Society of Pakistan



Population per sq km: 245

Life expectancy: 66 years

Net primary enrolment: 72%

Population: 188,924,000 (2015); density varies from more than 230 people per sq km in Punjab to 13 in Balochistan; 39 per cent of people live in urban areas and 18 per cent in urban agglomerations of more than a million people; growth 2.1 per cent p.a. 1990–2015; birth rate 25 per 1,000 people (43 in 1970); life expectancy 66 years (54 in 1970).

The population comprises Punjabis (44 per cent), Pashtuns (15 per cent), Sindhis (14 per cent), Saraikis (11 per cent), Muhajirs (7.6 per cent), Balochis (3.6 per cent) and other smaller groups including the tribal groups in the more remote northern areas.

Language: The official language is Urdu, but English is widely used. Regional languages are Punjabi, Pashtu, Sindhi and Saraiki. There are numerous local dialects.

Religion: Muslims 96 per cent, the majority of whom are Sunni, with a minority (about 10-15 per cent) of Shia. There are small communities of Hindus, Christians, Qadianis and a few Parsis (Zoroastrians).

Media: The first Urdu journal appeared in 1836. By the 1990s there were more than 2,200 newspapers and periodicals, including some 270 dailies and 500 weeklies. Leading English-language papers include Daily Times (Lahore and Karachi), Dawn (Karachi), The Frontier Post (Peshawar), The Nation (Lahore), The News (Karachi), Pakistan Observer (Islamabad) and Business Recorder (financial daily). The main newspapers in Urdu are Ausaf, Jang and Nawa-i-Waqt. The principal weeklies are Pakistan and Gulf Economist and The Friday Times (Lahore).

Pakistan Television Corporation provides national and regional public TV services. There are many private TV channels broadcast by cable and satellite; some owned by newspaper groups, and one based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation provides public radio services, operating some 25 stations, including an external service. More than 100 private FM stations are licensed to broadcast.

Some 56 per cent of households have TV sets (2007).

Public holidays: Pakistan Day (23 March), Independence Day (14 August), Defence Day (6 September), Allama Mohammad Iqbal Day (9 November) and Birthday of Quaid-i-Azam (25 December).

Religious festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Prophet’s Birthday, Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan, two days), Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice, two days) and Ashura. Christian holidays are taken by the Christian community only.