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).
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%.
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.