Pakistan Population and Religion

Pakistan Population and Religion


Islam invaded what is now Pakistan in the 8th century and has a great influence on culture. Grave monuments and mosques are adorned with numerous ornaments and artistically designed quotations from the Koran. The Faisal Mosque in the capital Islamabad was completed in 1986 and is one of the largest mosques in the world.

Poets and writers in Pakistan write their works in different languages. In addition to the official language Urdu, they also use the regional languages ​​Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi and Pashto. Poems predominate in traditional literature. A special form is the oriental ghazel, which is often sung as a song. In the second half of the 20th century, western influence on literature increased and novels and short stories were written in English. There are many film studios in Lahore and Karachi. A well-known director is Javed Sheikh (* 1954) who made the 1995 film “Mushkil” about child laborers. Journalist and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (* 1978) received the Oscar for best documentary short film in 2012 and 2016.

In popular music, there are many songs that are played with the sitar, harmonium, and other traditional instruments. Modern pop music is a mixture of Pakistani and Western influences and, as in India, is closely related to the film industry.

In sport, Pakistan is one of the most internationally successful nations in field hockey and squash. The most popular sport is cricket. Prime Minister Imran Khan (* 1952) was the captain of the Pakistani national cricket team in 1982/83 and 1988-92.

Pakistan, officially Urdu Islami Jumhuriya-e Pakistan [-d ʒ ʊ m-], German Islamic Republic of Pakistan, state in South Asia with (2018) 212.2 million residents; The capital is Islamabad.


Since the founding of the state in 1947, the population has increased more than sevenfold from 30 million to 212 million. In addition to the natural population growth, the strong influx of Muslims from India and war refugees from Afghanistan are responsible for this. The four main population groups, which are divided into different tribes and subgroups and speak predominantly related Indo-Aryan languages, are the Punjabi (45%), Sindhi (14%), Pashtuns (Pathans; 15%) and Baluch (4%). Urdu, the language of the refugees from the Ganges plain, central India and Mumbai (then still Bombay), has been the national language since 1947, but it is only spoken by a minority as their mother tongue, but is generally understood by the majority. English continues to function as an administrative, business, and educational language.

The average population density is (2018) 275 residents / km 2. The majority of Pakistanis live in the countryside, four fifths in the provinces of Sind and Punjab, that is, in the irrigated areas of the lowlands. The proportion of the urban population is 37%. The largest agglomerations are Karachi (the city of “immigrants”) and Lahore. The two cities are growing rapidly due to the influx of rural populations – and with them the informal settlements and slums. Problems also represent the strong emigration of academics and skilled workers (especially to the oil countries of Western Asia) as well as the refugees from Afghanistan still living in the country. Of these, around 1.4 million are registered and around another million are not yet registered.

Social: Especially in the country, the social structures have a feudal character to this day: On the one hand there are the poor wage workers and farmers, on the other hand the few rich large landowners. Health care and social security are at a very low level. Children are still considered to be the best protection for old age. This is one of the reasons why the annual population growth of 2.07% (2020) is extremely high. The disadvantage of women in society has a long tradition and is still very pronounced today. A third of the seats in parliament are reserved for women, but honor killings, disfiguring acid attacks and forced marriages of very young girls are part of everyday life.

The biggest cities in Pakistan

Biggest Cities (Residents 2017)
Karachi 14 916 500
Lahore 11 126 300
Faisalabad 3 204 726
Rawalpindi 2,098,200
Gujranwala 2,027,000


The constitution (Article 2) defines Islam as the state religion, at the same time guaranteeing religious freedom (Article 20); “Blasphemous statements about Islam” can, however, be prosecuted on the basis of a law introduced in 1985 and Sharia law. The Ahmadija religious community is not recognized as an Islamic community.

According to aceinland, over 96% of the population – including the Ahmadija movement – are Muslims (80–90% of them Sunnis from the Hanefi school of law; 10–15% Shiites [ mainly Imamites, besides Ismailis ]). Popular Islam, which is strongly influenced by Sufi, plays a major role. The Ahmadija movement has its center in Lahore, the north-eastern border region with India and the Indian-administered part of Kashmir.

The largest religious minorities are the Christians (around 1.6%; mostly Protestants) and the Hindus (just under 2%); the Parsees and Baha’is make up very small communities. The Catholic Church comprises two archdioceses (Karachi, Lahore) with four suffragan dioceses (Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Islamabad-Rawalpindi [bishopric: Rawalpindi], Multan) and an apostolic prefecture (Quetta). The largest Protestant church is the “Church of Pakistan” which was formed in 1970 from the union of Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Lutherans.

Pakistan Population and Religion