Country Summary



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.



total: 796,095 sq km
land: 770,875 sq km
water: 25,220 sq km


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


247,653,551 (2023 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%


Punjabi 38.8%, Pashto (alternate name, Pashtu) 18.2%, Sindhi 14.6%, Saraiki (a Punjabi variant) 12.2%, Urdu 7.1%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2.4%, Brahui 1.2%, other 2.4%


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

Population growth rate

1.91% (2023 est.)


Government type

federal parliamentary republic


name: Islamabad

Executive branch

chief of state: President Arif ALVI (since 9 September 2018)
head of government: Interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq KAKAR (since 14 August 2023)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Majlis-e-Shoora consists of:
Senate (100 seats; members indirectly elected by the 4 provincial assemblies and the federal capital territory indirectly elected by the National Assembly using 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)


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)

$1.211 trillion (2021 est.)
$1.137 trillion (2020 est.)
$1.152 trillion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$5,200 (2021 est.)
$5,000 (2020 est.)
$5,200 (2019 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


$35.566 billion (2021 est.)
$27.333 billion (2020 est.)
$30.67 billion (2019 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)


$76.392 billion (2021 est.)
$52.098 billion (2020 est.)
$57.976 billion (2019 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)

Exchange rates

Pakistani rupees (PKR) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
162.906 (2021 est.)
161.838 (2020 est.)
150.036 (2019 est.)
121.824 (2018 est.)
105.455 (2017 est.)

Page last updated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024