Ethnic groups in Pakistan

Ethnic groups in Pakistan

About 99% of languages spoken in Pakistan are Indo-Iranian (sub-branches: 75% Indo-Aryan and 24% Iranian), a branch of Indo-European family of languages. Most languages of Pakistan are written in the Perso-Arabic script, with significant vocabulary derived from Arabic and Persian. Punjabi (Shahmukhi), Seraiki, Sindhi, Pashto, Urdu, Balochi, Kashmiri (Koshur), etc. are the general languages spoken within Pakistan. The majority of Pakistanis belong to various Indo-Aryan-speaking ethnic groups, while a large minority are various Iranic peoples. In addition, small groups of Dardic and Dravidian-speaking peoples live in isolated pockets, while numerous smaller groups are found in the extreme north. The major ethnic groups of Pakistan in numerical size include: Punjabis, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Seraikis, Muhajirs, Balochis, Hindkowans, Memon, Chitralis and other smaller groups.

Pakistan will have a national census by late 2008. According to the last census, the population comprises several main ethnic groups:

#Punjabis (44.15%)
#Pashtuns (15.42%)
#Sindhis (14.1%)
#Seraikis (10.53%)
#Muhajirs (7.57%)
#Balochis (3.57%)
#Others (4.66%) including dispersed Kashmiris from Indian-held Kashmir.

Smaller ethnic groups, such as Turwalis, Kalash, Burusho, Hindkowans, Brahui, Kashmiris, Khowar, and Shina, are mainly found in the northern parts of the country. The people of the Potohar Plateau in Northern Punjab, (Potoharis) are sometimes listed separately from Punjabis. This would tend to decrease the Punjabs population further.

Pakistan's census does not include the approximately 2 million Afghan refugees (registered in Pakistan as "Afghan Citizens") from neighbouring Afghanistan, who are mainly found in the NWFP, Balochistan and Sindh provinces. [Government of Pakistan, National Database and Registration Authority [ "(NADRA) Has Registered 2.15 Million Afghan Refugees"] ] The Afghans, including their children who were born in Pakistan, are expected to leave Pakistan by December 2009 back to Afghanistan. A number of refugees from other countries may also be found in Pakistan.

ee also

*Demographics of Pakistan


External links

* [ Government of Pakistan - National Database and Registration Authority]

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