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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), spread over 74,521 sq km, has a population of over 22 million and was previously known as the North-West Frontier Province. It is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, located in the north west of the country. It borders Afghanistan to the north-west, Gilgit-Baltistan to the north-east, Azad Jammu and Kashmir to the east, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to the west and south and Punjab and the Islamabad Capital Territory to the south-east.

The main ethnic group in the province is the Pashtuns, locally referred to as Pakhtuns, followed by a number of smaller ethnic groups, most notably, the Hazarawals and Chitralis. The principal language is Pashto, locally referred to as Pukhto and the provincial capital is Peshawar, locally referred to as Pekhawar.

KP comprises three major administrative parts. One part, composed of settled areas, consists of the districts of Abbottabad, Bannu, Battagram, Charsadda, Dera Ismail Khan, Hangu, Haripur, Kohistan, Kohat, Karak, Lakki Marwat, Mansehra, Mardan, Nowshera, Swabi, Peshawar and Tank. The second part, known as the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas, has a population of 831 ,000 and consists of Malakand Agency and the districts of Upper Dir, Lower Dir, Chitral, Swat, Buner, Shangla, and the pocket of Kala Dhaka/"Black Mountains", Kohistan (previously part of Swat State) and the State of Amb, now submerged in the Tarbela Dam reservoir. The third part is FATA.

Poverty Trend in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan


Source: Various issues of Pakistan Poverty Assessment, Government of Pakistan.

Sectoral Share in Development Expenditures


Source: Finance Department, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and WB staff calculations.

Key Facts:

Deep inland location of the province implies higher transportation costs which results in increases in input prices

The landlocked status of KPK also weakens the competitiveness of its exports except to the bordering Afghanistan.

It is the smallest in terms of area among the four provinces and is located nearly 1,500 kilometers from the country's major port in the south

The province has a largely mountainous terrain with only 30 percent of the land cultivable.

KPK has important resources of dimensional stones e.g. marble and granite, precious stones and metals, some industrial minerals, energy minerals and salt.

There are 100 million tones reserves and 1 billion tones reserves of two other types of marble.

Northern districts of KPK have abundant reserves of granite reserves.

The province prides on having 6.76 percent of the total area under exploration for potential Oil&Gas reserves with potential to produce one billion barrel oil and four trillion cubic feet gas.

Agriculture employing above 40.9 percent of the labour force and contributing more than 20 percent to provincial GDP, is one of the key drivers of growth and an excellent opportunity to practice the diversification into areas with comparative advantages of climate. 

Hydroelectricity generation capacity for KPK is estimated to be 25,000 MW    

Source:  Planning and Development Department,  Government of KPK.