Pakistan

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

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. 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 the countries continue to spar over the disputed Kashmir territory.

Geography

Area

total: 796,095 sq km

land: 770,875 sq km

water: 25,220 sq km

Climate

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

Natural resources

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

People and Society

Population

242,923,845 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Languages

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

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

Population growth rate

1.95% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

federal parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Islamabad

Executive branch

chief of state: President Arif ALVI (since 9 September 2018)

head of government: Prime Minister Shehbaz SHARIF (since 11 April 2022); former Prime Minister Imran KHAN on 10 April lost a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly

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)

Economy

Economic overview

lower middle-income South Asian economy; extremely high debt; endemic corruption; major currency devaluation; major food insecurity and inflation; environmentally fragile agricultural sector; regional disputes with India and Afghanistan hinder investment

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1,021,130,000,000 (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$4,600 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

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

Exports

$27.3 billion (2020 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)

Imports

$51.07 billion (2020 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)


Page last updated: Thursday, May 12, 2022