Karachi - Ethnography


Karachi is ethnically heterogeneous city. The major ethnic groups of the city include: (1) Indigenous Sindhi of Samat and Baloch origin; (2) indigenous Baloch of Makrani coastal origin; (3) Sindhi of Gujarati origin mostly Memoni and Kutchi clans; (4) indigenous Sindhi of Lasi origin; (5) Rajasthanis of Qaimkhani, Silawat (Gazdar) and Shaikh clans; (6) Malyali Mapla, from Kerala State of India; (7) Urdu speakers or Muhajirs migrated after 1947 from India; (8) Bhojpuri speaking Bihari community refugees of 1971 War from Bangladesh; (9) Punjabi from Pakistani Punjab; (10) Pashtun from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan province.

Since there has been no official census since 1998, various estimates are carried regarding the ethnic complexion in the city. According to these estimates, Sindhis and Baloch indigenous population form beyond 40% of the city. Exclusively Urdu speaking and Bihari count nearly 25%. Exclusively Sindhi speaking form near 30%.

If the city is mapped ethnographically, “Sindhi are majority in district Malir and district East out of five districts of Karachi. Urdu speaking Muhajirs are absolute majority in district Central. If Sindhis and Balochs are combined, they form majority in district South. District West consists mix population.”

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