Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is located in Southern Asia. Its coastline runs along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman; Pakistan is bordered by India to the East, China to the Northeast, Afghanistan to the North and Iran to the West. The capital of Pakistan is Islamabad.
Pakistan boasts the sixth largest population in the world, totaling almost 200 million inhabitants. Population growth within the country is has been pretty stable throughout the last few years, despite a reduction in the fertility rate; in 2005, four children were born per woman on average, compared to approximately three in 2015.
The vast majority of Pakistan's inhabitants are of Muslim faith - in 2010, the country’s Muslim population was ranked third-largest in the world with around 167 million adherents, while its Hindu population was ranked fifth in the world with three million. About a third of Pakistan's inhabitants live in urbanized areas, with the share of urban population increasing relatively gradually.
The economy of Pakistan is currently stable. Its growth rate involved an increase of over 0.4 percent from 2015 to 2016, which was even surpassed the following year with a growth of more than 0.6 percent, and is expected to continue growing, as Pakistan swiftly recovers from a major slump in economic growth around the time of the 2009 financial crisis. The country’s total GDP in 2016, for example, was more than double that a decade earlier, a remarkable increase. Even though most of the population lives in rural areas, the services sector contributes a little more than half of the country’s gross domestic product, with the other half being generated by the agricultural sector with only about a quarter share and the industry sector with even less. The trade balance of goods shows a growing deficit, which means that Pakistan imports a lot more than it exports: In 2016, the country imported 47 billion U.S. dollars worth of goods compared to only 20.5 billion U.S. dollars of exports. Pakistan mainly exports cotton and textiles, the most important export partner being United States. China is its main import partner, followed by the United Arab Emirates. In 2016, the national debt in relation to GDP was around 67 percent, which puts Pakistan somewhere in the middle when it comes to worldwide comparisons. Its inflation rate was at 2.86 percent the same year, and it is expected to settle at around 5 percent in the coming years.
Additionally, Pakistan’s unemployment is predicted to increase in the coming years after a slight decrease in 2014. However, it should be noted that Pakistan also had the third largest estimated number of people living in modern slavery, according to the Walk Free Foundation, which includes forced labor, child marriage and human trafficking. This means that Pakistan's economy is built on a shaky foundation and could suffer dramatically in case of social uprisings or repercussions from other economies.
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