Pakistan Facts

About PakistanWhere is Pakistan?

Pakistan is located in South Asia. Its borders are shared with India to the southeast, Iran and Afghanistan to the west, and China to the north.  Though most Pakistanis are Muslim, Pakistan generally is not considered a part of the Middle East.

How large is Pakistan?

Pakistan covers 800,000 square kilometers or 308,000 square miles. It is   approximately twice the size of California or equal in area to Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa combined!

How many people live in Pakistan?

Pakistan’s population is approximately 190 million.
That is about 60% of the entire United States.   

What languages do Pakistanis speak?

The majority of Pakistanis is fluent in, or at least can understand more than one language.    Though Urdu is Pakistan’s official language, only 8% call it their mother tongue. Many other native tongues coexist in this complex nation. The percentage of Pakistanis whose native language is other than Urdu is as follows:

Punjabi 48%
Sindhi 12%
Saraiki 10%
Pashtu 8%
Balochi 3%
Hindko 2%

Spoken Urdu and spoken Hindi are essentially indistinguishable.  Both are understood by those who speak the languages listed above.

What religion do Pakistanis practice?

In Pakistan Islam is the state religion. It is practiced by approximately 97% of the population. The remaining 3% follow the tenets of other religions including Christianity and Hinduism. 

History of Pakistan

While Pakistan itself is a relatively new country, the land surrounding its Indus River has been acknowledged as the “cradle of civilization.” As part of India, Pakistan was governed by the British for decades.  But in 1947, Britain reluctantly agreed to recognize Pakistan as an independent Muslim state. Historically, this was a terrible time of religious upheaval and horrific bloodshed as Hindus and Muslims sought supremacy and Pakistan struggled to build an autonomous nation. The Muslim dominated regions broke away from India and ultimately established East and West Pakistan. Then in 1971, when civil war erupted again East Pakistan declared its independence and became the self-governing nation of Bangladesh.

Demographics

Population: 196 million
Religion: 96% Muslim, 2% Christian, 1% Hindu
Youth: 55% of population under 25
National language: Urdu