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The 2017 Census of Pakistan was a detailed enumeration of the Pakistani population which began on 15 March 2017 and ended on 25 May 2017. The census was conducted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics for the first time in 21st century, after 19 years.[1][2] Initial estimates would put the population at 20 crore (210–220 million).[3] The provisional results were finally presented to the Council of Common Interests on 25 August 2017, and then approved and released to the public. The results showed a total population of Pakistan at 207,774,520 people.[4][5][6][7] It didn't include the population of autonomous regions of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. As of December 2019, the complete and final results of the census had still not been published.[8]
The 2018 Pakistani general election was held under a new delimitation of constituencies, based on the provisional results of the 2017 census.[9]

This is a District-by-district Map of Average Annual Population Change by district between 1998 and 2017. It uses data from the PBS (Pakistan Bureau of Statistics)

The provisional results of the 2017 Census were presented to the Council of Common Interests on 25 August 2017.[14] According to the results, the total population in Pakistan was 207,774,520, representing a 57% increase in 19 years.[15][16] The provisional results exclude data from Gilgit-Baltistan and Jammu & Kashmir, which was to be included in the final report in 2018.[17][18][19][20] The urban population in Pakistan stood at 75,580,000 or 36.4% of the total population.[21]

Controversies

Religion Census

The Religion census data was due to be released in March 2018 but it has still not been made public. Mangla Sharma, provincial lawmaker from Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) said “The government must end its discriminatory policies and focus on releasing the results,”.[25][26]

Transgender population

Transgender rights campaigners have claimed the count of 10,418 transgender people nationally in the 2017 census significantly underestimates the size of Pakistan's transgender population. Mona Ali, who is a leader of a Lahore-based transgender rights group known as the Khawaja Sira Society, estimates there are 400,000 to 500,000 transgender people in the Punjab province alone. Bindya Rana, leader of the Karachi-based transgender rights group Jiya, estimates that there are 300,000 transgender people across Pakistan. The census identified transgender people according to their national identity cards, not accounting for those whose cards do not disclose their transgender status in order to avoid discrimination.[22][23][24]

The Religion census data was due to be released in March 2018 but it has still not been made public. Mangla Sharma, provincial lawmaker from Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) said “The government must end its discriminatory policies and focus on releasing the results,”.[25][26]

Transgender population

Transgender rights campaigners have claimed the count of 10,418 transgender people nationally in the 2017 census significantly underestimates the size of Pakistan's transgender population. Mona Ali, who is a leader of a Lahore-based transgender rights group known as the Khawaja Sira Society, estimates there are 400,000 to 500,000 transgender people in the Punjab province alone. Bindya Rana, leader of the Karachi-based transgender rights group Jiya, estimates that there are 300,000 transgender people across Pakistan. The census identified transgender people according to their national identity cards, not accounting for those whose cards do not disclose their transgender status in order to avoid discrimination.[27]

Sindh population

The Sindh Assembly refused to accept the results of the 2017 census, stating that millions of people were shown with double addresses and counted in their home provinces despite living and working in Sindh.[28] In April 2018, Mustafa Kamal, chairman of the Pak Sarzameen Party and former Mayor of Karachi, challenged the results of the 2017 census in the Supreme Court, seeking a third-party audit of the national census. Kamal pleaded that records from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) showed the population of Karachi to be 20.15 million, rather than 16 million as shown in the census.[29]

FATA population

The Sindh Assembly refused to accept the results of the 2017 census, stating that millions of people were shown with double addresses and counted in their home provinces despite living and working in Sindh.[28] In April 2018, Mustafa Kamal, chairman of the Pak Sarzameen Party and former Mayor of Karachi, challenged the results of the 2017 census in the Supreme Court, seeking a third-party audit of the national census. Kamal pleaded that records from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) showed the population of Karachi to be 20.15 million, rather than 16 million as shown in the census.[29]

FATA population

Shahab Uddin Khan, a Member of the National Assembly (MNA) from Bajaur Agency, has stated he believes that a large number of people displaced from the Mamund and Nawagai regions due to security operations have not been counted by the census. He has stated he intends to challenge the census in court. Bismillah Khan, an MNA from Bajaur Agency, has stated he believes the population of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas is double of what is reflected in the census. He added that he will take up the issue with the federal government along with other lawmakers. Sajid Hussain Turi, an MNA from Khyber Agency, claimed that more than three million people from FATA are living in other cities in the country due to military operations, and expressed concern that developmental work in the region could be underfunded if the population is underestimated by the census.[30]

Political opposition