What is the Capital of Pakistan?

The Pakistan monument in Islamabad.
The Pakistan monument in Islamabad.

Pakistani is a nation located in the southern region of Asia. The capital city of Pakistan is Islamabad, which is located in the federal Islamabad Capital Territory. The city became the official capital on August 14, 1967, which was 20 years after the attainment of independence. Before that, from 1958, the capital city was Rawalpindi. Before Rawalpindi, the first capital of the nation was the coastal town of Karachi.


Islamabad lies in the northeastern section of the nation in the Pothohar Plateau between the Margalla Hills National Park and Rawalpindi District. Historically, the region was part of the junction of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. Currently, the city has a population of around 1,014,825 people thus making it the ninth largest city in the country. The title of the biggest city in Pakistan still belongs to the first capital city, Karachi. As the capital, it means that the seat of the government of Pakistan is within the city.


Despite having less than 1% of the population of the nation, Islamabad contributes a respectable 1% to Pakistani’s gross domestic product (GDP). The workforce is about 185,213 people while the rate of unemployment stands at 15.70%. The stock exchange within the city, the Islamabad Stock Exchange, is the third largest with the two bigger ones located in Karachi and Lahore. The economic potential of the city was the reason why the World Bank ranked it as the best city to start a business in 2010. Some of the improvements that the city has seen include leaps in information and communication after building two Software Technology Parks. Consequently, more businesses have switched from India to Islamabad.


Most of the population, about 68%, speak Punjabi where the main dialect is known as Pothohari. About 15% of the population speak Pashto while other languages account for about 18%. The high number of migrants, about one million, who are from the Punjab region, can explain the reason for this high Punjab speaking population. Around 691,977 people are from Punjab with the others come from Sindh, Azad Kashmir, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of the population, a whopping 95.53%, practice Islam. The percentage is even bigger, about 98.80%, in the rural areas. Christianity comes in the second place with a meager 4.07% of the population. The rural areas only have about 0.94% of the population practicing Christianity while the city has more Christians. Hinduism is practiced by 0.02% of the population while other minor religions account for 0.03%.

Data shows that most of the population, about 59.38%, lie within the 15-64 years age group. A much lesser share of 2.73% of the population is above 65 years. Those below the age of 15 make up about 37.90% of the population. On a bigger scale, the city of Islamabad is the most literate in Pakistan with about 88% of the population having a formal education. A share of 9.8% of the people has an intermediate education while those with a bachelor’s degree make up 10.26%. A smaller 5.2% have a master’s degree.


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