Photos of Pakistan



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 created lasting tension between the two countries, 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. Major bilateral disputes, including the status of Kashmir, remain unresolved, but in early 2021 the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to maintain the cease-fire along the Line of Control in Kashmir that began in 2003. Pakistan has been engaged in a decades-long armed conflict with militant groups, including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant networks, that target government institutions and civilians.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



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

comparison ranking: total 37

Area - comparative

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

total: 7,257 km

border countries (4): Afghanistan 2,670 km; China 438 km; India 3,190 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

193,400 sq km (2020)

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


247,653,551 (2023 est.)

note: results of Pakistan's 2017 national census estimate the country's total population to be 207,684,626

comparison ranking: 5


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 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%

major-language sample(s):
دنیا کا قاموس، ایک لازمی زریہ بنیادی معلومات کا (Urdu)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

note: data represent population by mother tongue; English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries)


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

Age structure

0-14 years: 34.81% (male 44,002,871/female 42,216,200)

15-64 years: 60.41% (male 76,548,821/female 73,065,518)

65 years and over: 4.77% (2023 est.) (male 5,482,633/female 6,337,508)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 70

youth dependency ratio: 62.8

elderly dependency ratio: 7.2

potential support ratio: 13.9 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 22.7 years (2023 est.)

male: 22.6 years

female: 22.8 years

comparison ranking: total 178

Population growth rate

1.91% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 47

Birth rate

26 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 43

Death rate

5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 163

Net migration rate

-1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 148

Population distribution

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


urban population: 38% of total population (2023)

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

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

17.236 million Karachi, 13.979 million Lahore, 3.711 million Faisalabad, 2.415 million Gujranwala, 2.412 million Peshawar, 1.232 million ISLAMABAD (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female

total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

22.8 years (2017/18 est.)

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

Maternal mortality ratio

154 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 54

Infant mortality rate

total: 52.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 57.1 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 48.1 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 18

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 70 years (2023 est.)

male: 67.9 years

female: 72.1 years

comparison ranking: total population 175

Total fertility rate

3.39 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 41

Gross reproduction rate

1.66 (2023 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 96.5% of population

rural: 92.5% of population

total: 94% of population

unimproved: urban: 3.5% of population

rural: 7.5% of population

total: 6% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

2.8% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

1.12 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

0.6 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 88.6% of population

rural: 73.2% of population

total: 78.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 11.4% of population

rural: 26.8% of population

total: 21.1% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever

animal contact diseases: rabies

note: Pakistan is one of two countries with endemic wild polio virus (the other is Afghanistan) and considered high risk for international spread of the disease; before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

8.6% (2016)

comparison ranking: 148

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 0.04 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.04 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 180

Tobacco use

total: 20.2% (2020 est.)

male: 33% (2020 est.)

female: 7.3% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 86

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

23.1% (2017/18)

comparison ranking: 8

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 3.6%

women married by age 18: 18.3%

men married by age 18: 4.7% (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

2.4% of GDP (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 177


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)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 9.4% (2021 est.)

male: 9.7%

female: 8.2%

comparison ranking: total 161


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


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: 38% of total population (2023)

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

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to population displacements, economic constraints, and high prices of the main food staple - according to the latest analysis, about 4.7 million people, 25% of the population, are estimated to be facing high levels of acute food insecurity, between April and June 2022 in 25 districts analyzed in Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces; prices of wheat flour, the country’s main staple, were at high levels in most markets in May 2022, constraining access to the staple food (2022)

Revenue from forest resources

0.1% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 114

Revenue from coal

0.06% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 29

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 50.13 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 201.15 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 142.12 megatons (2020 est.)

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 (2020 est.)

industrial: 1.4 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 172.4 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

246.8 billion cubic meters (2020 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: Interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq KAKAR (since 14 August 2023); caretaker cabinet (since 17 August 2023)

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 expected to be held in early 2024); prime minister elected by the National Assembly on 11 April 2022

election results:
2018: 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

2013: Mamnoon HUSSAIN elected president; National Assembly vote - Mamnoon HUSSAIN (PML-N) 432, Wajihuddin AHMED (PTI) 77

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)

Senate - last held on 3 March 2021 (next to be held on 3 March 2024)
National Assembly - last held on 25 July 2018 (next rescheduled from October 2023 to 31 January 2024 to 4 February 2024 due to the redrawing of many electoral district boundaries)

election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PTI 25, PPP 21, PML-N 18, BAP 13, JUI-F 5, other 13, independent 5; composition - men 81, women 19, percent of women 19%

National Assembly - percent of votes by party - NA; seats by party - PTI 156, PML-N 83, PPP 55, MMA 16, MQM-P 7, BAP 5, PML-Q 5, BNP-M 4, GDA 3, AML 1, ANP 1, JWP 1, independent 4; composition - men 272, women 70, percent of women 20.2%; note - total Parliament percent of women 20.1%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): 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 [Abdul Quddus BIZENJO]
Balochistan National Party-Awami or BNP-A [Mir Israrullah ZEHRI]
Balochistan National Party-Mengal or BNP-M [Sardar Akhtar Jan MENGAL]
Grand Democratic Alliance or GDA [Pir PAGARO] (alliance of several parties)
Hazara Democratic Party or HDP [Abdul Khaliq HAZARA]
Jamaat-e-Islami or JI [Siraj-ul-HAQ]
Jamhoori Wattan Party or JWP [Nawabzada Shahzain BUGTI]
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl or JUI-F [Maulana Fazal-ur-REHMAN]
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal or MMA [Maulana Fazal-ur-REHMAN] (alliance of several parties)
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan or MQM-P [Khalid Maqbool SIDDIQUI]
National Party or NP [Abdul Malik BALOCH]
Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party or PMAP or PKMAP [Mahmood Khan ACHAKZAI]
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz or PML-N [Shehbaz SHARIF]
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam or PML-Q [Chaudhry Shujaat HUSSAIN]
Pakistan Muslim League-Functional or PML-F [Pir PAGARO]
Pakistan Peoples Party or PPP [Bilawal BHUTTO ZARDARI, Asif Ali ZARDARI]
Pakistan Rah-e-Haq Party or PRHP [Muhammad Ibrahim QASMI]
Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaaf or PTI (Pakistan Movement for Justice) [Imran KHAN]
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan or TLP [Hafiz Muhammad Saad Hussain Rizvi MARKAZI]

note: Pakistan has several hundred officially registered political parties; this list includes those that won seats in the most recent elections at the national and provincial levels

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Sardar Masood KHAN (since 19 April 2022)

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

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Donald BLOME (since 2 July 2022)

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)

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 6 (all cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro; Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi; Taxila; Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore; Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta; Rohtas Fort


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.)

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

comparison ranking: 23

Real GDP growth rate

6.49% (2021 est.)
-1.27% (2020 est.)
2.5% (2019 est.)

note: data are for fiscal years

comparison ranking: 66

Real GDP per capita

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

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 175

GDP (official exchange rate)

$253.183 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

9.5% (2021 est.)
9.74% (2020 est.)
10.58% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 26

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B- (2018)

Moody's rating: B3 (2015)

Standard & Poors rating: B- (2019)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 24.4% (2016 est.)

industry: 19.1% (2016 est.)

services: 56.5% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 147; industry 157; agriculture 30

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

Industrial production growth rate

7.81% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 53

Labor force

73.133 million (2021 est.)

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

comparison ranking: 6

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 42.3%

industry: 22.6%

services: 35.1% (FY2015 est.)

Unemployment rate

4.35% (2021 est.)
4.3% (2020 est.)
3.54% (2019 est.)

note: Pakistan has substantial underemployment

comparison ranking: 168

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 9.4% (2021 est.)

male: 9.7%

female: 8.2%

comparison ranking: total 161

Average household expenditures

on food: 39.5% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 1.1% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4%

highest 10%: 26.1% (FY2013)


revenues: $38.966 billion (2020 est.)

expenditures: $59.621 billion (2020 est.)

note: data are for fiscal years

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

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

comparison ranking: 180

Public debt

67% of GDP (2017 est.)
67.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 65

Taxes and other revenues

15.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 141

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Current account balance

-$12.262 billion (2021 est.)
-$650.874 million (2020 est.)
-$8.558 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 196


$35.566 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$27.333 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$30.67 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

comparison ranking: 69

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.) note: data are in current year dollars
$52.098 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$57.976 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

comparison ranking: 51

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

$22.812 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$18.522 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$16.586 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 64

Debt - external

$107.527 billion (2019 est.)
$95.671 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 54

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.)


Electricity access

population without electricity: 46 million (2020)

electrification - total population: 94.9% (2021)

electrification - urban areas: 99.9% (2021)

electrification - rural areas: 91.9% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 39.925 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 103,493,520,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 487 million kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 17.389 billion kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 30; transmission/distribution losses 24; imports 88; exports 178; consumption 33

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 55.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 8.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 2.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 31.9% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Nuclear energy

Number of operational nuclear reactors: 6 (2023)

Number of nuclear reactors under construction: 0

Net capacity of operational nuclear reactors: 3.26GW (2023)

Percent of total electricity production: 10.6% (2021)

Percent of total energy produced: 8.7% (2021)

Number of nuclear reactors permanently shut down: 0


production: 4.855 million metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 21.012 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 1,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 17.239 million metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 3.064 billion metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 100,700 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 493,400 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 7,800 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 198,400 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 540 million barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

291,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 43

Refined petroleum products - exports

25,510 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 68

Refined petroleum products - imports

264,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 27

Natural gas

production: 38,056,250,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 48,391,627,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 10,743,167,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 592.218 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

193.869 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 47.468 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 67.789 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 78.611 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 31

Energy consumption per capita

15.859 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 140


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 2,989,133 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 42

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 188,711,452 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 82 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 9

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Pakistan’s telecom market transitioned from a regulated state-owned monopoly to a deregulated competitive structure in 2003, 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; future growth (in market size as well as revenue) is likely to come from the wider availability of value-added services on top of the expansion of 4G LTE and (from 2023) 5G mobile networks; the Universal Service Fund (USF) continues to direct investment towards the development of mobile broadband (and, to a lesser extent, fiber-based networks) in under-served and even under served areas of the country, with multiple projects being approved to start in 2021 and 2022 (2021)

domestic: mobile-cellular subscribership has increased; 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 and broadband penetration in Pakistan is increasing--by the end of 2021, 50% of the population had access to broadband services; fixed-line teledensity is a little over 1 per 100 and mobile-cellular roughly 82 per 100 persons (2021)

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)

Broadcast media

television is the most popular and dominant source of news in Pakistan with over 120 satellite tv stations licensed by the country’s electronic media regulatory body, PEMRA ,and 42 media companies/channels with landing rights permission; state-run Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) is the largest television network in the country and serves over 85 percent of the population with the largest terrestrial infrastructure of the country; PTV consists of nine TV Channels and PTV networks give special coverage to Kashmir; Pakistanis have access to over 100 private cable and satellite channels; six channels are considered the leaders for news reporting and current affairs programing in the country; state-owned Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC or Radio Pakistan) has the largest radio audience in the country, particularly in the rural areas; Radio Pakistan’s AM/SW/FM stations cover 98 percent of the population and 80 percent of the total area in the country; all major newspapers have online editions and all major print publications operate websites; freedom of the press and freedom of speech in the country are fragile (2022)

Internet users

total: 48.3 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 21% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 21

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 2,523,027 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 53


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 (2018) mt-km


151 (2021)

comparison ranking: total 35

Airports - with paved runways


civil airports: 5

military airports: 12

joint use (civil-military) airports: 5

other airports: 86

note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports - with unpaved runways


note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control


23 (2021)


13,452 km gas transmission and 177,029 km gas distribution, 3,663 km oil, 1,150 km refined products  (2022)


total: 11,881 km (2021)

narrow gauge: 389 km (2021) 1.000-m gauge

broad gauge: 11,492 km (2021) 1.676-m gauge (286 km electrified)

comparison ranking: total 20


total: 264,175 km (2021)

paved: 185,463 km (2021) (includes 708 km of expressways)

unpaved: 78,712 km (2021)

comparison ranking: total 22

Merchant marine

total: 58 (2022)

by type: bulk carrier 5, oil tanker 7, other 46

comparison ranking: total 116

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 Armed Forces: Pakistan Army (includes National Guard), Pakistan Navy (includes marines, Maritime Security Agency), Pakistan Air Force (Pakistan Fizaia)

Ministry of Interior: Frontier Corps, Pakistan Rangers (2023)

note 1: 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

note 2: the Frontier Corps is a paramilitary force manned mostly by individuals from the tribal areas and commanded by officers from the Pakistan Army; its primary mission is security of the border with Afghanistan; the Frontier Corps is under the Ministry of Interior, but would report to the Army in times of conflict

note 3: the Pakistan Rangers is a paramilitary force operating in Sindh and Punjab

Military expenditures

4% of GDP (2022 est.)
4% of GDP (2021 est.)
4% of GDP (2020 est.)
4.1% of GDP (2019 est.)
4.1% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 16

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 630,000 active-duty personnel (550,000 Army; 30,000 Navy; 50,000 Air Force); approximately 150,000 Frontier Corps and Pakistan Rangers (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory includes a broad mix of equipment, primarily from China, but also from such suppliers as France, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK, and the US; China has been the leading supplier of arms to Pakistan; Pakistan also has a large domestic defense industry (2023)

Military service age and obligation

16 (or 17 depending on service) to 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 (2023)

Military deployments

1,300 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 1,900 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 225 Mali (MINUSMA); 275 South Sudan (UNMISS); 575 Sudan (UNISFA) (2023)

Military - note

the Pakistan military operates largely independently and without effective civilian oversight; it has ruled the country for more than 30 years since independence in 1947 and continues to play a significant role in Pakistan's political arena; it also has a large stake in the country’s economic sector and is involved in a diverse array of commercial activities, including banking, construction of public projects, employment services, energy and power generation, fertilizer, food, housing, real estate, and security services

the military is responsible for external defense but also has a large role in domestic security; its chief external focus is on the perceived threat from India; the military is the lead security agency in many areas of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA); it has considerable operational experience, having engaged in several conflicts with India and conducted counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations for decades against various militant groups in the former FATA; it is also one of the longest serving and largest contributors to UN peacekeeping missions; China is its closest security partner

the Army is the largest component; it has more than 20 combat divisions, plus about 20 independent combat brigades; the Army also has an inventory of over 5,000 artillery systems organized into divisions and brigades, plus several squadrons of attack helicopters; the Navy operates throughout the Indian Ocean and conducts a variety of missions, including countering piracy, narcotics, and smuggling, protecting Pakistan’s sea lines of communications, multinational security and humanitarian operations, and naval diplomacy; the Navy is in the midst of a large modernization effort; its principal combat ships are a mix of about 15 frigates and corvettes, plus 5 attack submarines; there is also a small marine amphibious force; the Air Force’s combat missions include the air defense of Pakistan and support to the Army and Navy; it has over 400 Chinese-, French-, and US-made combat aircraft 

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, revised in 2018, and reaffirmed in 2021, although the Line of Control remains contested, 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; despite a cease-fire, as of 2022 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 (2023)


Space agency/agencies

Pakistan Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO; established 1961); National Remote Sensing Center (aka Resacent; established 1980) (2023)

Space launch site(s)

Somiani Flight Test Range (Balochistan); Tilla Satellite Launch Center (aka Tilla Range; Punjab) (2023)

Space program overview

space program dates back to the early 1960s but funding shortfalls and shifts in priority toward ballistic missile development in the 1980s and 1990s hampered the program’s development; more recently, the program has regained attention and become more ambitious, particularly in acquiring satellites and reaching agreements with other space powers for additional capabilities; manufactures and operates satellites; researching and developing other space-related capabilities and technologies, such as satellite payloads and probably satellite/space launch vehicles (SLVs); also conducts research in such areas as astronomy, astrophysics, environmental monitoring, and space sciences; has relations or cooperation agreements on space with China, Russia, and Turkey (cooperated with the UK and US prior to the 1990s) (2023)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S


Terrorist group(s)

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 (ISIS-K); 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 (TTP); al-Qa’ida; al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS)

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

Pakistan-Afghanistan: since 2002, with UN assistance, Pakistan has repatriated about 5.3 million Afghan refugees, leaving about 2.74-3 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; in February 2022, amid skirmishes between Taliban and Pakistani forces, Pakistan announced its intent to finish constructing the barbed wire fence along the Durand Line and bring nearby areas under its control; Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan military meet periodically to clarify the alignment of the boundary on the ground and on maps

Pakistan-China: none identified

Pakistan-India: Kashmir 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 initiated discussions on defusing the armed standoff in the Siachen glacier region; the Siachen glacier is claimed by both countries and militarily occupied by India: Pakistan opposed India's fencing the highly militarized Line of Control (completed in 2004) and the construction of the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River (opened in 2008) 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 Junagadh in India's Gujarat State as part of Pakistan

Pakistan-Iran: none identified



Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 2.64-2.9 million (1.3 million registered, 1.34-1.6  million undocumented or otherwise categorized) (Afghanistan) (2023)

IDPs: 21,000 (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) (2022)

stateless persons: 48 (2022)

Illicit drugs

one of the world’s top transit corridors for opiates and cannabis products trafficked with Afghanistan and Iran; increased synthetic drug smuggling primarily methamphetamine; a major source of precursor or essential chemicals used in the production of heroin and amphetamine-type stimulants