Only 14% Pakistanis use social media


Do you know how many social media users are in Pakistan?

Only two weeks ago, I was moderating a panel discussion on digitalisation at a two-day Digital Pakistan conference in Karachi.

Regional heads from Google and Facebook at Work based in Singapore and senior executives from Pakistan’s telecom operators Mobilink, Telenor (Internet of Things) and PTCL participated in the discussions.

In one session a speaker confronted the audience – expected to be digital and aware – if they knew Pakistan’s exact population (although I did a post on this based on UN data – here) or number of internet or social media users.

There was no answer. Reason: Because there was no official data available.


More recently, a week ago, BBC Urdu featured me on their weekly program – Socialistan – in ‘Who to Follow on Social Media’ stating that I was someone who curated authentic data about Pakistan and its economy.

Since then I have been in search of percent and number of population in each Pakistani province and the percent of revenue that comes from each province and large cities.

And surprisingly, no publicly-available data has these numbers. I must hasten to add that this is not today’s topic.


The good news is at least some decent data is available on the use of social media in Pakistan – from this year’s We Are Social report, released this week.

And no data is complete without mentioning the Big-Body neighbour next door – India, our comparison country.

Some graphics are reproduced with courtesy from We Are Social, a UK consultancy.

The report is produced by Simon Kemp, the Singapore-based regional managing partner for Asia. Full report can be accessed and downloaded here.



Pakistan population: 191 million

Pakistan Internet users: 18% | 34.4 million

Pakistan social media / Facebook users: 14% | 27 million

Pakistan mobile users: 66% | 126.3 million

Pakistan mobile social users: 12% | 22 million

September 2016 figures updated by PTA official:

Pakistan 3G/4G subscribers: 32.7 million

Pakistan Broadband subscribers: 35.4 million

Pakistan mobile subscribers: 69.3% | 134 million

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Pakistan Facebook user profile

Men: 78% | 21 million

Women: 22% | 6 million

Largest user group by age: 18-24 years



India population: 1.319 billion

India Internet users: 35% | 462 million

India social media / Facebook users: 12% | 153 million

India mobile users: 77% | 1,012 million

India mobile social users: 10% | 130 million

India women users: 24% | 1 in 4

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Total world population: 7.45 billion

Internet users: 3.63 billion

Social media users: 2.67 billion

Mobile users: 4.78 billion

Mobile social users: 2.44 billion

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Asia-Pacific (APAC)

Internet users in APAC: 1.83 billion

Social media users in APAC: 1.43 billion

Mobile connections in APAC: 3.86 billion

Mobile social media users in APAC: 1.36 billion

APAC’s share of total global population: 55%

APAC’s share of global internet users: 50%

APAC’s share of global social media users: 53%

APAC’s share of global mobile connections: 49%

APAC’s share of global social media users: 56%

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Women users of Facebook in South Asia

Men outnumber women on Facebook by a wide margin in South Asian countries. In Pakistan, 22% of Facebook’s 27 million users are women, while in Bangladesh, home to some 22 million users, the rate is 23%. It is 29% in Sri Lanka and 33% in Nepal. In India, 24% of 153 million Facebook users are women. – WSJ

Do not miss our Understanding Pakistan Series

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