Asia - Pacific

Pakistan's population grows by 25M in 5 years: Initial census results

South Asian nation's population has crossed 233M

Amir Latif  | 18.04.2023 - Update : 18.04.2023
Pakistan's population grows by 25M in 5 years: Initial census results

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan's population has crossed 230 million with an increase of over 25 million over the past five years, initial results of an ongoing census show.

The South Asian country's overall population has reached 233.4 million with an increase of more than 25 million people, Naeem uz Zafar, chief statistician at the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, told Anadolu on Tuesday.

Zafar said the initial figures are based on 98% findings of the ongoing census, which is scheduled to culminate on April 20.

The country's population was recorded as 207.68 million after the 2017 census.

The population has increased with an annual growth rate between 1.5% and 2%, which is likely to remain marginally low compared to slightly over 2% recorded in 2017.

"These numbers may vary because the work (census) is still in progress in several pockets across the country, particularly in major cities," Zafar said.

According to him, some pockets in the commercial capital Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Multan and other cities have not been properly tabulated due to negligence of the census staff and non-cooperation of households.

Asked if the total population is likely to hit the 250 million figure, Zafar said: "I cannot say anything in this regard at this stage. Something decisive could be said only after these omissions (number of people still not counted in big cities) are covered."

The northeastern Punjab province remains the most populous province with slightly over 115 million people, followed by southern Sindh with 52 million, northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has 40 million and southwestern Balochistan 18.8 million.

Some 4.2 million and 1.65 million people have been so far counted in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and the northern Giglit-Baltistan region, respectively.

The federal capital Islamabad, meanwhile, has a population of 2.1 million.

Over 60% of the country's population resides in rural areas.

Karachi remains the most populous city with 15.8 million people, which, according to the preliminary results, stands almost the same as recorded in 2017.

The metropolis' total population is estimated to cross 17 million after the completion of the remaining census.

Lahore, the capital of Punjab, stands second with 13.4 million people compared to 11 million in 2017.

Pakistan is currently the fifth-largest in the world and the second-largest Muslim country after Indonesia in terms of population.

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