Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 12th
- Asia: 8th
- Pakistan: 1st
Population in City Area, 2019-12-30
- 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.