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South Asia :: Pakistan Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Pakistan
  • Background field listing

    The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and dating back at least 5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently Pakistan. During the second millennium B.C., remnants of this culture fused with the migrating Indo-Aryan peoples. The area underwent successive invasions in subsequent centuries from the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Arabs (who brought Islam), Afghans, and Turks. The Mughal Empire flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries; the British came to dominate the region in the 18th century. The separation in 1947 of British India into the Muslim state of Pakistan (with West and East sections) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved, and India and Pakistan fought two wars and a limited conflict - in 1947-48, 1965, and 1999 respectively - over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries in 1971 - in which India assisted an indigenous movement reacting to the marginalization of Bengalis in Pakistani politics - resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh.

    In response to Indian nuclear weapons testing, Pakistan conducted its own tests in mid-1998. India-Pakistan relations improved in the mid-2000s but have been rocky since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks and have been further strained by attacks in India by militants believed to be based in Pakistan. Imran KHAN took office as prime minister in 2018 after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party won a plurality of seats in the July 2018 general elections. Pakistan has been engaged in a decades-long armed conflict with militant groups that target government institutions and civilians, including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant networks.

  • Geography :: Pakistan
  • Location field listing
    Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    30 00 N, 70 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 796,095 sq km
    land: 770,875 sq km
    water: 25,220 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly more than five times the size of Georgia; slightly less than twice the size of California
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 7,257 km
    border countries (4): Afghanistan 2670 km, China 438 km, India 3190 km, Iran 959 km
    Coastline field listing
    1,046 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    Climate field listing
    mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north
    Terrain field listing
    divided into three major geographic areas: the northern highlands, the Indus River plain in the center and east, and the Balochistan Plateau in the south and west
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 900 m
    lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
    highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m
    Natural resources field listing
    arable land, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, poor quality coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 35.2% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 27.6% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 6.5% (2011 est.)
    forest: 2.1% (2011 est.)
    other: 62.7% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    202,000 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    the Indus River and its tributaries attract most of the settlement, with Punjab province the most densely populated
    Natural hazards field listing
    frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)
    Environment - current issues field listing
    water pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural freshwater resources; most of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; air pollution and noise pollution in urban areas
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
    Geography - note field listing
    controls Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent
  • People and Society :: Pakistan
  • Population field listing
    233,500,636 (July 2020 est.)

    note: provisional results of Pakistan's 2017 national census estimate the country's total population to be 207,774,000

    country comparison to the world: 5
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Pakistani(s)
    adjective: Pakistani
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Punjabi 44.7%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.4%, Sindhi 14.1%, Saraiki 8.4%, Muhajirs 7.6%, Balochi 3.6%, other 6.3%
    Languages field listing
    Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Saraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashto (alternate name, Pashtu) 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%
    Religions field listing
    Muslim (official) 96.4% (Sunni 85-90%, Shia 10-15%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 3.6% (2010 est.)
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 36.01% (male 42,923,925/female 41,149,694)
    15-24 years: 19.3% (male 23,119,205/female 21,952,976)
    25-54 years: 34.7% (male 41,589,381/female 39,442,046)
    55-64 years: 5.55% (male 6,526,656/female 6,423,993)
    65 years and over: 4.44% (male 4,802,165/female 5,570,595) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 64.4
    youth dependency ratio: 57.2
    elderly dependency ratio: 7.1
    potential support ratio: 14 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 22 years
    male: 21.9 years
    female: 22.1 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Population growth rate field listing
    2.07% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Birth rate field listing
    27.4 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Death rate field listing
    6.2 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    Net migration rate field listing
    -0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Population distribution field listing
    the Indus River and its tributaries attract most of the settlement, with Punjab province the most densely populated
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 37.2% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 2.53% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    16.094 million Karachi, 12.642 million Lahore, 3.462 million Faisalabad, 2.237 million Rawalpindi, 2.229 million Gujranwala, 1.129 million ISLAMABAD (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    23.6 years (2017/18 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    140 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 52.3 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 55.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 48.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 69.2 years
    male: 67.2 years
    female: 71.3 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Total fertility rate field listing
    3.6 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    34.2% (2017/18)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 94.2% of population
    rural: 89.9% of population
    total: 91.5% of population
    unimproved: urban: 5.8% of population
    rural: 10.1% of population
    total: 8.5% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    2.9% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    1 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    0.6 beds/1,000 population (2017)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 82.5% of population
    rural: 62.9% of population
    total: 70.1% of population
    unimproved: urban: 17.5% of population
    rural: 37.1% of population
    total: 29.9% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.1% (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    190,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    6,800 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
    animal contact diseases: rabies
    note: widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring throughout Pakistan; as of 10 November 2020, Pakistan has reported a total of 341,753 cases of COVID-19 or 1,547 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 1 million population with 31 cumulative deaths per 1 million population; the Government of Pakistan will permit commercial outbound passenger flights from all international airports except Gwadar and Turbat effective 30 May 2020, but inbound passenger flights remain suspended; limited domestic flight operations from five major airports – Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, and Quetta are available; on 7 May 2020, the Government of Pakistan announced an ease in some of the nationwide lockdown restrictions; additionally, the Islamabad Capital Territory and Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces have varying degrees of lockdowns
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    8.6% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    23.1% (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Education expenditures field listing
    2.9% of GDP (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 59.1%
    male: 71.1%
    female: 46.5% (2015)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 8 years
    male: 9 years
    female: 8 years (2018)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 7.8%
    male: 8.2%
    female: 6.8% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
  • Government :: Pakistan
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Pakistan
    conventional short form: Pakistan
    local long form: Jamhuryat Islami Pakistan
    local short form: Pakistan
    former: West Pakistan
    etymology: the word "pak" means "pure" in Persian or Pashto, while the Persian suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so the word Pakistan literally means "Land of the Pure"
    Government type field listing
    federal parliamentary republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Islamabad
    geographic coordinates: 33 41 N, 73 03 E
    time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: derived from two words: "Islam," an Urdu word referring to the religion of Islam, and "-abad," a Persian suffix indicating an "inhabited place" or "city," to render the meaning "City of Islam"
    Administrative divisions field listing
    4 provinces, 2 Pakistan-administered areas*, and 1 capital territory**; Azad Kashmir*, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan*, Islamabad Capital Territory**, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh
    Independence field listing
    14 August 1947 (from British India)
    National holiday field listing
    Pakistan Day (also referred to as Pakistan Resolution Day or Republic Day), 23 March (1940); note - commemorates both the adoption of the Lahore Resolution by the All-India Muslim League during its 22-24 March 1940 session, which called for the creation of independent Muslim states, and the adoption of the first constitution of Pakistan on 23 March 1956 during the transition to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest endorsed 12 April 1973, passed 19 April 1973, entered into force 14 August 1973 (suspended and restored several times)
    amendments: proposed by the Senate or by the National Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of both houses; amended many times, last in 2018
    International law organization participation field listing
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Pakistan
    dual citizenship recognized: yes, but limited to select countries
    residency requirement for naturalization: 4 out of the previous 7 years and including the 12 months preceding application
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal; note - there are joint electorates and reserved parliamentary seats for women and non-Muslims
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Arif ALVI (since 9 September 2018)
    head of government: Prime Minister Imran KHAN (since 18 August 2018)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president upon the advice of the prime minister
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Electoral College consisting of members of the Senate, National Assembly, and provincial assemblies for a 5-year term (limited to 2 consecutive terms); election last held on 4 September 2018 (next to be held in 2023); prime minister elected by the National Assembly on 17 August 2018
    election results: Arif ALVI elected president; Electoral College vote - Arif ALVI (PTI) 352, Fazl-ur-REHMAN (MMA) 184, Aitzaz AHSAN (PPP) 124; Imran KHAN elected prime minister; National Assembly vote - Imran KHAN (PTI) 176, Shehbaz SHARIF (PML-N) 96
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral Parliament or Majlis-e-Shoora consists of:
    Senate (104 seats; members indirectly elected by the 4 provincial assemblies and the territories' representatives by proportional representation vote; members serve 6-year terms with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years); note - the byelection scheduled for 15 April 2020 has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic
    National Assembly (342 seats; 272 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 70 members - 60 women and 10 non-Muslims - directly elected by proportional representation vote; all members serve 5-year terms)
    Senate - last held on 3 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2021)
    National Assembly - last held on 25 July 2018 (next to be held on 25 July 2023)
    election results:
    Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party as of December 2019  - PPP 19, PML-N 16,  PTI 14, MQM-P 5, JUI-F 4, BAP 2, JI 2, PkMAP 2, ANP 1, BNP 1, PML-F 1, other 7, independent 30

    National Assembly - percent of votes by party NA; seats by party as of December 2019 - PTI 156, PML-N 84, PPP 55, MMA 16, MQM-P 7, BAP 5, PML-Q 5, BNP 4, GDA 3, AML 1, ANP 1, JWP 1, independent 4
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court of Pakistan (consists of the chief justice and 16 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: justices nominated by an 8-member parliamentary committee upon the recommendation of the Judicial Commission, a 9-member body of judges and other judicial professionals, and appointed by the president; justices can serve until age 65
    subordinate courts: High Courts; Federal Shariat Court; provincial and district civil and criminal courts; specialized courts for issues, such as taxation, banking, and customs
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Awami National Party or ANP [Asfandyar Wali KHAN]
    Awami Muslim League or AML [Sheikh Rashid AHMED]
    Balochistan National Party-Awami or BNP-A [Mir Israr Ullah ZEHRI]
    Balochistan National Party-Mengal or BNP-M [Sardar Akhtar Jan MENGAL]
    Grand Democratic Alliance or GDA (alliance of several parties)
    Jamhoori Wattan Party or JWP [Shahzain BUGTI]
    Jamaat-i Islami or JI [Sirajul HAQ]
    Jamiat-i Ulema-i Islam Fazl-ur Rehman or JUI-F [Fazlur REHMAN]
    Muttahida Quami Movement-London or MQM-L [Altaf HUSSAIN] (MQM split into two factions in 2016)
    Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan or MQM-P [Dr. Khalid Maqbool SIDDIQUI] (MQM split into two factions in 2016)
    Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal or MMA [Fazl-ur- REHMAN] (alliance of several parties)
    National Party or NP [Mir Hasil Khan BIZENJO]
    Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party or PMAP or PkMAP [Mahmood Khan ACHAKZAI]
    Pakistan Muslim League-Functional or PML-F [Pir PAGARO or Syed Shah Mardan SHAH-II]
    Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz or PML-N [Shehbaz SHARIF]
    Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid-e-Azam Group or PML-Q [Chaudhry Shujaat HUSSAIN]
    Pakistan Peoples Party or PPP [Bilawal BHUTTO ZARDARI, Asif Ali ZARDARI]
    Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaaf or PTI (Pakistan Movement for Justice) [Imran KHAN]Pak Sarzameen Party or PSP [Mustafa KAMAL]
    Quami Watan Party or QWP [Aftab Ahmed Khan SHERPAO]

    note: political alliances in Pakistan shift frequently

    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Asad Majeed KHAN (since 11 January 2019)
    chancery: 3517 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 243-6500
    FAX: [1] (202) 686-1534
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York
    consulate(s): Louisville (KY), San Francisco
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Ambassador Paul W. JONES (since 24 September 2018)
    telephone: [92] 51-201-4000
    embassy: Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, Islamabad
    mailing address: 8100 Islamabad Place, Washington, DC 20521-8100
    FAX: [92] 51-227-6427
    consulate(s) general: Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar
    Flag description field listing
    green with a vertical white band (symbolizing the role of religious minorities) on the hoist side; a large white crescent and star are centered in the green field; the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam
    National symbol(s) field listing
    five-pointed star between the horns of a waxing crescent moon, jasmine; national colors: green, white
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Qaumi Tarana" (National Anthem)
    lyrics/music: Abu-Al-Asar Hafeez JULLANDHURI/Ahmed Ghulamali CHAGLA

    note: adopted 1954; also known as "Pak sarzamin shad bad" (Blessed Be the Sacred Land)

  • Economy :: Pakistan
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Decades of internal political disputes and low levels of foreign investment have led to underdevelopment in Pakistan. Pakistan has a large English-speaking population, with English-language skills less prevalent outside urban centers. Despite some progress in recent years in both security and energy, a challenging security environment, electricity shortages, and a burdensome investment climate have traditionally deterred investors. Agriculture accounts for one-fifth of output and two-fifths of employment. Textiles and apparel account for more than half of Pakistan's export earnings; Pakistan's failure to diversify its exports has left the country vulnerable to shifts in world demand. Pakistan’s GDP growth has gradually increased since 2012, and was 5.3% in 2017. Official unemployment was 6% in 2017, but this fails to capture the true picture, because much of the economy is informal and underemployment remains high. Human development continues to lag behind most of the region.

    In 2013, Pakistan embarked on a $6.3 billion IMF Extended Fund Facility, which focused on reducing energy shortages, stabilizing public finances, increasing revenue collection, and improving its balance of payments position. The program concluded in September 2016. Although Pakistan missed several structural reform criteria, it restored macroeconomic stability, improved its credit rating, and boosted growth. The Pakistani rupee has remained relatively stable against the US dollar since 2015, though it declined about 10% between November 2017 and March 2018. Balance of payments concerns have reemerged, however, as a result of a significant increase in imports and weak export and remittance growth.

    Pakistan must continue to address several longstanding issues, including expanding investment in education, healthcare, and sanitation; adapting to the effects of climate change and natural disasters; improving the country’s business environment; and widening the country’s tax base. Given demographic challenges, Pakistan’s leadership will be pressed to implement economic reforms, promote further development of the energy sector, and attract foreign investment to support sufficient economic growth necessary to employ its growing and rapidly urbanizing population, much of which is under the age of 25.

    In an effort to boost development, Pakistan and China are implementing the "China-Pakistan Economic Corridor" (CPEC) with $60 billion in investments targeted towards energy and other infrastructure projects. Pakistan believes CPEC investments will enable growth rates of over 6% of GDP by laying the groundwork for increased exports. CPEC-related obligations, however, have raised IMF concern about Pakistan’s capital outflows and external financing needs over the medium term.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $1.061 trillion (2017 est.)
    $1.007 trillion (2016 est.)
    $962.8 billion (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    data are for fiscal years
    country comparison to the world: 25
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $305 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    5.4% (2017 est.)
    4.6% (2016 est.)
    4.1% (2015 est.)

    note: data are for fiscal years

    country comparison to the world: 37
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $5,400 (2017 est.)
    $5,200 (2016 est.)
    $5,100 (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    data are for fiscal years
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Gross national saving field listing
    12% of GDP (2017 est.)
    13.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
    14.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

    note: data are for fiscal years

    country comparison to the world: 151
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 82% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 11.3% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 14.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 1.6% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 8.2% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -17.6% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 24.4% (2016 est.)
    industry: 19.1% (2016 est.)
    services: 56.5% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; milk, beef, mutton, eggs
    Industries field listing
    textiles and apparel, food processing, pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, construction materials, paper products, fertilizer, shrimp
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    5.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Labor force field listing
    61.71 million (2017 est.)

    note: extensive export of labor, mostly to the Middle East, and use of child labor

    country comparison to the world: 8
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 42.3%
    industry: 22.6%
    services: 35.1% (FY2015 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    6% (2017 est.)
    6% (2016 est.)

    note: Pakistan has substantial underemployment

    country comparison to the world: 96
    Population below poverty line field listing
    29.5% (FY2013 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 4%
    highest 10%: 26.1% (FY2013)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 46.81 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 64.49 billion (2017 est.)

    note: data are for fiscal years

    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    15.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -5.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    Public debt field listing
    67% of GDP (2017 est.)
    67.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Fiscal year field listing
    1 July - 30 June
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    4.1% (2017 est.)
    2.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Current account balance field listing
    -$7.143 billion (2019 est.)
    -$19.482 billion (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    Exports field listing
    $32.88 billion (2017 est.)
    $21.97 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    Exports - partners field listing
    US 17.7%, UK 7.7%, China 6%, Germany 5.8%, Afghanistan 5.2%, UAE 4.5%, Spain 4.1% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    textiles (garments, bed linen, cotton cloth, yarn), rice, leather goods, sporting goods, chemicals, manufactures, surgical instruments, carpets and rugs
    Imports field listing
    $53.11 billion (2017 est.)
    $42.69 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Imports - commodities field listing
    petroleum, petroleum products, machinery, plastics, transportation equipment, edible oils, paper and paperboard, iron and steel, tea
    Imports - partners field listing
    China 27.4%, UAE 13.7%, US 4.9%, Indonesia 4.3%, Saudi Arabia 4.2% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $18.46 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $22.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Debt - external field listing
    $82.19 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $70.45 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Exchange rates field listing
    Pakistani rupees (PKR) per US dollar -
    105.1 (2017 est.)
    104.769 (2016 est.)
    104.769 (2015 est.)
    102.769 (2014 est.)
    101.1 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Pakistan
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 45 million (2019)
    electrification - total population: 79% (2019)
    electrification - urban areas: 91% (2019)
    electrification - rural areas: 72% (2019)
    Electricity - production field listing
    109.7 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    92.33 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    Electricity - imports field listing
    490 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    26.9 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    62% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    5% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    27% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    7% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Crude oil - production field listing
    90,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    13,150 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    168,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    332.2 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    291,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    557,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    25,510 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    264,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Natural gas - production field listing
    39.05 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    45.05 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    6.003 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    588.8 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    179.5 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
  • Communications :: Pakistan
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 2,607,495
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1.14 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 174,702,132
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 76.38 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: the telecommunications infrastructure is improving, with investments in mobile-cellular networks increasing, fixed-line subscriptions declining; system consists of microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, fiber-optic cable, cellular, and satellite networks; 4G mobile services broadly available; 5G not before 2030; mobile platform and mobile broadband doing well and dominate over fixed broadband sector (2020)
    domestic: mobile-cellular subscribership has skyrocketed; more than 90% of Pakistanis live within areas that have cell phone coverage; fiber-optic networks are being constructed throughout the country to increase broadband access, though broadband penetration in Pakistan is still relatively low; fixed-line 1 per 100 and mobile-cellular 76 per 100 persons (2019)
    international: country code - 92; landing points for the SEA-ME-WE-3, -4, -5, AAE-1, IMEWE, Orient Express, PEACE Cable, and TW1 submarine cable systems that provide links to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia, and Australia; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); 3 operational international gateway exchanges (1 at Karachi and 2 at Islamabad); microwave radio relay to neighboring countries (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    media is government regulated; 1 dominant state-owned TV broadcaster, Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), operates a network consisting of 8 channels; private TV broadcasters are permitted; to date 69 foreign satellite channels are operational; the state-owned radio network operates more than 30 stations; nearly 200 commercially licensed, privately owned radio stations provide programming mostly limited to music and talk shows (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 34,734,689
    percent of population: 15.51% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 1,811,365
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
  • Transportation :: Pakistan
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 5 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 52
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 6,880,637 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 217.53 million mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    AP (2016)
    Airports field listing
    151 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 108 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 15 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 20 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 43 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 20 (2017)
    under 914 m: 10 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 43 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 9 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 9 (2013)
    under 914 m: 24 (2013)
    Heliports field listing
    23 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    12,984 km gas, 3,470 km oil, 1,170 km refined products (2019)
    Railways field listing
    total: 11,881 km (2019)
    narrow gauge: 389 km 1.000-m gauge (2019)
    broad gauge: 11,492 km 1.676-m gauge (293 km electrified) (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Roadways field listing
    total: 263,775 km (2019)
    paved: 185,063 km (includes 708 km of expressways) (2019)
    unpaved: 78,712 km (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 54
    by type: bulk carrier 5, oil tanker 5, other 44 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Karachi, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim
    container port(s) (TEUs): Karachi (2,224,000) (2017)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Port Qasim
  • Military and Security :: Pakistan
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Pakistan Army (includes National Guard), Pakistan Navy (includes marines, Maritime Security Agency), Pakistan Air Force (Pakistan Fizaia); Ministry of Interior paramilitary forces: Frontier Corps, Pakistan Rangers (2019)
    note:  the National Guard is a paramilitary force and one of the Army's reserve forces, along with the Pakistan Army Reserve, the Frontier Corps, and the Pakistan Rangers
    Military expenditures field listing
    4% of GDP (2019)
    4.1% of GDP (2018)
    3.8% of GDP (2017)
    3.6% of GDP (2016)
    3.6% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    estimates of the size of the Pakistan military’s active force vary; approximately 650,000 active personnel (560,000 Army; 30,000 Navy; 60,000 Air Force); est. 70,000 Frontier Corps; est. 25,000 Pakistan Rangers (2019)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the Pakistan military inventory includes a broad mix of equipment, primarily from China, France, Ukraine, the UK, and the US; since 2010, China and the US are the leading suppliers of arms to Pakistan; Pakistan also has a large domestic defense industry capable of upgrading existing air, land, and sea weapons systems (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    1,230 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 1,950 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 140 Mali (MINUSMA); 900 Sudan (UNAMID) (2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    16-23 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed for combat until age 18; women serve in all three armed forces; reserve obligation to age 45 for enlisted men, age 50 for officers (2019)
  • Terrorism :: Pakistan
  • Terrorist group(s) field listing
    Haqqani Network; Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami; Harakat ul-Mujahidin; Hizbul Mujahideen; Indian Mujahedeen; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham-Khorasan; Islamic State of ash-Sham – India; Islamic State of ash-Sham – Pakistan; Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan; Jaish-e-Mohammed; Jaysh al Adl (Jundallah); Lashkar i Jhangvi; Lashkar-e Tayyiba; Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan; al-Qa’ida; al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (2019)
    note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T
  • Transnational Issues :: Pakistan
  • Disputes - international field listing

    various talks and confidence-building measures cautiously have begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, particularly since the October 2005 earthquake in the region; Kashmir nevertheless remains the site of the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan has maintained a small group of peacekeepers since 1949; India does not recognize Pakistan's ceding historic Kashmir lands to China in 1964; India and Pakistan have maintained their 2004 cease-fire in Kashmir and initiated discussions on defusing the armed standoff in the Siachen glacier region; Pakistan protests India's fencing the highly militarized Line of Control and construction of the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir, which is part of the larger dispute on water sharing of the Indus River and its tributaries; to defuse tensions and prepare for discussions on a maritime boundary, India and Pakistan seek technical resolution of the disputed boundary in Sir Creek estuary at the mouth of the Rann of Kutch in the Arabian Sea; Pakistani maps continue to show the Junagadh claim in India's Gujarat State; since 2002, with UN assistance, Pakistan has repatriated 3.8 million Afghan refugees, leaving about 2.6 million; Pakistan has sent troops across and built fences along some remote tribal areas of its treaty-defined Durand Line border with Afghanistan, which serve as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities; Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan military meet periodically to clarify the alignment of the boundary on the ground and on maps

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 2.58-2.68 million (1.4 million registered, 1.18-1.28 million undocumented) (Afghanistan) (2017)
    IDPs: 106,000 (primarily those who remain displaced by counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations and violent conflict between armed non-state groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber-Paktunkwa Province; more than 1 million displaced in northern Waziristan in 2014; individuals also have been displaced by repeated monsoon floods) (2019)
    Trafficking in persons field listing
    current situation: Pakistan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the largest human trafficking problem is bonded labor in agriculture, brickmaking and, to a lesser extent, fishing, mining and carpet-making; children are bought, sold, rented, and placed in forced begging rings, domestic service, small shops, brick-making factories, or prostitution; militant groups also force children to spy, fight, or die as suicide bombers, kidnapping the children or getting them from poor parents through sale or coercion; women and girls are forced into prostitution or marriages; Pakistani adults migrate to the Gulf States and African and European states for low-skilled jobs and sometimes become victims of forced labor, debt bondage, or prostitution; foreign adults and children, particularly from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, may be subject to forced labor, and foreign women may be sex trafficked in Pakistan, with refugees and ethnic minorities being most vulnerable
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Pakistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government lacks political will and capacity to fully address human trafficking, as evidenced by ineffective law enforcement efforts, official complicity, penalization of victims, and the continued conflation of migrant smuggling and human trafficking by many officials; not all forms of trafficking are prohibited; an anti-trafficking bill drafted in 2013 to address gaps in existing legislation remains pending, and a national action plan drafted in 2014 is not finalized; feudal landlords and brick kiln owners use their political influence to protect their involvement in bonded labor, while some police personnel have taken bribes to ignore prostitution that may have included sex trafficking; authorities began to use standard procedures for the identification and referral of trafficking victims, but it is not clear how widely these methods were practiced; in other instances, police were reluctant to assist NGOs with rescues and even punished victims for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked (2015)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    significant transit area for Afghan drugs, including heroin, opium, morphine, and hashish, bound for Iran, Western markets, the Gulf States, Africa, and Asia; financial crimes related to drug trafficking, terrorism, corruption, and smuggling remain problems; opium poppy cultivation estimated to be 930 hectares in 2015; federal and provincial authorities continue to conduct anti-poppy campaigns that utilizes forced eradication, fines, and arrests