The Supreme Court Building in Islamabad is flanked by the Prime Minister's Office to the south and Presidential and Parliament Houses to the north. Government buildings are traditionally decorated and illuminated in honor of the country’s Independence Day, 14 August. The day begins with the raising of the flag, a 31 gun salute and special prayers for the integrity, solidarity, and development of the country.
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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.

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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

30 00 N, 70 00 E


total: 796,095 sq km

land: 770,875 sq km

water: 25,220 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly more than five times the size of Georgia; slightly less than twice the size of California

<p>slightly more than five times the size of Georgia; slightly less than twice the size of California</p>

Land boundaries

total: 7,257 km

border countries (4): Afghanistan 2670 km, China 438 km, India 3190 km, Iran 959 km


1,046 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north


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


highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m

lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m

mean elevation: 900 m

Natural resources

arable land, extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, poor quality coal, iron ore, copper, salt, limestone

Land use

agricultural land: 35.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 27.6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 6.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 2.1% (2018 est.)

other: 62.7% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

202,000 sq km (2012)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Indus river mouth (shared with China [s] and India) - 3,610 km; Sutlej river mouth (shared with China [s] and India) - 1,372 km; Chenab river mouth (shared with India [s]) - 1,086 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Indian Ocean drainage: Indus (1,081,718 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Tarim Basin (1,152,448 sq km), (Aral Sea basin) Amu Darya (534,739 sq km)

Major aquifers

Indus Basin

Population distribution

the Indus River and its tributaries attract most of the settlement, with Punjab province the most densely populated

Natural hazards

frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)

Geography - note

controls Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass, traditional invasion routes between Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent

People and Society


238,181,034 (July 2021 est.)

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


noun: Pakistani(s)

adjective: Pakistani

Ethnic groups

Punjabi 44.7%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.4%, Sindhi 14.1%, Saraiki 8.4%, Muhajirs 7.6%, Balochi 3.6%, other 6.3%


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%

major-language sample(s):
ਸੰਸਾਰ ਦੀ ਤੱਥ ਕਿਤਾਬ, ਆਧਾਰੀ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ ਲਈ ਜ਼ਰੂਰੀ ਸਰੋਤ ਹੈ (Punjabi)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.


Muslim (official) 96.5% (Sunni 85-90%, Shia 10-15%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 3.5% (2020 est.)

Age structure

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.)

This is the population pyramid for Pakistan. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 64.4

youth dependency ratio: 57.2

elderly dependency ratio: 7.1

potential support ratio: 14 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 22 years

male: 21.9 years

female: 22.1 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

1.99% (2021 est.)

Birth rate

26.95 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Death rate

6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.92 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Population distribution

the Indus River and its tributaries attract most of the settlement, with Punjab province the most densely populated


urban population: 37.4% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

16.459 million Karachi, 13.095 million Lahore, 3.542 million Faisalabad, 2.281 million Rawalpindi, 2.290 million Gujranwala, 1.164 million ISLAMABAD (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

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

22.8 years (2017/18 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

140 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 55.26 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 59.58 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 50.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 69.37 years

male: 67.34 years

female: 71.5 years (2021 est.)

Total fertility rate

3.53 children born/woman (2021 est.)

Drinking water source

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.)

Physicians density

0.98 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

0.6 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

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 - deaths

8,200 (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

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 6 October 2021, Pakistan has reported a total of 1,252,656 cases of COVID-19 or 567.09 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with 12.65 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 5 October 2021, 27.57% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Education expenditures

2.5% of GDP (2019)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 58%

male: 69.3%

female: 46.5% (2019)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years

male: 9 years

female: 8 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 7.9%

male: 8.2%

female: 6.8% (2018 est.)


Environment - current issues

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

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 55.21 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 201.15 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 142.12 megatons (2020 est.)


mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north

Land use

agricultural land: 35.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 27.6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 6.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 2.1% (2018 est.)

other: 62.7% (2018 est.)


urban population: 37.4% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

forest revenues: 0.1% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0.06% of GDP (2018 est.)

Major infectious diseases

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 6 October 2021, Pakistan has reported a total of 1,252,656 cases of COVID-19 or 567.09 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with 12.65 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 5 October 2021, 27.57% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to population displacements, economic constraints, and high prices of the main food staple - the main causes of food insecurity in the country are limited livelihood opportunities, high food prices, and recurrent natural disasters, amplified by the COVID‑19 pandemic; severe floods in August 2020 in Sindh Province affected the livelihoods of about 2 million people and caused severe damage to housing and infrastructure; in addition, prices of wheat flour, the country’s main staple, were at high levels in most markets in May 2021, constraining access to food of the most vulnerable households; Pakistan hosts large numbers of registered and unregistered Afghan refugees; most of these people are in need of humanitarian assistance and are straining the already limited resources of the host communities; poverty levels have increased due to losses of income-generating opportunities (2021)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 30.76 million tons (2017 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 2,460,800 tons (2017 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 8% (2017 est.)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Indus river mouth (shared with China [s] and India) - 3,610 km; Sutlej river mouth (shared with China [s] and India) - 1,372 km; Chenab river mouth (shared with India [s]) - 1,086 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Indian Ocean drainage: Indus (1,081,718 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Tarim Basin (1,152,448 sq km), (Aral Sea basin) Amu Darya (534,739 sq km)

Major aquifers

Indus Basin

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 9.65 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 1.4 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 172.4 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

246.8 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


Country name

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

federal parliamentary republic


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

4 provinces, 2 Pakistan-administered areas*, and 1 capital territory**; Azad Kashmir*, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan*, Islamabad Capital Territory**, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh


14 August 1947 (from British India)

National holiday

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


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

Legal system

common law system with Islamic law influence

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt


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


18 years of age; universal; note - there are joint electorates and reserved parliamentary seats for women and non-Muslims

Executive branch

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

description: bicameral Parliament or Majlis-e-Shoora consists of:
Senate (100 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)
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 - bye-election held on 3 March 2021 (next to be held in March 2024)
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 - PTI 25, PPP 21, PML-N 18, BAP 13, JU-F 5, other 13, independent 5; composition - men 80, women 20, percent of women 20%

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; composition - men 273, women 69, percent of women 20.2%; note - total Parliament percent of women 20.1%

Judicial branch

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

Awami National Party or ANP [Asfandyar Wali KHAN]
Awami Muslim League or AML [Sheikh Rashid AHMED]
Balochistan Awami Party or BAP [Jam Kamal KHAN]
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


Diplomatic representation in the US

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

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York

consulate(s): Louisville (KY), San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Angela AGGELER

embassy: Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, Islamabad

mailing address: 8100 Islamabad Place, Washington, DC 20521-8100

telephone: [92] 051-201-4000

FAX: [92] 51-2338071

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar

Flag description

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)

five-pointed star between the horns of a waxing crescent moon, jasmine; national colors: green, white

National anthem

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)


Economic overview

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.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1,021,130,000,000 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$1,015,800,000,000 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$1,005,850,000,000 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
data are for fiscal years

Real GDP growth rate

5.4% (2017 est.)

4.6% (2016 est.)

4.1% (2015 est.)

note: data are for fiscal years

Real GDP per capita

$4,600 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$4,700 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$4,700 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$253.183 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

9.3% (2019 est.)

5.2% (2018 est.)

4.2% (2017 est.)

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B- (2018)

Moody's rating: B3 (2015)

Standard & Poors rating: B- (2019)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 24.4% (2016 est.)

industry: 19.1% (2016 est.)

services: 56.5% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

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.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, buffalo milk, wheat, milk, rice, maize, potatoes, cotton, fruit, mangoes/guavas


textiles and apparel, food processing, pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, construction materials, paper products, fertilizer, shrimp

Labor force

61.71 million (2017 est.)

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

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 42.3%

industry: 22.6%

services: 35.1% (FY2015 est.)

Unemployment rate

6% (2017 est.)

6% (2016 est.)

note: Pakistan has substantial underemployment

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 7.9%

male: 8.2%

female: 6.8% (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4%

highest 10%: 26.1% (FY2013)


revenues: 46.81 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 64.49 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are for fiscal years

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-5.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

67% of GDP (2017 est.)

67.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

15.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Current account balance

-$7.143 billion (2019 est.)

-$19.482 billion (2018 est.)


$27.3 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2020 est.)

$30.67 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)

$30.77 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 14%, China 8%, Germany 7%, United Kingdom 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

textiles, clothing and apparel, rice, leather goods, surgical instruments (2019)


$51.07 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2020 est.)

$57.98 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)

$68.42 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

Imports - partners

China 28%, United Arab Emirates 11%, United States 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, crude petroleum, natural gas, palm oil, scrap iron (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$18.46 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$22.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt - external

$107.527 billion (2019 est.)

$95.671 billion (2018 est.)

Exchange rates

Pakistani rupees (PKR) per US dollar -

160.425 (2020 est.)

155.04 (2019 est.)

138.8 (2018 est.)

102.769 (2014 est.)

101.1 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 79% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 91% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 72% (2019)

Electricity - production

109.7 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity - consumption

92.33 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity - imports

490 million kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

62% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

5% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

27% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

7% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Crude oil - production

90,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)

Crude oil - exports

13,150 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - imports

168,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

332.2 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

291,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

557,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

25,510 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

264,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas - production

39.05 billion cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

45.05 billion cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas - imports

6.003 billion cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

588.8 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 2,876,794 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1.3 (2020 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 165,405,847

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 72.33 (2019 est.)

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Pakistan’s telecom market recently transitioned from a regulated state-owned monopoly to a deregulated competitive structure, now aided by foreign investment; moderate growth over the last six years, supported by a young population and a rising use of mobile services; telecom infrastructure is improving, with investments in mobile-cellular networks, 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 tests ongoing; data centers in major cities; mobile and broadband doing well and dominate over fixed-broadband sector; China-Pakistan Fiber Optic Project became operational in 2020; importer of broadcasting equipment and computers from China (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 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

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 users

total: 61.34 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 17.07% (2019 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 2,423,057 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1.1 (2020 est.)


National air transport system

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)


total: 151 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 108

over 3,047 m: 15

2,438 to 3,047 m: 20

1,524 to 2,437 m: 43

914 to 1,523 m: 20

under 914 m: 10 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 43

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 9

914 to 1,523 m: 9

under 914 m: 24 (2013)


23 (2013)


12,984 km gas, 3,470 km oil, 1,170 km refined products (2019)


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)


total: 263,775 km (2019)

paved: 185,063 km (includes 708 km of expressways) (2019)

unpaved: 78,712 km (2019)

Merchant marine

total: 57

by type: bulk carrier 5, oil tanker 7, other 45 (2021)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Karachi, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim

container port(s) (TEUs): Karachi (2,097,855) (2019)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Port Qasim

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Pakistan Army (includes National Guard), Pakistan Navy (includes Marine forces, Maritime Security Agency), Pakistan Air Force (Pakistan Fizaia); Ministry of Interior: Frontier Corps, Pakistan Rangers (2021)

note(s) - 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; the Frontier Corps is a paramilitary force which operates in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas; its primary mission is security of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border; the Pakistan Rangers are also a paramilitary force which operate in Sindh and Punjab

Military expenditures

4% of GDP (2020)

4.1% of GDP (2019)

4.1% of GDP (2018)

3.8% of GDP (2017)

3.6% of GDP (2016)

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 625,000 active personnel (550,000 Army; 30,000 Navy; 45,000 Air Force) (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Pakistan military inventory includes a broad mix of equipment, primarily from China, France, Russia, Ukraine, the UK, and the US; since 2010, China is the leading supplier of arms to Pakistan; Pakistan also has a large domestic defense industry (2021)

Military deployments

1,300 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 1,975 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 215 Mali (MINUSMA) (Oct 2021)

Military service age and obligation

16 (or 17 depending on service)-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 (2021)

Military - note

the military has carried out three coups since Pakistan's independence in 1947 and as of 2021 remained a dominant force in the country’s political arena; in 2021, its chief focus was on the perceived threat from India, but over the past 15 years, the military also has increased its role in internal counterinsurgency and counterterrorism missions

Pakistan and India have fought several conflicts since 1947, including the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 and the Indo-Pakistan and Bangladesh War of Independence of 1971, as well as two clashes over the disputed region of Kashmir (First Kashmir War of 1947 and the Kargil Conflict of 1999); a fragile cease-fire in Kashmir was reached in 2003 and revised in 2018, although the border, known as the Line of Control, remained contested as of 2021, and India has accused Pakistan of backing armed separatists and terrorist organizations in Jammu and Kashmir; in addition, India and Pakistan have battled over the Siachen Glacier of Kashmir, which was seized by India in 1984 with Pakistan attempting to retake the area in 1985, 1987, and 1995; a cease-fire went into effect in 2003, but as of 2021 both sides continued to maintain a permanent military presence there with outposts at altitudes above 20,000 feet (over 6,000 meters) where most casualties were due to extreme weather or the hazards of operating in the high mountain terrain of the world’s highest conflict, including avalanches, exposure, and altitude sickness

Pakistan has Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status with the US; MNNA is a designation under US law that provides foreign partners with certain benefits in the areas of defense trade and security cooperation; while MNNA status provides military and economic privileges, it does not entail any security commitments


Terrorist group(s)

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

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

Disputes - international

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

refugees (country of origin): 2.58-2.68 million (1.4 million registered, 1.18-1.28 million undocumented) (Afghanistan) (2017)

IDPs: 104,000 (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) (2020)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Pakistan and Pakistanis abroad; the largest human trafficking problem is bonded labor, where traffickers exploit a debt assumed by a worker as part of the terms of employment, entrapping sometimes generations of a family; bonded laborers are forced to work in agriculture, brick kilns, fisheries, mining, textile manufacturing, bangle- and carpet-making; traffickers buy, sell, rent, and kidnap children for forced labor in begging, domestic work, small shops, sex trafficking and stealing; some children are maimed to bring in more money for begging; Afghans, Iranians, and Pakistanis are forced into drug trafficking in border areas and Karachi; Pakistani traffickers lure women and girls away from their families with promises of marriage and exploit the women and girls in sex trafficking; militant groups kidnap, buy, or recruit children and force them to spy, fight, and conduct suicide attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Pakistan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; government efforts include convicting traffickers under the comprehensive human trafficking law, convicting more traffickers for bonded labor, and increasing registration of brick kilns nationwide for the oversight of workers traffickers target; more trafficking victims were identified; authorities initiated eight investigations against suspected traffickers of Pakistani victims overseas; authorities collaborated with international partners and foreign governments on anti-trafficking efforts; however, the government  significantly decreased investigations and prosecutions of sex traffickers; bonded labor exists on farms and in brick kilns in Punjab province; no action was taken against officials involved in trafficking; several high-profile trafficking cases were dropped during the reporting period; resources were lacking for the care of identified victims; Pakistan was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2020)

Illicit drugs

minor cultivator of opium poppy and cannabis with 1,400 of poppy cultivated 2016; one of the world’s top transit corridors for opiates and cannabis products along with Afghanistan and Iran; precursor chemicals also pass through Pakistan as a major transit point for global distribution