Pakistan has the world’s sixth-largest population, placing it higher than Russia, and lower than Brazil. Because of Pakistan’s high growth rate, it is expected to surpass Brazil in population in the year 2020. Population projections for Pakistan are relatively difficult because of the apparent differences in the accuracy of each census and the inconsistencies between various surveys related to fertility rate, but it is likely that the rate of growth peaked in the 1980s. The population was estimated at 162,400,000 on July 1, 2005, with a fertility rate of 34 per thousand, a death rate of 10 per thousand, and the rate of natural increase at 2.4%. Pakistan also has a high infant mortality rate of 70 per thousand births.
Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan, and English is the official language used in the Constitution and widely used by corporate businesses, the educated urban elite, and most universities. Punjabi is spoken by over 60 million people, but has no official recognition in the country. The large majority of Pakistanis belong to the Indo-Aryan ethnic group although there are a substantial number of Iranic peoples and smaller numbers of Dravidians. These major ethnic groups are further broken down into several smaller ethnic groups – Punjabis (44.68)% of the population, Pashtuns (15.42%), Sindhis (14.1%), Seraikis (10.53%), Muhajirs (7.57%), Balochis (3.57%) and others (4.66%) such as Tajiks, Bengalis and many others.
The demographics of religion in Pakistan were significantly influenced in 1947 by the movement of Muslims to Pakistan, and Hindus and Sikhs to India. Census data indicates that 96% of the population are Muslims, of whom nearly 80% are Sunni Muslims and 19% are Shi’a Muslims. Pakistan has the second-highest Shia population in the world, after Iran. The remainder comprises of Christians, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs, Parsis, Ahmadis, and Animists (mainly the Kalasha of Chitral). A few Buddhists are included in Pakistani statistics; however, these live in Indian administered Ladakh which Pakistan claims along with the rest of Kashmir. As of 2005, over three million refugees (approximately 81.5% being ethnic Pashtuns) remain in Pakistan as a result of the wars in Afghanistan, with 83% of these refugees reporting their intent to permanently settle in Pakistan.