Wali Zahid

Futurist · Disruptor · Visionary

Native and first languages in Pakistan

Wali Zahid
Feb 21, 2023
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Native and first languages in Pakistan

Do you know what are the top native and first languages in Pakistan?

Here’s a list of top eight languages:

Updated February 2023:

Punjabi 48%

Sindhi 12%

Saraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%

Pashto (alternate name, Pashtu) 8%

Urdu (official) 8%

Balochi 3%

Hindko 2%

Brahui 1%

English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and all others 8%

Data may vary because of estimation.

The above data is from CIA Pakistan Factbook 2023. CIA stats include only first native languages.

The data usually surprises many because without data, we have stereotypical notions about facts and issues, usually driven by a false media narrative, built over the years.

Want to read more about Pakistani languages? Try wiki (no authenticity promised).

A full breakdown of all languages in Pakistan on this Ethnologue website.

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Wali Zahid

Wali Zahid

Wali Zahid is a longtime China watcher and a Pakistan futurist. An award-winning journalist, he writes on issues of significance to Pakistan and CPEC & BRI.

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