Balochistan, the largest of the four provinces of Pakistan, spreads over an area of 347,190 sq km, forming 43.6 per cent of the total area of Pakistan. The provincial capital is Quetta. It has clustered population and is smallest in proportion as compared to that of the other provinces. According to the 1998 census, Balochistan had a population of roughly 6.6 million.
Physically, Balochistan is an extensive plateau of rough terrain divided into basins by ranges of sufficient heights and ruggedness. Broadly, Balochistan geographic area can be divided in to four distinct zones: Upper high lands, lower high lands, plains, and deserts. Its neighboring regions are Iran to the west, Afghanistan and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province to the north, Punjab and Sindh provinces to the east. To the south lies the Arabian Sea.
The main languages in the province are Balochi, Brahui, Pashto and Urdu. The Baloch and Pashtun people constitute the two major ethnic groups; a mixed ethnic stock, mainly of Sindhi origin, forms the third major group (Sindhi Baloch). Balochistan is rich in mineral resources; it is the second major supplier of natural gas in Pakistan.
BALOCHISTAN AT A GLANCE
|Category||Total||Male (%)||Female (%)||Rural||Urban|
|Population||6,565,885||3,506,506 (53%)||3,059,379 (47%)||76%||24%|
|Literacy rate (2)||41.00%||60%||19%|
|Poverty rate (1)||45%|
|Avg. Monthly Income/Individual||PKR 9,438|
|Copper and Gold deposits (1)||100% (of country total)|
|Transport Infrastructure (1)||28% of rural communities lack road access compared to 15% for all Pakistan. total)
73% of the province lacks paved road access compared to 32% for all Pakistan.
|Natural Gas Reserves (1)||33%|
(1) Pakistan Social And Living Standards Measurement Report
(2) Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement 2010/11.
45% of Pakistan land mass area.
5% of Pakistan’s population.
70% of Pakistan’s coastline area.
Significant deposits of coal, marble, granite, and other minerals.
Ideally located for trade with Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics.
Provincial GDP growth rates, 2001–2011
Pakistan & Balochistan: Growth rates of GDP, 2001–2011
Source: World Bank.