having more prominence among the Baloch and Pashtun communities.[35]


Urdu is the lingua franca of Pakistan, and while sharing official status with English, it is the preferred and dominant language used for inter-communication between different ethnic groups. Despite serving as the country's national language, Urdu is spoken as a second language by most Pakistanis, with nearly 93% of the population having a mother tongue other than Urdu. Numerous regional and provincial languages are spoken as first languages by Pakistan's various ethnolinguistic groups, with the Punjabi language having a national plurality as the first language of approximately 45% of the total population. Languages with more than a million speakers each include Pashto, Sindhi, Saraiki, Balochi, Brahui and Hindko. The Pakistani dialect of English is also widely spoken throughout the country, albeit mostly in urban centres such as Islamabad and Karachi.


Pakistan officially endorses Islam as a state religion and utilizes Sharia in governance across the entire country to a large degree. The overwhelming majority of Pakistanis identify as Muslims, and the country has the second-largest population of Muslims in the world after Indonesia.[36][37] Other minority religious faiths in Pakistan include Hinduism, Christianity, Ahmadiyya, Sikhism, the Baháʼí Faith, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Kalasha-mun. The Pakistani Hindu and Christian minority comprise the second- and third-largest religious groups in the country, respectively.


Irreligion, agnosticism and atheism are present amongst a minority of Pakistanis, the majority of whom belong to the newer generations.[38][39][40] According to a 2005 Gallup World Poll, 1% of Pakistani participants declared themselves as atheists. By 2012, the figure had risen to 2%. The same poll also surveyed 2,700 in Pakistan, of whom 54 were self-declared irreligious.[20]


Distribution of Pakistani diaspora

The Pakistani diaspora maintains a significant presence in the Middle East, Europe, North America, and Australia. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Pakistan has the seventh-largest diaspora in the world.[41] According to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development of the Government of Pakistan, approximately 8.8 million Pakistanis live abroad, with the vast majority (over 4.7 million) residing in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf of the Middle East.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 238,181,034 total population of Pakistan according to the United States Census[1] including estimated population of Overseas Pakistani.
  2. ^ This census figure may not include recent immigrants or people of partial Pakistani ancestry.


  1. ^ a b "U.S. and World Population Clock". United States Census Bureau.
  2. ^ "Economic Survey 2014–15: Ishaq Dar touts economic growth amidst missed targets". The Express Tribune. 4 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Statement showing number of Overseas Pakistanis living, working and studying in different regions/countries of the world, as on 31st December, 2017 - Region-Wise distribution" (PDF). Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development. 31 December 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b "2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in the United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Asian alone or in any combination by selected groups". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 June 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity Highlight Tables - Ethnic Origin, both sexes, age (total), Canada, 2016 Census – 25% Sample data".
  8. ^ Al-Qarari, Hussein (29 March 2009). "Pakistanis celebrate National Day in Kuwait". Kuwait Times. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  9. ^ (2017)"Population of Qatar by nationality - 2017 report". Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Data" (PDF). 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  11. ^ "TablaPx". Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  12. ^ "2016 Census of Population and Housing: General Community Profile: Catalogue No. 2001.0" (ZIP). 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  14. ^ Thursday, 27 July 2017 08:15 PM MYT. "Home Ministry says there are 1.7 million legal foreign workers in Malaysia as of June 30 | Malay Mail".
  15. ^ 출입국·외국인정책본부. "통계연보(글내용) < 통계자료실 < 출입국·외국인정책본부". Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Innvandrerbefolkningen".
  17. ^ "Main Tables | 2016 Population By-census".
  18. ^ "Census summary" (PDF). 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Indian Community In Ireland". Ireland India Council. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018.
  20. ^ a b Husain, Irfan (27 August 2012). "Faith in decline". Dawn. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012. Interestingly, and somewhat intriguingly, 2 per cent of the Pakistanis surveyed see themselves as atheists, up from 1pc in 2005.
  21. ^ (28 August 2017). "Census results show 59.7pc growth in Karachi's population, 116pc in Lahore's since 1998". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  22. ^ "Overseas Pakistani". Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  23. ^ "2.43 million Pakistanis working in Europe". The Express Tribune. 23 April 2017.
  24. ^ Pakistan Population. (28 August 2019). Retrieved 2019-09-14, from
  25. ^ "Muhajir | people". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  26. ^ "Pakistan - People". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  27. ^ "Ethnic Groups In Pakistan". WorldAtlas. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  28. ^ "Pakistan - Linguistic and Ethnic Groups". Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  29. ^ Hurst, Christopher O. (1 January 1996). "Pakistan's ethnic divide". Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. 19 (2): 179–198. doi:10.1080/10576109608436002. ISSN 1057-610X.
  30. ^ Ahmed, Feroz (1996). "Ethnicity, Class and State in Pakistan". Economic and Political Weekly. 31 (47): 3050–3053. ISSN 0012-9976.
  31. ^ "National costume of Pakistan. Pakistani officials are required to dress in folk clothing since the 1980s -". Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  32. ^ "Traditional Pakistani Clothing - Pakistani Clothes". WorldAtlas. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  33. ^ Dec 21, Prashant Rupera / TNN /; 2012; Ist, 20:18. "Pakistan 'Islamised' sarees, like its happening to Urdu: Chishti | India News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 April 2021.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  34. ^ "Sari trend in Pakistan as a formal wear is amazing these days". Something Haute. 5 February 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  35. ^ "How do cultural dresses make you stand out in the crowd?". - Real Style Never Dies. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  36. ^ Singh, Dr. Y P (2016). Islam in India and Pakistan – A Religious History. Vij Books India Pvt Ltd. ISBN 9789385505638.
  37. ^ see: Islam by country
  38. ^ "Pakistani youths turning into atheists". IBN Live. Archived from the original on 11 September 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  39. ^ "Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism" (PDF). Gallup. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  40. ^ "The hardest part about being faithless". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  41. ^ Service, Tribune News. "India has largest diaspora population in world: UN". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  42. ^ "Year Book 2017-18" (PDF). Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development. Retrieved 18 March 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • Abbasi, Nadia Mushtaq. "The Pakistani diaspora in Europe and its impact on democracy building in Pakistan." International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (2010).
  • Awan, Shehzadi Zamurrad. "Relevance of Education for Women's Empowerment in Punjab, Pakistan." Journal of International Women's Studies 18.1 (2016): 208+ online
  • Bolognani, Marta, and Stephen Lyon, eds. Pakistan and its diaspora: multidisciplinary approaches (Springer, 2011).
  • Eglar, Zekiya. A Punjabi Village in Pakistan: Perspectives on Community, Land, and Economy (Oxford UP, 2010).
  • Kalra, Virinder S., ed. Pakistani Diasporas: Culture, conflict, and change (Oxford UP, 2009).
  • Lukacs, John, ed. The people of South Asia: the biological anthropology of India, Pakistan, and Nepal (Springer, 2013).
  • Marsden, Magnus. "Muslim village intellectuals: the life of the mind in northern Pakistan." Anthropology today 21.1 (2005): 10-15.
  • Mughal, M. A. Z. "An anthropological perspective on the mosque in Pakistan." Asian Anthropology 14.2 (2015): 166-181.
  • Rauf, Abdur. "Rural women and the family: A study of a Punjabi village in Pakistan." Journal of Comparative Family Studies (1987): 403-415.