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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Census 2017: Over 10,000 transgender population in Pakistan

News analysis |

The recognition of more than 10,000 trans genders as an equal and separate community in the country’s sixth census in 2017 is perhaps an embodiment of recognizing the rights of this unduly socially disadvantaged group.

As per the orders of the Supreme Court, the community was registered under the new category of the third gender rather than previously getting themselves registered as disabled.

64% of the total population of this community which makes about  6,709 are living in Punjab records. Sindh having a 24% of share stands second with a trans gender population of about 2,527.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa houses 913 transgender people and Balochistan 109. In the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the population of transgender people is 27 and in Islamabad 133.

However, the representative of the transgender community in Pakistan has stated that these figures are incorrect and far below the actual number of transgenders in the country.

Read more: US Embassy holds Gay & Lesbian Event in Islamabad; debate from…

Their recognition as a visible and equal resident of Pakistan has given more weightage to their rights movements. Since this would perhaps be imperative in removing all the social barriers obstructing their progression.

Acceptance of this community at national level, will emancipate them from stereotypically derogatory and discriminated behavior. The robust move by the Supreme Court of Pakistan will also resultantly bring a new emergence of identification as a tolerant nation while opposed to being aggressively marketed with the attributes of intolerant and extremist among the international community.

However, it’s just a baby step in a journey to protect this community. There entail excessive efforts in challenging the pre-held stereotypical mindset against this community before they can fully secure all their rights.

Read more: Trump’s transgender ban: a distraction?

General Population Census

With all its might, Pakistan’s Population index as released in the provisional data by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on Friday reached the figures of 207.8 million in 2017.

There has been a hike of 57% in the population growth at an average annual growth rate of 2.4% since the last census held in 1998. This being the sixth census, the 1998 data showed a total population of about 132 million., there has been an addition of 75.4 million to these figures in the last 19 years.

Pakistan has 106.45 million males, 101.31 million females and 10,418 transgenders, the provisional data presented to the Council of Common Interest (CCI) shows.

The results show that 30.5 million people reside in KP, 5 million in FATA, 47.9 million in Sindh, 12.3 million in Balochistan, 2 million in Islamabad, while Punjab stands the largest province in terms of population of about 110 million people.

An increase in the urban-rural ratio has been observed in all administrative units except Islamabad, which remains the second most urbanized unit in the Muslim nation. As near as 36.4 per cent of Pakistanis live in urban areas, the provisional results reveal.

Balochistan, the least urbanized of Pakistan’s provinces, has experienced the fastest average annual growth rate since 1998 of about 3.37 per cent.

Read more: Trump’s transgender ban: a distraction?

Punjab’s average annual growth rate remained the slowest at 2.13 per cent, slightly below the national average of 2.4 per cent.


The data is not only paramount in sketching the region-based development schemes, and in the allocation of funds but also holds implicit political significance too. Breaking, dividing and redefining new constituencies on the basis of the population can perhaps prove to be a political turn over for legislators.

With the constituency based political culture dictating the might of leaders in National Assembly and on political front many can be triumphant while others can see a slip of power from their hands during this process.

With the balloon of population swelling up ruthlessly, Pakistan may descend on all facets of human development index. This is also becoming evident that the inter-provincial race in the acquisition of limited resources, which can disrupt the strings of conciliation and harmony and may give fuel to nationalist and ethinicity based division.

While the benefits of CPEC are far sighted, the immediate solution for Pakistan lies in determining population and birth control policies as a national agenda.