Karachi Population 2021

16,459,472
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Karachi is the largest and most populous metropolitan city in Pakistan and the capital of Sindh province. Located on the Arabian Sea, Karachi is also known as the "City of Lights" and "The Bride of the Cities." The 2016 population for the city is estimated to be 16.62 million.

In 2016, Karachi had an estimated population of more than 16 million people, which makes it the the 7th largest urban agglomeration and the largest city in the Muslim world.

City Size and Population Density

Karachi has proliferated in the last few decades, and the metropolitan area has more than 23 million people, with a population density of over 24,000 people per square kilometer, or 63,000 per square mile. This means Karachi is by far more dense than any other "megacity" with an urban population of more than 10 million except Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Mumbai. This makes Karachi the largest city in Pakistan. Karachi was previously the capital of Pakistan until Islamabad was constructed.

Karachi Demographics

Karachi's rapid growth and massive migration mean nearly 5 million people, or 50% of the population, in 2000 lived in slums, a number that is believed to have grown.

Karachiites are made up of many ethno-linguistic groups from around Pakistan, along with South Asia migrants. It is believed that about 90% of Karachi's population are migrants from many backgrounds.

By the time Pakistan gained independence in 1947, the population was mostly Sindhi and Baloch Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. Karachi has historically been home to a large number of Gujarati Muslims, who were very early settlers to the area and formed a majority in Saddar Town. Large Gujarati Muslim communities in Karachi are the Chhipa, Ghanchi, Memon, Khoja, Bohra, and Tai.

After the 1950s, most non-Muslims left Karachi for India, but there are still small communities of Anglo-Indians, Parsis, and Goan Catholics. Many Muslim Muhajirs came to Karachi after independence from India to escape anti-Muslim programs in the country. This is why Karachi today has many South Asians. Descendants of Muslim refugees who left India are called Muhajirs, and they form a huge group in the city. They include Urdu, Gujarati, Marathi, Konkani, Rajasthani, and Malabari Muslims. Muhajirs are the largest ethnic group, accounting for 50% of the population.

There are about 10 million Bengali and Biharis from Bangladesh as well. Karachi has 1-2 million ethnic Bengalis from Bangladesh, most of whom came during the 1980s and 1990s. There are also many Rohingya Muslim refugees from Burma and Asian refugees from Uganda. Many refugees from Iran and Central Asian countries have settled in Karachi, as well as a large number of Arabs, Filipinos and Sinhalese from Sri Lanka.

The second largest ethnic group are the Pashtuns, originally from Afghanistan and Balochistan, who have been in the city for decades. Karachi has the largest concentration of urban Pakhtun in the world, including 50,000 registered Afghan refugees, making up 25% of the city's population.

Karachi also has a large number of Western expatriates, including Polish, American and British expatriates.

Karachi History

Baloch tribes from Makran and Balochistan founded Karachi as a small fishing community. Many descendants of this original population still live on the island of Abdullah Goth, near Karachi port. This village became a settlement called Kolachi-jo-Goth, which was trading across the Arabian Sea by the early 18th century. A fort was constructed with two gateways leading to the sea and the Lyari River.

After missions to the area, the British East India Company captured Karachi in 1839 and the town was annexed to British India in 1843 by Major General Charles James Napier. Karachi was then made the capital of Sindh, and the British developed its harbor for shipping produce. New businesses began to open, and the town started growing in population.

When the military cantonment was created, it became a "white" town and natives had limited access. The "native" town to the northwest was made larger to accommodate a growing mercantile population. The city was eventually connected to the rest of British India by rail in 1878 and public buildings were constructed. By 1880, the community was mostly comprised of indigenous Balochis and Sindhis. This development also led to many migrants to the city, including Arabs, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Parsis, Goan Christian, Chinese, Marathis, and Gujaratis, with a population that hit 105,000 by the end of the 19th century.

By the time of Pakistan's independence in 1947, the city was a metropolis with just under one million people. It became the capital of Pakistan for about a decade.

Karachi Population Growth

Karachi is growing at a rate of around 5% per year, in large part to due rural to urban migration in the area and the 45,000 migrant workers who come to Karachi every month from around Pakistan.

Karachi's population is now growing much faster than projected. Between 1998 and 2011, Karachi's metropolitan area rose from 9.8 to 21.2 million, an increase of 115%. This is by far the fastest growth of any metro region in the world. This rapid growth is expected to make the city of Karachi the seventh largest in the world by 2030.

Year Population
203523,128,136
203422,560,384
203322,007,376
203221,468,568
203120,943,628
203020,431,848
202919,933,524
202819,448,780
202718,977,660
202618,520,112
202518,076,794
202417,648,556
202317,236,230
202216,839,950
202116,459,472
202016,093,786
201915,741,406
201815,400,223
201715,020,931
201614,650,981
201514,289,160
201413,936,754
201313,593,039
201213,258,257
201112,930,831
201012,611,924
200912,300,883
200811,997,925
200711,701,624
200611,413,033
200511,131,559
200410,857,401
200310,589,266
200210,328,109
200110,073,392
20009,825,295
19999,582,649
19989,346,317
19979,061,536
19968,759,861
19958,467,439
19948,185,160
19937,912,292
19927,648,877
19917,393,542
19907,147,064
19896,908,802
19886,678,796
19876,455,844
19866,240,626
19856,032,582
19845,831,747
19835,637,071
19825,449,148
19815,267,490
19805,047,815
19794,815,453
19784,594,086
19774,382,894
19764,181,682
19753,989,191
19743,805,807
19733,630,853
19723,460,589
19713,285,094
19703,118,723
19692,960,778
19682,811,033
19672,668,479
19662,533,336
19652,405,037
19642,283,399
19632,167,603
19622,057,826
19611,953,609
19601,853,325
19591,756,961
19581,665,731
19571,579,237
19561,497,345
19551,419,491
19541,345,783
19531,275,903
19521,209,741
19511,146,840
19501,055,380

Karachi Population 2021

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
203523,128,1362.52%567,752
203422,560,3842.51%553,008
203322,007,3762.51%538,808
203221,468,5682.51%524,940
203120,943,6282.50%511,780
203020,431,8482.50%498,324
202919,933,5242.49%484,744
202819,448,7802.48%471,120
202718,977,6602.47%457,548
202618,520,1122.45%443,318
202518,076,7942.43%428,238
202417,648,5562.39%412,326
202317,236,2302.35%396,280
202216,839,9502.31%380,478
202116,459,4722.27%365,686
202016,093,7862.24%352,380
201915,741,4062.22%341,183
201815,400,2232.53%379,292
201715,020,9312.53%369,950
201614,650,9812.53%361,821
201514,289,1602.53%352,406
201413,936,7542.53%343,715
201313,593,0392.53%334,782
201213,258,2572.53%327,426
201112,930,8312.53%318,907
201012,611,9242.53%311,041
200912,300,8832.53%302,958
200811,997,9252.53%296,301
200711,701,6242.53%288,591
200611,413,0332.53%281,474
200511,131,5592.53%274,158
200410,857,4012.53%268,135
200310,589,2662.53%261,157
200210,328,1092.53%254,717
200110,073,3922.53%248,097
20009,825,2952.53%242,646
19999,582,6492.53%236,332
19989,346,3173.14%284,781
19979,061,5363.44%301,675
19968,759,8613.45%292,422
19958,467,4393.45%282,279
19948,185,1603.45%272,868
19937,912,2923.44%263,415
19927,648,8773.45%255,335
19917,393,5423.45%246,478
19907,147,0643.45%238,262
19896,908,8023.44%230,006
19886,678,7963.45%222,952
19876,455,8443.45%215,218
19866,240,6263.45%208,044
19856,032,5823.44%200,835
19845,831,7473.45%194,676
19835,637,0713.45%187,923
19825,449,1483.45%181,658
19815,267,4904.35%219,675
19805,047,8154.83%232,362
19794,815,4534.82%221,367
19784,594,0864.82%211,192
19774,382,8944.81%201,212
19764,181,6824.83%192,491
19753,989,1914.82%183,384
19743,805,8074.82%174,954
19733,630,8534.92%170,264
19723,460,5895.34%175,495
19713,285,0945.33%166,371
19703,118,7235.33%157,945
19692,960,7785.33%149,745
19682,811,0335.34%142,554
19672,668,4795.33%135,143
19662,533,3365.33%128,299
19652,405,0375.33%121,638
19642,283,3995.34%115,796
19632,167,6035.33%109,777
19622,057,8265.33%104,217
19611,953,6095.41%100,284
19601,853,3255.48%96,364
19591,756,9615.48%91,230
19581,665,7315.48%86,494
19571,579,2375.47%81,892
19561,497,3455.48%77,854
19551,419,4915.48%73,708
19541,345,7835.48%69,880
19531,275,9035.47%66,162
19521,209,7415.48%62,901
19511,146,8408.67%91,460
19501,055,3800.00%

Karachi Population Data (Urban Area)

Name 2021 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. Karachi Metropolitan Corporation - Karachi information and statistics

Sources