Below are some fact about Pakistan. Data taken from The CIA World Factbook. (To hide sections click on the [-] button or to show click on the [+]).



Background [-]

The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and dating back at least 5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently Pakistan. 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 - in 1947-48 and 1965 - over the disputed Kashmir territory. A third war between these countries in 1971 - in which India capitalized on Islamabad's 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 1998. India-Pakistan relations have been rocky since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, but both countries are taking small steps to put relations back on track. In February 2008, Pakistan held parliamentary elections and in September 2008, after the resignation of former President MUSHARRAF, elected Asif Ali ZARDARI to the presidency.

Geography [-]


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

country comparison to the world: 36

land: 770,875 sq km

water: 25,220 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly less than twice the size of California

Land boundaries:

total: 6,774 km

border countries:

Afghanistan 2,430 km, China 523 km, India 2,912 km, Iran 909 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


flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: K2 (Mt. Godwin-Austen) 8,611 m

Natural resources:

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

Land use:

arable land: 24.44% permanent

crops: 0.84% other: 74.72% (2005)

Irrigated land:

182,300 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

233.8 cu km (2003)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 169.39 cu km/yr (2%/2%/96%)

per capita: 1,072 cu m/yr (2000)

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 fresh water resources; most of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification

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 [-]


noun: Pakistani(s)

adjective: Pakistani

Ethnic groups:

Punjabi 44.68%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.42%, Sindhi 14.1%, Sariaki 8.38%, Muhajirs 7.57%, Balochi 3.57%, other 6.28% Religions:

Muslim 95% (Sunni 75%, Shia 20%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 5%

Languages: Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Siraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, 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%


187,342,721 (July 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Age structure:

0-14 years: 35.4% (male 34,093,853/female 32,278,462)

15-64 years: 60.4% (male 58,401,016/female 54,671,873)

65 years and over: 4.2% (male 3,739,647/female 4,157,870) (2011 est.)

Median age:

total: 21.6 years

male: 21.5 years

female: 21.6 years (2011 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.573% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 75

Birth rate:

24.81 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 62

Death rate:

6.92 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 138

Net migration rate:

-2.17 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 167


urban population: 36% of total population (2010)

rate of urbanization: 3.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population:

Karachi 13.125 million; Lahore 7.132 million; Faisalabad 2.849 million; Rawalpindi 2.026 million; ISLAMABAD (capital) 832,000 (2009)

Sex ratio:

at birth:1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female

total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 63.26 deaths/1,000 live births

country comparison to the world: 25

male: 66.52 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 59.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 65.99 years

country comparison to the world: 166

male: 64.18 years

female: 67.9 years (2011 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.17 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Government [-]

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

Government type:

federal republic


name: Islamabad

time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

4 provinces, 1 territory*, and 1 capital territory**; Balochistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas*, Islamabad Capital Territory**, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly North-West Frontier Province), Punjab, Sindh note: the Pakistani-administered portion of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region consists of two administrative entities: Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Independence:

14 August 1947 (from British India)

National holiday:

Republic Day, 23 March (1956)


12 April 1973; suspended 5 July 1977, restored 30 December 1985; suspended 15 October 1999, restored in stages in 2002; amended 31 December 2003; suspended 3 November 2007; restored 15 December 2007; amended 19 April 2010

Legal system:

based on English common law with provisions to accommodate Pakistan's status as an Islamic state; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Asif Ali ZARDARI (since 9 September 2008)

head of government: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza GILANI (since 25 March 2008)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president upon the advice of the prime minister

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 anthem:

name: "Qaumi Tarana" (National Anthem)

lyrics/music: Abu-Al-Asar Hafeez JULLANDHURI/Ahmed Ghulamali CHAGLA

note: adopted 1954; the anthem is also known as "Pak sarzamin shad bad" (Blessed Be the Sacred Land)

Economy [-]
Pakistan, an impoverished and underdeveloped country, has suffered from decades of internal political disputes and low levels of foreign investment. Between 2001-07, however, poverty levels decreased by 10%, as Islamabad steadily raised development spending. During 2004-07, GDP growth in the 5-8% range was spurred by gains in the industrial and service sectors - despite severe electricity shortfalls - but growth slowed in 2008-09 and unemployment rose. Inflation remains the top concern among the public, climbing from 7.7% in 2007 to more than 13% in 2010. In addition, the Pakistani rupee has depreciated since 2007 as a result of political and economic instability. The government agreed to an International Monetary Fund Standby Arrangement in November 2008 in response to a balance of payments crisis, but during 2009-10 its current account strengthened and foreign exchange reserves stabilized - largely because of lower oil prices and record remittances from workers abroad. Record floods in July-August 2010 lowered agricultural output and contributed to a jump in inflation, and reconstruction costs will strain the limited resources of the government. Textiles account for most of Pakistan's export earnings, but Pakistan's failure to expand a viable export base for other manufactures has left the country vulnerable to shifts in world demand. Other long term challenges include expanding investment in education, healthcare, and electricity production, and reducing dependence on foreign donors.
Communications [-]

Telephones - main lines in use:

4.058 million (2009)

country comparison to the world: 39

Telephones - mobile cellular: 103 million (2009)

country comparison to the world: 9

Telephone system:

general assessment:

the telecommunications infrastructure is improving dramatically with foreign and domestic investments in fixed-line and mobile-cellular networks; system consists of microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, fiber-optic cable, cellular, and satellite networks;


mobile-cellular subscribership has skyrocketed, exceeding 100 million in 2009, up from only about 300,000 in 2000; approximately 90 percent of Pakistanis live within areas that have cell phone coverage and more than half of all Pakistanis have access to a cell phone; fiber systems are being constructed throughout the country to aid in network growth; fixed line availability has risen only marginally over the same period and there are still difficulties getting fixed-line service to rural areas


country code - 92; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 and SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable systems that provide links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; 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 (2009) Broadcast media:

media is government regulated; 1 dominant state-owned TV broadcaster, Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), operates a network consisting of 6 channels; private TV broadcasters are permitted and some foreign satellite channels are carried by cable TV operators; the state-owned radio network operates more than 40 stations; privately-owned radio stations mostly limit programming to music and talk shows (2007)


country code: .pk

Internet hosts: 330,466 (2010)

country comparison to the world: 57

Internet users: 20.431 million (2009)

country comparison to the world: 20

Transportation [-]


148 (2010)

country comparison to the world: 37

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 101

over 3,047 m: 15

2,438 to 3,047 m: 20

1,524 to 2,437 m: 39

914 to 1,523 m: 18

under 914 m: 9 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 47

1,524 to 2,437 m: 11

914 to 1,523 m: 11

under 914 m: 25 (2010)

Heliports: 20 (2010)

Pipelines: gas 10,514 km; oil 2,013 km; refined products 787 km (2010)

Railways: total: 7,791 km

country comparison to the world: 28

broad gauge: 7,479 km 1.676-m gauge (293 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 312 km 1.000-m gauge (2007)


total: 259,197 km

country comparison to the world: 20

paved: 172,827 km (includes 711 km of expressways)

unpaved: 86,370 km (2007)

Merchant marine:

total: 10

country comparison to the world: 116

by type:

bulk carrier 1, cargo 4, petroleum tanker 5 registered in other countries: 14 (Comoros 3, Georgia 1, Marshall Islands 1, Panama 5, Saint Kitts and Nevis 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Karachi, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim

Military [-]

Military branches:

Army (includes National Guard), Navy (includes Marines and Maritime Security Agency), Pakistan Air Force (Pakistan Fiza'ya) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

17-23 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed for combat until age 18; the Pakistani Air Force and Pakistani Navy have inducted their first female pilots and sailors (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 48,453,305 females age 16-49: 44,898,096 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 37,945,440 females age 16-49: 37,381,549 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 2,237,723 female: 2,104,906 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

3% of GDP (2007 est.)

country comparison to the world: 42

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