Karachi Urdu population declines: Census results

File photo of Pakistan’s home survey during the 2017 census
  • The 2017 census showed that Karachi has a decline in the proportion of Urdu-speaking population.
  • The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics recently released the final results of the sixth population and housing census in 2017.
  • Some political parties and experts, as well as the federal government, believe that the census is “defective.”

According to Pakistan’s recent 2017 census, the proportion of people who speak Urdu has been declining due to the influx of people who speak other languages ​​in Karachi.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) recently announced the final results of the sixth population and housing census in 2017, which were considered by some political parties and experts as well as the federal government to be “defective.”

Karachi has a variety of languages, but it has always been considered to be mainly inhabited by Urdu speakers.

But in the past four years, demographic changes, mainly caused by immigration, have slowly changed the number of ethnic communities living in the city. news Report. The publication stated that the decline in the percentage of Karachi-speaking Urdu and Punjabi populations was the result of an increase in the population of Pashto, Sindhi and Saraki.

The census results show that the capital of Sindh Province is the most populous city in Pakistan, with an increase of more than 6 million people since 1998, with a total population of 16,024,894.

The results include Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Baluchi, Kashmiri, Saraki, Hindko, and Brawi. Other languages ​​used in Karachi, including Gujarati, Malvarian and Bengali, are included in the “other” section.

The publication highlights some important findings in the census results related to the mother tongue of Karachi residents.

Infographic of Faraz Maqbool
Infographic of Faraz Maqbool

The proportion of Urdu speakers has fallen

The census shows that the proportion of Urdu speakers has steadily declined in the past four years. This used to account for more than half of the city’s population.

In the 2017 census, the Urdu-speaking population was 6,779,142. During the 1981-1998 census, the proportion of Urdu speakers dropped sharply from 54.34% to 48.52%. From 1998 to 2017, this proportion further dropped to 42.30%

Pashto-speaking population increases

The census shows that Karachi has an increase in the proportion of Pashto-speaking population.

In 1981, the Pashto-speaking population of Karachi was 8.7%. It increased to 11.42% in 1998 and jumped to 15.01% in 2017, with a total population of 2,406,100.

Hindek, which is mainly spoken in the Hazara province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the urban centers of Peshawar and Kohart, has been added as a separate language. In Karachi, the Hindi-speaking population is 679,539, accounting for 4.24% of the total population of the metropolis.

Punjabi speakers fell to 10.73%

The Punjabi-speaking population in Karachi in 1981 was 13.64%, and in 1998 it was 13.94%. But in the past 19 years, this proportion has dropped to 10.73%, with a population of 1,719,636.

Increase in the number of people from Karachi whose mother tongue is Sindhi

The 2017 census showed that Karachi had an increase in the population of Sindhi-speaking mother tongue. In 1981, the proportion of the Sindhi population in the metropolis was 6.29%, in 1998 it was 7.22%, and in 2017 it jumped to 10.67%, with a population of 1,709,877.

Baluchistan population

The Baluchi-speaking population in Karachi was 4.39% and 4.34% in 1981 and 1998, respectively, but fell to 4.04% in 2017, with a population of 648,964.

Just like Pashto and Hindko, the categories of Baluchi in the 2017 Census were divided into two categories: Baluchi and Bravais. Census data shows that as many as 96,120 people in Karachi speak Bravais.

Saraiki population increase

In 1981, Karachi’s Saraki-speaking population only accounted for 0.35% of the city’s total population. In 1998, this proportion rose to 2.11%. The 2017 census showed that the population of Saraikis in the city has increased to 798,031, accounting for 4.97% of the city’s population.

Kashmiri, other

According to the 2017 census, there are 63,784 people in Karachi who speak Kashmiri as their mother tongue. The Kashmiri-speaking population accounts for 0.39% of the total population.

The census also shows that 1,123,790 people (7.02% of Karachi’s population) speak languages ​​other than the above.

The report did not mention which languages ​​were included in the “other” section, but it is believed that they include languages ​​such as Gujarati, Malvari and Bengali.

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