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"Pakistani" redirects here. For other uses, see Pakistani (disambiguation).
This article is about people from Pakistan as a pan-ethnic identity and nation. For the population of Pakistan,, see Demographics of Pakistan.
پاكستانى قوم
Flag of Pakistan.svg
Total population
c. 199 million[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Pakistan 199,085,847
 Saudi Arabia 1,500,000+
 United Arab Emirates 1,200,000+
 United Kingdom 1,174,983[2]
 United States 363,699[3]
 Canada 156,865[4]
 Kuwait 150,000[5]
 Italy 100,000+[6][7]
 Qatar 90,000[8]
 Oman 85,000
 Greece 80,000
 France 60,000
 Malaysia 56,000
 China 54,000[9]
 Germany 49,000
 Spain 47,000
 Bahrain 45,000
 Norway 39,134
 Australia 31,277
 Libya 30,000
 Belgium 14,500+
 Japan 10,000+
 Sweden 5,000+
Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Saraiki, Kashmiri, Brahui, Balti and others
Islam 97% (majority Sunni, while 20% being Shia) Other Religions: Hinduism, Christianity, Ahmadiyya, Bahai Faith, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism

Pakistanis (Urdu: پاكِستانى قوم‎; Pakistani Qaum) are the people who are citizens of the modern Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pakistan is a multi-ethnic and multilingual state: the majority of its people belong linguistically to the Indo-Iranian group while the remaining minority mainly belongs to a small amount of other language groups and families. As of 2011, the estimated population of Pakistan was over 199 million[1] making it the world's sixth most-populous country.

Ethnic sub-groups[edit]

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 indigenous ethnic groups.

Pakistani people belong predominantly to seven main ethno-linguistic groups: Punjabi, Sindhi, Saraiki, Pashtun, Mohajir, Baloch, and Kashmiri, with substantial numbers of Brahui, Hindkowan, Shin, Burusho, Wakhi, Balti, Chitrali and other minority ethnic groups in the remote north of the country.

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 Persian Panj meaning five (5) and Ab meaning water(s); hence the land of five rivers or Panjab/Punjab. Considerable population of Punjabis live in Karachi as well. The Baloch people inhabit the southwest of the country. 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 Saraiki people have inhabited the regions between Punjab and Sindh.[10] 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 and Hakka; the last are an ethnic group that traces its origin to China.[10]


Main article: Culture of Pakistan

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.


Main article: Languages of Pakistan

Urdu, a major standard register of Hindustani, 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.

Many Pakistanis worldwide speak the various regional languages of Pakistan such as: Urdu, Saraiki, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, and Kashmiri.


Main article: Religion in Pakistan
Further information: Islam in Pakistan

The largest religion practiced in Pakistan is Islam. Other religious groups in Pakistan include Judaism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity.


Main article: Pakistani diaspora

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.

Notable people[edit]

Main article: List of Pakistanis

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 Susan 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, Muhammad Aurang Zeb. "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.


  1. ^ a b "U.S. and World Population Clock". United States Census Bureau. 
  2. ^ "2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in the United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). "American FactFinder - Results". Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  4. ^ 2011 National Household Survey
  5. ^ Al-Qarari, Hussein (2009-03-29). "Pakistanis celebrate National Day in Kuwait". Kuwait Times. Archived from the original on 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2012-04-14. 
  6. ^ "Europe and Russian Federation", Yearbook of Pakistan Foreign Relations, 2003-2004, Pakistan: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2004, retrieved 2008-11-18 
  7. ^ Husain, Irfan (2002-11-09), "The Italian jobs", Dawn, Pakistan, retrieved 2008-11-18 
  8. ^ Qatar´s population by nationality bq magazine Retrieved 15 December 2014
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Pakistani people