British Pakistanis

citizens of the United Kingdom whose ancestral roots lie in Pakistan

British Pakistanis (Urdu: برطانیہ میں مقیم پاکستانی; also known as Pakistani British people or Pakistani Britons) are citizens or residents of the United Kingdom whose ancestors came from Pakistan. This includes people born in the UK who are of Pakistani descent and Pakistani-born people who have went to the UK. Most of the British Pakistanis are originally from the Azad Kashmir and Punjab regions, with a smaller number from other parts of Pakistan including Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

British Pakistanis
برطانیہ میں مقیم پاکستانی
Total population
1,174,983 (2011)[1][a]
England: 1,112,282 (2011)
Scotland: 49,381 (2011)
Wales: 12,229 (2011)
Northern Ireland: 1,091 (2011)
1.86% of the UK's population (2011)[1]
Regions with significant populations
West Midlands, Greater London, Yorkshire and the Humber, North West England
English (British and Pakistani· Urdu · Potohari · Punjabi · Kashmiri · Pashto · Saraiki · Sindhi · Balochi · others
Islam (Sunni, Shi'ite, Sufi)
Minority: Christianity · Hinduism · Sikhism · others
Related ethnic groups
British Asian

The UK is home to the largest Pakistani community in Europe, with the amount of British Pakistanis living there exceeding 1.17 million based on the 2011 census. British Pakistanis are the second-largest racial minority population in the United Kingdom and also make up the second-largest sub-group of British Asians. They are also one of the largest overseas Pakistani communities, similar in number to people who have Pakistani heritage in Saudi Arabia.[2][3]

Early historyEdit

Due to the historical relations between the two countries, going to the UK from the region which is now Pakistan started in small numbers in the mid-19th century. During the mid-19th century, parts of what is now Pakistan was ruled by the British Raj and people from those regions were soldiers in the British Indian Army and some were deployed in other parts of the British Empire. After the Second World War, the break-up of the British Empire and the independence of Pakistan, that Pakistani immigration to the United Kingdom went up, especially during the 1950s and 1960s. This was made easier as Pakistan was a member of the Commonwealth.[4] Pakistani immigrants helped to sort out the job shortages in the British steel, textile and engineering industries. Doctors from Pakistan were recruited by the National Health Service in the 1960s.[5]


The amount of British Pakistani people has grown from about 10,000 in 1951 to over 1.1 million in 2011.[1][6] Most of the British Pakistanis live in England, with some in Scotland and smaller numbers in Wales and Northern Ireland. The most diverse group of Pakistani people is in London which comprises Punjabis, Mirpuri Kashmiris, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Muhajirs, Saraikis, Baloch and others.[2][7]


The majority of British Pakistanis are Muslim; around 90 percent of those living in England and Wales at the time of the 2011 UK Census said their religion was Islam.[8][9] The majority are Sunni Muslims, but there is also quite a big minority of Shia Muslims. The UK also has one of the largest overseas Christian Pakistani communities; the 2011 census recorded around 17,000 Christian Pakistanis living in England and Wales, 1.52 percent of the Pakistani people of England and Wales.

Social influenceEdit

Since their settlement, British Pakistanis have had many different contributions and influence on British society, politics, culture, economy and sport. Social issues include high relative poverty rates among the community according to the 2001 census,[10] but some progress has been made in recent years, with the 2011 Census showing British Pakistanis as having amongst the highest levels of home ownership in Britain.[11]

Traditionally, many British Pakistanis have employed themselves, with many working in the transport industry or in family-run businesses of the retail sector.[2]


  1. This census figure may not include people of partial Pakistani ancestry.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in the United Kingdom". Office for National Statistics. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Britain's Pakistani community". The Daily Telegraph. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  3. Werbner, Pnina (2005). "Pakistani migration and diaspora religious politics in a global age". In Ember, Melvin; Ember, Carol R.; Skoggard, Ian (eds.). Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures around the World. New York: Springer. pp. 475–484. ISBN 0-306-48321-1.
  4. Satter, Raphael G. (13 May 2008). "Pakistan rejoins Commonwealth – World Politics, World". The Independent. London. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  5. Butler, Patrick (18 June 2008). "How migrants helped make the NHS". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  6. Nadia Mushtaq Abbasi. "The Pakistani Diaspora in Europe and Its Impact on Democracy Building in Pakistan" (PDF). International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 August 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  7. Department for Communities and Local Government. "The Pakistani Muslim Community in England" (PDF). Department for Communities and Local Government. pp. 5–11 (6), 36–41. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2010. In London the community is more mixed and includes comparable numbers of Punjabis, Pathans and Kashmiris. There are also small communities of Sindhis and Balochis in London.
  8. "2011 Census data - religion". Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  9. "2011 census data – religion". The Guardian. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  10. Guy Palmer; Peter Kenway (29 April 2007). "Poverty rates among ethnic groups in Great Britain". JRF. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
  11. "CoDE Housing Census Briefing" (PDF). University of Manchester. October 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 February 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2017.