Languages of Pakistan include the two official languages: Urdu and English, which are spoken as first languages by relatively small numbers of people, but commonly used throughout the country. Urdu is also Pakistan’s national languageand lingua franca. The four major provincial languages of Pakistan are Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Balochi. Other major regional languages are Saraiki, Hindko, Pahari-Potwari and Brahui. Farsi is also spoken by significant proportions of the population. Dialects such as Dari are popular as well as some regional dialects. Farsi speakers are mainly concentrated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and some elite areas of Western Punjab.

Rank Language 1998 census[2] 1982 census 1961 census 1951 census
1 Punjabi 44.15% 48.17% 66.39% 67.08%
2 Pashto 15.42% 13.15% 8.47% 8.16%
3 Sindhi 14.1% 11.7% 12.59% 12.85%
4 Saraiki* 10.53% 9.54%
5 Urdu 7.57% 7.60% 7.57% 7.05%
6 Balochi 3.57% 3.02% 2.49% 3.04%

The most prevalent native languages appear in bold below, with the percentage of the population speaking them as their first language rounded to the nearest percentage point:


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