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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.



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

Map references



total: 796,095 sq km
land: 770,875 sq km
water: 25,220 sq km
country comparison to the world: 37

Area - comparative

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

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: 12nm
exclusive economic zone: 200nm
contiguous zone: 24nm
continental shelf: 200nm 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


mean elevation: 900 m
lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 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% (2011 est.)
arable land: 27.6% (2011 est.)/permanent crops: 1.1% (2011 est.)/permanent pasture: 6.5% (2011 est.)
forest: 2.1% (2011 est.)
other: 62.7% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

202,000 sq km (2012)

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)

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: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note

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

People and Society


207,862,518(July 2017 est.) (July 2018 est.)
note: provisional results of Pakistan's 2017 national census estimate the country's total population to be 207,774,000
country comparison to the world: 6


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%


Muslim (official) 96.4% (Sunni 85-90%, Shia 10-15%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 3.6% (2010 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 30.76%(male 32,828,078 /female 31,118,626)
15-24 years: 20.94%(male 22,446,320 /female 21,076,265)
25-54 years: 38.04%(male 41,021,803 /female 38,039,766)
55-64 years: 5.7%(male 5,979,712 /female 5,871,574)
65 years and over: 4.56%(male 4,399,926 /female 5,080,448) (2018 est.)
population pyramid:

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Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 65.3 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 57.9 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 7.4 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 13.5 (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 24.1 years (2018 est.)
male: 24.1 years
female: 24.2 years
country comparison to the world: 166

Population growth rate

1.41% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79

Birth rate

21.6 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73

Death rate

6.3 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153

Net migration rate

-1.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146

Population distribution

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


urban population: 36.9% of total population(2019)
rate of urbanization: 2.53% annual rate of change(2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

15.741 million Karachi, 12.188 million Lahore, 3.385 million Faisalabad, 2.196 million Rawalpindi, 2.169 million Gujranwala, 1.095 million ISLAMABAD (capital) (2019)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

23.6 years (2017/18 est.)
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality rate

140 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61

Infant mortality rate

total: 50.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 53.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 47.1 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 28

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 68.4 years (2018 est.)
male: 66.4 years
female: 70.5 years
country comparison to the world: 167

Total fertility rate

2.55 children born/woman (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76

Contraceptive prevalence rate

34.2% (2017/18)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 93.9% of population
rural: 89.9% of population
total: 91.4% of population
unimproved: urban: 6.1% of population
rural: 10.1% of population
total: 8.6% of population (2015 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

2.8% (2016)

Physicians density

0.98 physicians/1,000 population (2015)

Hospital bed density

0.6 beds/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 83.1% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 51.1% of population (2015 est.)
total: 63.5% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 16.9% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 48.9% of population (2015 est.)
total: 36.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.1% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

160,000 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34

HIV/AIDS - deaths

6,400 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2016)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever (2016)
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2016)
animal contact diseases: rabies (2016)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

8.6% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 150

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

23.1% (2018)
country comparison to the world: 24

Education expenditures

2.9% of GDP (2017)
country comparison to the world: 142


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.9%
male: 69.5%
female: 45.8% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 8 years
male: 9 years
female: 8 years (2017)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 7.8%
male: 8.2%
female: 6.8% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148


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 (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-Shueera consists of:
Senate (104 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)and the Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura (85 seats; members directly elected in single- and 2-seat constituencies by simple majority popular vote to serve renewable 4-year terms)
Senate - last held on 3 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2021)
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 - PML-N 15, PPP 12, PTI 6, PkMAP 2, NP 2, JUI-F 2, JI 1, MQM-P 1, PML-F 1, independent 10
National Assembly - percent of votes by party - PTI 31.9%, PML-N 24.4%, PPP 13.1%, MMA 4.8%, MQM 1.4%, PML-Q 1%, BAP 0.6%, BNP 0.4%, other 11.1%,independent 11.4%; seats by party - PTI 157, PML-N 84, PPP 54, MMA 16, MQM 7, BAP 5, PML-Q 5, BNP 4, other 5, independent 4; 1 seat vacant
note: since political reforms in 2011, legislation from the Consultative Council is submitted to the Council of State for review by the Royal Court) and the 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)

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 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

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
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 Ambassador Paul W. JONES (since 24 September 2018)
telephone: [92] 51-201-4000
embassy: Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, Islamabad
mailing address: 8100 Islamabad Place, Washington, DC 20521-8100
FAX: [92] 51-227-6427
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)


Economy - 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.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.061 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.007 trillion (2016 est.)
$962.8 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
data are for fiscal years
country comparison to the world: 25

GDP (official exchange rate)

$305 billion (2017 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

5.4% (2017 est.)
4.6% (2016 est.)
4.1% (2015 est.)
note: data are for fiscal years
country comparison to the world: 41

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$5,400 (2017 est.)
$5,200 (2016 est.)
$5,100 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
data are for fiscal years
country comparison to the world: 171

Gross national saving

12% of GDP (2017 est.)
13.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
14.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data are for fiscal years
country comparison to the world: 151

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.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 24.4% (2016 est.)
industry: 19.1% (2016 est.)
services: 56.5% (2017 est.)

Agriculture - products

cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; milk, beef, mutton, eggs


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

Industrial production growth rate

5.4% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53

Labor force

63.89 million (2017 est.)
note: extensive export of labor, mostly to the Middle East, and use of child labor
country comparison to the world: 9

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
country comparison to the world: 90

Population below poverty line

29.5% (FY2013 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 26.1% (FY2013)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

30.7 (FY2013)
30.9 (FY2011)
country comparison to the world: 130


revenues: 46.81 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 64.49 billion (2017 est.)
note: data are for fiscal years

Taxes and other revenues

15.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-5.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178

Public debt

67% of GDP (2017 est.)
67.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

4.1% (2017 est.)
2.9% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161

Central bank discount rate

5.75% (15 November 2016)
6% (15 November 2015)
country comparison to the world: 71

Commercial bank prime lending rate

6.98% (31 December 2017 est.)
6.94% (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119

Stock of narrow money

$109.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$103.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36

Stock of broad money

$109.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$103.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36

Stock of domestic credit

$155.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$145.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48

Market value of publicly traded shares

$43.68 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$32.76 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$38.17 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54

Current account balance

-$12.44 billion (2017 est.)
-$4.867 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194


$32.88 billion (2017 est.)
$21.97 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61

Exports - partners

US 17.7%, UK 7.7%, China 6%, Germany 5.8%, Afghanistan 5.2%, UAE 4.5%, Spain 4.1% (2017)

Exports - commodities

textiles (garments, bed linen, cotton cloth, yarn), rice, leather goods, sporting goods, chemicals, manufactures, surgical instruments, carpets and rugs


$53.11 billion (2017 est.)
$42.69 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51

Imports - commodities

petroleum, petroleum products, machinery, plastics, transportation equipment, edible oils, paper and paperboard, iron and steel, tea

Imports - partners

China 27.4%, UAE 13.7%, US 4.9%, Indonesia 4.3%, Saudi Arabia 4.2% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$18.46 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$22.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62

Debt - external

$82.19 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$70.45 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$43.21 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$39.06 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$1.983 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.094 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83

Exchange rates

Pakistani rupees (PKR) per US dollar -
105.1 (2017 est.)
104.769 (2016 est.)
104.769 (2015 est.)
102.769 (2014 est.)
101.1 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

population without electricity: 52 million (2017)
electrification - total population: 74% (2017)
electrification - urban areas: 90% (2017)
electrification - rural areas: 64% (2017)

Electricity - production

109.7 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

Electricity - consumption

92.33 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182

Electricity - imports

490 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80

Electricity - installed generating capacity

26.9 million kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35

Electricity - from fossil fuels

62% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

5% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

27% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74

Electricity - from other renewable sources

7% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94

Crude oil - production

90,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45

Crude oil - exports

13,150 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58

Crude oil - imports

168,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34

Crude oil - proved reserves

332.2 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52

Refined petroleum products - production

291,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43

Refined petroleum products - consumption

557,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33

Refined petroleum products - exports

25,510 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68

Refined petroleum products - imports

264,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27

Natural gas - production

39.05 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21

Natural gas - consumption

45.05 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165

Natural gas - imports

6.003 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

Natural gas - proved reserves

588.8 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

179.5 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 2,940,243
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 144,525,637
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 71 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10

Telephone system

general assessment: the telecommunications infrastructure is improving, with investments in mobile-cellular networks increasing, but 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 not before 2030; mobile platform and mobile broadband doing well (2018)
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 71 per 100 persons (2018)
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

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 country code


Internet users

total: 31,338,715
percent of population: 15.5% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 1,829,673
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53

Military and Security

Military expenditures

4.03% of GDP (2018)
3.77% of GDP (2017)
3.59% of GDP (2016)
3.55% of GDP (2015)
3.48% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 10

Military and security forces

Pakistan Army (includes National Guard), Pakistan Navy (includes marines, Maritime Security Agency), Pakistan Air Force (Pakistan Fizaia); Ministry of Interior paramilitary forces:  Frontier Corps, Pakistan Rangers (2019)

Military service age and obligation

16-23 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 (2019)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 4 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 67 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 8,467,827 (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 183,177,313mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

AP (2016)


151 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 37

Airports - with paved runways

total: 108 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 15 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 20 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 43 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 20 (2017)
under 914 m: 10 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 43 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 9 (2013)
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 km1.000-m gauge (2019)
broad gauge: 11,492 km1.676-m gauge (293 km electrified) (2019)
country comparison to the world: 22


total: 263,775 km (2019)
paved: 185,063 km(includes 708 km of expressways) (2019)
unpaved: 78,712 km (2019)
country comparison to the world: 22

Merchant marine

total: 53
by type: bulk carrier 5, oil tanker 7, other 41 (2018)
country comparison to the world: 113

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Karachi, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim
container port(s) (TEUs): Karachi (2,224,000) (2017)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Port Qasim


Terrorist groups - home based

al-Qa'ida (AQ): aim(s): eject Western influence from the Islamic world, unite the worldwide Muslim community, overthrow governments perceived as un-Islamic and, ultimately, establish a pan-Islamic caliphate under a strict Salafi Muslim interpretation of sharia
area(s) of operation:
presence in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border (2018)
al-Qa'ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS): aim(s): establish an Islamic caliphate in the Indian subcontinent
area(s) of operation:
operational throughout the country, targeting military and security personnel; responsible for numerous attacks in Karachi; stages attacks in Afghanistan, India, and Bangladesh, where the group is the most active (2018)
Haqqani Network (HQN): aim(s): enhance its operational networks and capabilities for staging cross-border attacks in Afghanistan; replace the Afghan Government with an Islamic state operating according to a strict Salafi Muslim interpretation of sharia
area(s) of operation:
headquartered in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region located across from Afghanistan's southeastern border; fighters have staged numerous cross-border operations from Kurram and North Waziristan Agency in the FATA into Afghanistan, targeting Afghan, US, and NATO forces and other Afghan Government personnel and Westerners for attack or kidnappings for ransom (2018)
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI): aim(s): overthrow the Pakistan Government and implement sharia throughout the country
area(s) of operation:
headquartered in Pakistan, where the group operates several camps; remains heavily active in the southern area of Azad Kashmir (2018)
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM): aim(s): annex Kashmir to Pakistan and establish an Islamic state in Kashmir
area(s) of operation:
headquartered in Islamabad, with an operational presence in Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir, where operatives stage attacks against India; maintains training and paramilitary camps in the country's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region (2018)
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM): aim(s): unite Kashmir with Pakistan, install sharia in Pakistan, and drive foreign forces from Afghanistan
area(s) of operation:
headquartered in Punjab Province; stages attacks against Indian forces, primarily in Jammu and Kashmir State (2018)
Jaysh al Adl: aim(s): seeks greater autonomy for Balochis in Pakistan and Iran
area(s) of operation:
headquartered in Balochistan Province, where operatives stage attacks inside Iran against Shia Muslims, primarily targets Iranian soldiers and security personnel
note: formerly known as Jundallah (2018)
Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ): aim(s): exterminate Shia Muslims, rid the region of Western influence and, ultimately, establish an Islamic state in Pakistan under sharia
area(s) of operation: has a growing presence in Karachi, the capital of Sindh Province; loosely coordinated cells are spread across the country, primarily in Punjab and Balochistan provinces, Karachi, and in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region; majority of attacks are against local and foreign Shia Muslims and government personnel and facilities (2018)
Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LT):
aim(s): return the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and foment Islamic insurgency in India; enhance its recruitment networks and paramilitary training in South Asia; and, ultimately, implement Islamic rule throughout South Asia
area(s) of operation: headquartered in Lahore, Punjab Province, with an operational presence throughout the country; active in both the Pakistan-administered and India-administered Kashmir regions
note: does not conduct attacks within Pakistan; often operates under the guise of its charitable affiliates, including Jamaat-ud-Dawa (2018)

Terrorist groups - foreign based

Indian Mujahedeen (IM): aim(s): stated goal is to carry out terrorist attacks against Indians for perceived atrocities against Indian Muslims following the 2002 Gujarat riots
area(s) of operation: Punjab and Sindh Provinces and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir (2018)
Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham-Khorasan (ISIS-K): aim(s): establish an Islamic caliphate in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region; oppose Pakistan Government and Westerners; oppose Shia Muslim population
area(s) of operation: maintains an operational and recruitment presence throughout the country, primarily along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to stage attacks inside Afghanistan and Pakistan
note: recruits from among the local population and other militant groups such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, the Afghan Taliban, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (2018)
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP): aim(s): remove Pakistani forces from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region; overthrow the Pakistan Government to implement TTP's strict interpretation of sharia
area(s) of operation: maintains a large presence in Karachi, the capital of Sindh Province; trains and deploys fighters in the tribal belt in the Pashtun areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, especially in Kunar and Paktika provinces where TTP has established sanctuaries; operationally active in the North Waziristan, South Waziristan, and Balochistan regions; targets Pakistan Government officials and military, security, and police personnel, as well as Westerners, pro-government tribal elders, Shia Muslims, and education figures and advocates (2018)

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: 119,000 (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) (2018)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: Pakistan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the largest human trafficking problem is bonded labor in agriculture, brickmaking and, to a lesser extent, fishing, mining and carpet-making; children are bought, sold, rented, and placed in forced begging rings, domestic service, small shops, brick-making factories, or prostitution; militant groups also force children to spy, fight, or die as suicide bombers, kidnapping the children or getting them from poor parents through sale or coercion; women and girls are forced into prostitution or marriages; Pakistani adults migrate to the Gulf States and African and European states for low-skilled jobs and sometimes become victims of forced labor, debt bondage, or prostitution; foreign adults and children, particularly from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, may be subject to forced labor, and foreign women may be sex trafficked in Pakistan, with refugees and ethnic minorities being most vulnerable
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Pakistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government lacks political will and capacity to fully address human trafficking, as evidenced by ineffective law enforcement efforts, official complicity, penalization of victims, and the continued conflation of migrant smuggling and human trafficking by many officials; not all forms of trafficking are prohibited; an anti-trafficking bill drafted in 2013 to address gaps in existing legislation remains pending, and a national action plan drafted in 2014 is not finalized; feudal landlords and brick kiln owners use their political influence to protect their involvement in bonded labor, while some police personnel have taken bribes to ignore prostitution that may have included sex trafficking; authorities began to use standard procedures for the identification and referral of trafficking victims, but it is not clear how widely these methods were practiced; in other instances, police were reluctant to assist NGOs with rescues and even punished victims for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked (2015)

Illicit drugs

significant transit area for Afghan drugs, including heroin, opium, morphine, and hashish, bound for Iran, Western markets, the Gulf States, Africa, and Asia; financial crimes related to drug trafficking, terrorism, corruption, and smuggling remain problems; opium poppy cultivation estimated to be 930 hectares in 2015; federal and provincial authorities continue to conduct anti-poppy campaigns that utilizes forced eradication, fines, and arrests

Flag of Pakistan

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