Karachi, Pakistan Population

Population in Urban Area, now

16,178,987
  • World: 12th
  • Asia: 8th
  • Pakistan: 1st

Population in City Area, 2019-12-30

11,624,219
  • World: 7th
  • Asia: 5th
  • Pakistan: 1st

Karachi Urban Area Population Graph

Karachi Population Review

Karachi is the capital city of the Pakistani province of Sindh. With over 16 million residents in the urban area and 11 million in the city, it is the largest city in Pakistan and one of the largest cities proper in the world. The premier industrial and financial center of the country, Karachi is the most cosmopolitan city in Pakistan. It is also the most linguistically, ethnically and religiously diverse city in the country. This socially liberal and secular city is known for its beautiful architecture that combines both contemporary and traditional styles.

Karachi’s population has grown exponentially in the past fifty years, increasing by almost 15 million people. It is also one of the most densely populated megacities in the country, with 63,000 people per square mile. Karachi was once the capital of Pakistan until Islamabad was constructed.

The demographics of Karachi

Historically, Karachi has been home to many Guajarati Muslims who were early settlers of the area. After the 50s, many non-Muslims left Karachi for India. However, there are still small communities on Anglo-Indians, Goan Catholics, and Parsis in the city. The city is home to many Muslim Muhajirs, descendents of those who fled India to avoid anti-Muslim programs that were started in the country. Muhajirs are the largest ethnic group in the city, with about 50% of the population. They include Urdu, Marathi, Malabari Muslims, Konkari, and Rajasthani.

The city is also home to about 2 million ethnic Bengalis who arrived in the city during the 80s and 90s. The city is also home to many Rohingya Muslims, refugees from Burma and Asian refugees from Uganda. There are also a generous amount of Western expatriates living in Karachi. As the city becomes more and more secure, it continues to attract many people from countries such as Poland, the United States, and Britain. Some of these are Pakistani Brits and Americans that returned to Pakistan to work and resume their family lives.

A city of religious diversity

While Karachi is one of the world’s largest Muslim cities, there are also numerous other religious groups that call the city home, including Protestant Christianity, Goan Catholics, Hindus, and Zoroastrians. The city is one of the most secular cities in Pakistan, permitting many religious groups to practice without persecution, though it is common for many groups to live in their won enclaves throughout the city. Karachi is also served by its own archdiocese, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi .

Poverty in Karachi and the Orangi Town

While Karachi is a vital part of Pakistan’s economy, the fast expansion of its population has been fed by massive migration, which has led to many people struggling to find steady income and a place to live. This has led to the formation of one of the world’s largest slum, Orangi Town. It’s estimated that almost 2.4 million people live in Orangi Town. The settlement’s population exploded in the 70s when people migrated from East Pakistan after the war of independence.

Residents of Orangi Town originally did not have access to sewers, so the residents installed them by hand. This has led to almost 90% of Orangi Town’s 8,000 streets having sewage pipes.

The financial and industrial capital of the country

The World Bank considers Karachi the most business-friendly in Pakistan. In 2019, Karachi GDP was estimated to be $164 billion and its projected growth rate has remained positive. The city accounts for about 50% of all collections completed by the Federal Bureau of Revenue. Half of these collections are in customs duties and sales on tax imports. In 2010, Mercer also found that Karachi was one of the most inexpensive cities in the world to live in.

Review Updated: July 26, 2020

Karachi Urban Area Population History

1950 1,055,000
1951 1,147,000
1952 1,210,000
1953 1,276,000
1954 1,346,000
1955 1,419,000
1956 1,497,000
1957 1,579,000
1958 1,666,000
1959 1,757,000
1960 1,853,000
1961 1,954,000
1962 2,058,000
1963 2,168,000
1964 2,283,000
1965 2,405,000
1966 2,533,000
1967 2,668,000
1968 2,811,000
1969 2,961,000
1970 3,119,000
1971 3,285,000
1972 3,461,000
1973 3,631,000
1974 3,806,000
1975 3,989,000
1976 4,182,000
1977 4,383,000
1978 4,594,000
1979 4,815,000
1980 5,048,000
1981 5,267,000
1982 5,449,000
1983 5,637,000
1984 5,832,000
1985 6,033,000
1986 6,241,000
1987 6,456,000
1988 6,679,000
1989 6,909,000
1990 7,147,000
1991 7,394,000
1992 7,649,000
1993 7,912,000
1994 8,185,000
1995 8,467,000
1996 8,760,000
1997 9,062,000
1998 9,346,000
1999 9,583,000
2000 9,825,000
2001 10,073,000
2002 10,328,000
2003 10,589,000
2004 10,857,000
2005 11,132,000
2006 11,413,000
2007 11,702,000
2008 11,998,000
2009 12,301,000
2010 12,612,000
2011 12,931,000
2012 13,258,000
2013 13,593,000
2014 13,937,000
2015 14,289,000
2016 14,651,000
2017 15,021,000
2018 15,400,000
2019 15,741,000
2020 16,094,000

Karachi Urban Area Population Projections

2021 16,459,000
2022 16,840,000
2023 17,236,000
2024 17,649,000
2025 18,077,000
2026 18,520,000
2027 18,978,000
2028 19,449,000
2029 19,934,000
2030 20,432,000
2031 20,944,000
2032 21,469,000
2033 22,007,000
2034 22,560,000
2035 23,128,000

Map of Karachi, Pakistan

All Biggest Cities in Pakistan