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Pakistanis (Urdu: پاكِستانى قوم‎; 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-Aryan and Iranian subgroups of Indo-Iranian while the remaining population of Brahuis, Baltistanis and Hunzakuts mainly belong to a small number of other ethno-linguistic groups and families or none such as the case of the Hunza. As per the 2017 Census, the estimated population of Pakistan was over 212+ million making it the world's fifth most-populous country.[19] In terms of overseas Pakistanis, there are an estimated 2.4 million Pakistanis living in Europe.[20]

Total population
Regions with significant populations
not specific212,742,631
2,600,000+ (2017 estimate)[3]
1,174,983 (2011 Official UK Census)[4][1]
1,200,000 (2014 estimate)[5]
700,000 (2010 APF Research)[6]
235,000 (2013 estimate)[7]
215,560 (2016 Official Canada Census)[8]
125,000 (2016 Official Qatar estimate)[10]
118,181 (2017 Official Italy estimate)[11]
112,000 (2013 estimate)[7]
104,000 (2017 estimate)[3]
82,738 (2018 Official Spain estimate)[13]
73,000 (2017 Official Germany estimate)[14]
71,000 (2017 estimate)[3]
61,913 (2016 Official Australia Census)[15]
59,281 (2017 Official Malaysia estimate)[16][17]
Urdu,Punjabi,Sindhi,Pashto,Balochi,Saraiki,Kashmiri,Brahui,Baltiand others
Islam97% (majoritySunni, 5-20%Shiaand <1% beingAhmadiyya) 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.[21]

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 spoken in Pakistan: Most languages spoken are Punjabi, Pashto and Sindhi. Followed by Balochi, Kashmiri, Saraiki and Urdu.


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.[22]

See also

  • Overseas Pakistani

  • Ethnic groups in Pakistan

  • List of Pakistanis

  • Indo-Iranian peoples


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