Islamabad Population 2021

1,163,584
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Islamabad's 2021 population is now estimated at 1,163,584. In 1950, the population of Islamabad was 36,466. Islamabad has grown by 34,386 since 2015, which represents a 3.05% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Islamabad, which typically includes Islamabad's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan and is located within the federal Islamabad Capital Territory. The population makeup of the city makes it the most diverse and cosmopolitan area in Pakistan, which has contributed to its steady growth over the years. As of 2016, the population is 1.433 million.

Islamabad is not just known for being the capital of Pakistan, but it is known for embracing modern ideas while remaining true to its rich cultural heritage. The dynamic city has attracted residents from all over Pakistan, making it one of the most diverse and urbanized cities in the country.

City Size and Population Density

The city of Islamabad covers a total surface area of 906.5 square kilometers (approximately 350.0 square miles). In combination with the current estimated number of residents, the population density comes to about 2,089 people residing per square kilometer (5,410 living per square mile).

Islamabad Demographics

The city of Islamabad has a population of 1,433,000 as of 2016. Islamabad and its neighbor Rawalpindi form the Islamabad-Rawalpindi metropolitan area, which has a population of over 4.5 million. Islamabad has become known for its diverse population, its higher education system for being home to the largest mosque in South Asia.

The city is mostly comprised of people in the 15-64 year age bracket, making up over 59% of the population. Over 37% of residents are under the age of 15, while the older population is quite small at just 2.73%. Islam is the most practiced religion in the city, with over 95% of Muslims making up the population. The second largest religion is Christianity, which accounts for just over 4% of the population.

Islamabad has the highest literacy rate in the country at 88%. Over 10% of the population has a bachelor’s degree, and 5.2% have a master’s degree, in part because of the higher education system which consists of 16 recognized universities. Punjabis make up 65% of the population, followed by Urdu-speaking Muhajirs (14%), Pashtuns (10.51%) and others – including Sindhi, Balochi, and Kashmiris) making up the remaining 7%.

Islamabad History

The country of Pakistan was formed in 1947 and after its formation, it was determined that the country needed a capital. In 1958, a commission went to work to find a new location based on climate, location, beauty, and other criteria. After planning and research, the area around Rawalpindi was selected, and Islamabad was created with the initial goal that Islamabad would eventually encompass Rawalpindi.

Before the development of Islamabad, the area had been settled before, with the earliest history dating back to 5000 BC. In modern times, Islamabad – which reached completion of development in 1966 – is one of the most diverse cities in the country, attracting settlers from all over Pakistan. It is also a popular tourist destination for hikers and mountaineers that want to enjoy the beautiful outdoor aesthetics that the city has to offer. A moderate climate, outdoor scenery, and basic infrastructure isn’t the only appeal that the city has, though, as it also houses the country’s embassies, Foreign Office and other government buildings.

Islamabad Population Growth

Despite development that was completed in the 1960s, Islamabad has shown steady population growth over the years. Its high percentage of youthful residents, combined with its climate, scenery, and jobs in sectors including information and communications technology makes it an area that should see continued growth well into the future. Estimates place the 2020 population at almost 1.7 million, and it’s expected to exceed 2.2 million in 2030.

Islamabad Population 2021

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
20351,672,3842.52%41,058
20341,631,3262.51%39,997
20331,591,3292.51%38,989
20321,552,3402.51%38,024
20311,514,3162.52%37,153
20301,477,1632.52%36,331
20291,440,8322.53%35,607
20281,405,2252.56%35,031
20271,370,1942.59%34,645
20261,335,5492.65%34,421
20251,301,1282.71%34,336
20241,266,7922.79%34,345
20231,232,4472.87%34,412
20221,198,0352.96%34,451
20211,163,5843.05%34,386
20201,129,1983.12%34,134
20191,095,0643.17%33,652
20181,061,4123.52%36,122
20171,025,2903.52%34,893
2016990,3973.53%33,798
2015956,5993.53%32,600
2014923,9993.53%31,489
2013892,5103.52%30,374
2012862,1363.53%29,421
2011832,7153.53%28,378
2010804,3373.53%27,411
2009776,9263.52%26,441
2008750,4853.53%25,610
2007724,8753.53%24,703
2006700,1723.53%23,861
2005676,3113.52%23,017
2004653,2943.53%22,294
2003631,0003.53%21,504
2002609,4963.53%20,771
2001588,7253.52%20,036
2000568,6893.53%19,406
1999549,2833.53%18,719
1998530,5644.98%25,145
1997505,4195.69%27,219
1996478,2005.71%25,822
1995452,3785.70%24,395
1994427,9835.70%23,080
1993404,9035.69%21,805
1992383,0985.71%20,687
1991362,4115.70%19,543
1990342,8685.70%18,490
1989324,3785.69%17,469
1988306,9095.71%16,573
1987290,3365.70%15,656
1986274,6805.70%14,813
1985259,8675.69%13,995
1984245,8725.71%13,276
1983232,5965.70%12,543
1982220,0535.70%11,867
1981208,1869.96%18,851
1980189,33512.20%20,590
1979168,74512.18%18,328
1978150,41712.18%16,336
1977134,08112.17%14,544
1976119,53712.20%12,999
1975106,53812.18%11,571
197494,96712.19%10,315
197384,65210.52%8,058
197276,5944.58%3,352
197173,2424.57%3,201
197070,0414.57%3,061
196966,9804.56%2,923
196864,0574.58%2,804
196761,2534.57%2,677
196658,5764.57%2,560
196556,0164.56%2,445
196453,5714.58%2,344
196351,2274.57%2,239
196248,9884.57%2,141
196146,8473.17%1,439
196045,4082.22%986
195944,4222.22%963
195843,4592.22%943
195742,5162.21%921
195641,5952.22%903
195540,6922.22%883
195439,8092.22%863
195338,9462.22%844
195238,1022.22%828
195137,2742.22%808
195036,4660.00%

Islamabad Population Data (Urban Area)

Name Population 2021 Growth
Karachi16,459,4722.27%
Lahore13,095,1663.58%
Faisalabad3,542,0202.30%
Gujranwala2,290,4612.75%
Rawalpindi2,280,7331.96%
Peshawar2,272,8123.17%
Multan2,059,5342.21%
Hyderabad1,886,7342.00%
Islamabad1,163,5843.05%
Quetta1,129,3612.71%
Bahawalpur869,5482.94%
Sialkot720,4392.17%
Sargodha712,9611.84%
Larkana548,9162.74%
Sukkur545,3492.03%
Sheikhupura530,7982.60%
Rahim Yar Khan477,1002.83%
Dera Ghazikhan466,2813.43%
Jhang445,4161.75%
Sahiwal444,0152.92%

Other Cities in Pakistan

  1. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics - Islamabad population census
  2. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations

Sources