Pakistanis (Urdu: پاكِستانى قوم; Pakistani Qaum) are people who are citizens of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pakistan is a multi-ethnic and multilingual state: the majority of its people speak languages of the Indo-Aryan and Iranian language groups. According to the 2017 Census, the estimated population of Pakistan was over 212,000,000 making it the world's fifth most-populous country.[18] In terms of overseas Pakistanis, there are an estimated 2,400,000 Pakistanis living in Europe.[19]

Total population
c.221 million[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Saudi Arabia2,600,000 (2017 estimate)[2]
 United Kingdom1,174,983 (2011 Official UK Census)[3][lower-alpha 1]
 United Arab Emirates1,200,000 (2014 estimate)[4]
 United States1,000,000 (2018 Official United States Census)[5]
 Oman235,000 (2013 estimate)[6]
 Canada215,560 (2016 Official Canada Census)[7]
 Qatar125,000 (2016 Official Qatar estimate)[9]
 Italy118,181 (2017 Official Italy estimate)[10]
 Bahrain112,000 (2013 estimate)[11]
 France104,000 (2017 estimate)[2]
 Spain82,738 (2018 Official Spain estimate)[12]
 Germany73,000 (2017 Official Germany estimate)[13]
 Afghanistan71,000 (2017 estimate)[2]
 Australia61,913 (2016 Official Australia Census)[14]
 Malaysia59,281 (2017 Official Malaysia estimate)[15] [16]
Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Saraiki, Kashmiri, Brahui, Balti and others
Islam 97% (majority Sunni, 5-20% Shia and <1% being Ahmadiyya) Other Religions: Christianity, Bahai Faith, Hinduism, Kalash Faith, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism

Ethnic sub-groups

Pakistan has one of the world's fastest growing populations. Located in South Asia, its people belong to various ethnic sub-groups, most of them being of Indo-Iranic heritage.[20]

Specific-linguistic groups: Punjabi, Sindhi, Saraiki, Pashtun, Balochi, and Kashmiri, with substantial numbers of Brahui, Hindko, Pahari, Shin, Burusho, Wakhi, Balti, Chitrali and other minority ethnic groups in the remote north of the country.

Main Groups of Pakistan: the Punjabi people, the Pashtun people, the Sindhi people, the Balochi people, the Muhajirs and the Kashmiri people.


Pakistan has a rich culture, with all of the provinces maintaining differing social mores. However, Islam has significantly shaped the values and traditions of many Pakistanis. Pakistani culture falls in the category of high context, and Pakistani wear the Shalwar Qamiz that is the culture of Pakistan.


Pakistan's main language is Urdu. 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. Languages with more than a million speakers each include Pashto, Sindhi, Saraiki, Balochi, Brahui and Hindko. There are about 60 additional languages spoken in the country.


The largest religion practiced in Pakistan is Islam. Other religious groups are Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, the Kalash faith, and Christianity. 95% of people in Pakistan are Muslims (majority Sunni), 2% are Hindus, 2% are Christians and less than 1% of the population are Zoroastrian, Kalash, Bahai and Sikh. Irreligion and atheism <2% and 1% of people are Ahmadiyyah.


There are large populations of Pakistani ancestry around the world due to emigration. The population of Pakistanis abroad is exceeds seven million and can be found in the Middle East, North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In 2018, Reuters reported that in Germany, thousands of Pakistani asylum seekers were among those whom the country was attempting but unable to repatriate due to insufficient identity papers.[21]

See also


  1. This census figure may not include recent immigrants or people of partial Pakistani ancestry.


  1. "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. "2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in the United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  4. "UAE's population - by nationality". 11 July 2015. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  5. {{}}
  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 (2009-03-29). "Pakistanis celebrate National Day in Kuwait". Kuwait Times. Archived from the original on 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  9. (2017)"Population of Qatar by nationality - 2017 report". Retrieved 2017-02-08.
  12. "TablaPx". Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  13. "Ausländeranteil in Deutschland bis 2016 - Statistik". Statista. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  14. "2016 Census of Population and Housing: General Community Profile: Catalogue No. 2001.0" (ZIP). 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  17. 출입국·외국인정책본부. "통계연보(글내용) < 통계자료실 < 출입국·외국인정책본부". Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  18. (2017-08-28). "Census results show 59.7pc growth in Karachi's population, 116pc in Lahore's since 1998". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
  20. Pakistan Population. (2019-08-28). Retrieved 2019-09-14, from
  21. "Pakistanis among top failed asylum seekers in Germany". Mar 27, 2018. Retrieved 2019-06-02.

Further reading

  • 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.
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