Pakistani Culture

Other Considerations

  • Pakistan hosts the largest refugee population within its territory in the world – roughly 1.6 million. Most of these people have fled the turmoil in neighbouring Afghanistan. Consider that some people who grew up in Pakistan may share this refugee experience.
  • It is considered rude to give a direct “no” in Pakistan (see ‘Refusals’ in Communication). Therefore, Pakistanis can sometimes commit to more than they can deliver. Understand that someone may agree to complete favours out of politeness without actually having the means to fulfil their gesture. Be mindful that they may not be able to complete a job they promised on time.
  • Friday is a holy day for Muslims. Out of observance of this, there is often a break in the afternoon when commercial activities will close down. Friday is still a working day, but expect people to take longer lunch hours.
  • During the holy month of Ramadan, most Pakistanis will abstain from consuming food, water and smoking cigarettes during daylight hours. In Pakistan, it is considered disrespectful to engage in these activities publicly or in front of any fasting Pakistanis in their own household.
  • Amongst older, conservative Pakistanis, there is little acceptance of homosexuality.
  • Pakistanis are generally very affectionate towards children. It is deemed appropriate to pick up or play with a stranger's child upon first meeting them. Parents are usually at ease with this.
  • Pakistanis love cricket. It is usually a good point of commonality between them and Australians.
  • Pakistanis use the Persian alphabet.
Download this Cultural Profile
Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

  • Population
    [Census, 2017]
  • Languages
    Punjabi (48.0%)
    Sindhi (12.0%)
    Saraiki (10.0%)
    Pashto/Pashtu (8.0%)
    Urdu [official] (8.0%)
    Balochi (3.0%)
    Hindko (2.0%)
    Brahui (1.0%)
    English [official], Burushaski, Shina and other 8%
    [2010 est.]
  • Religions
    Islam (96.28%)
    Christianity (1.59%)
    Hinduism (1.60%)
    Ahmadiyya (0.22%)
    Other (0.32%)
    [2010 est.]
  • Ethnicities
    Punjabi (44.68%)
    Pakhtun/Pathan (15.42%)
    Sindhi (14.10%)
    Seraiki (8.38%)
    Muhajir (7.57%)
    Balochi (3.57%)
    Other (6.28%)
    [2010 est.]
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 55
    Individualism 14
    Masculinity 50
    Uncertainty Avoidance 70
    Long Term Orientation 50
    Indulgence 0
    What's this?
  • Australians with Pakistani Ancestry
    64,344 [2016 census]
Pakistanis in Australia
  • Population
    [Census, 2016]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Pakistan.
  • Average Age
    31 [Census, 2011]
  • Gender
    Male (60.9%)
    Female (39.1%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Religion
    Islam (87.6%)
    Catholic Christianity (4.7%)
    No Religion (1.7%)
    Other (4.1%)
    Not stated (1.9%)
    [Census, 2011]
  • Ancestry
    Pakistani (65.2%)
    Indian (7.5%)
    Southern Asian nfd. (3.6%)
    English (3.5%)
    Other (20.1%)
    [Census, 2011]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Urdu (72.5%)
    English (10.2%)
    Pashto/Pashtu (4.7%)
    Dari (2.5%)
    Other (10.2%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 89.5% speak English fluently.
    [Census, 2011]
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (44.3%)
    Victoria (30.4%)
    Western Australia (8.3%)
    Queensland (7.8%)
    Other (9.2%)
    [Census, 2011]
  • Arrival
    Prior to 1996 (9.6%)
    1996 - 2005 (32%)
    2006 - 2015 (66.6%)
    2016 (5.8%)
    Not stated (2.6%)
    Note: Arrivals up until 9 August 2016.
    [Census, 2016]
Country Flag