ISLAMABAD: Young Pakistanis are set to play a major role in determining the outcome of the 2023 general polls, the latest age-wise statistics of voters indicate.

A thorough analysis of the data, released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday, shows that the proportion of voters below the age of 35 years is as high as 45.84 per cent, placing them in a position where their active participation has the potential of tilting scales in favour of the candidates of their choice in many constituencies.

Number of voters between 18 and 35 years has grown to 45.84pc

Of the total 121 million voters, 55.57m voters are in the age bracket of 18 to 35 years, whereas their number was slightly above 46m (43.82pc) in the 2018 general elections.

Among these young voters (45.84pc), 31.98m or 26.38pc are in the age group of 26 to 35 years, while as many as 23.58m or 19.46pc individuals are aged between 18 and 25 years.

These 23.58m young voters comprise 14.86m male and 8.72m female voters, many of whom will be first-time voters.

A province-wise analysis of these 23.58m young voters indicates that Punjab alone has 13.18m voters (8.18m male and over 5m female); followed by Sindh with 4.71m voters (over 3m male, 1.71m female); Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 4.41m voters (2.84m male, 1.57m female) and Balochistan with 1.10m voters (around 737,000 male and 364,000 female). The federal capital has 175,411 voters aged less than 25 years including 98,105 male and 77,306 female voters.

In the larger segment of 31.98m voters in the age group of 26 to 35 years,17.37m are male and 14.60m are female voters in the country.

An area-wise analysis of these 31.98m voters, aged between 26 and 35, indicates that Punjab has 17.86 million such voters including 9.72m male and 8.14m female voters; followed by Sindh with 6.55m voters (3.59m male and 3.96m female); KP with 5.95m voters (3.19m male, 3.76m female) and Balochistan with 1.37m such voters (around 743,000 male and 628,000 female voters). The federal capital has 232,529 voters — 122,364 male and 110,265 female voters — in this age group.

In all, 25.36m (20.92pc) voters fall in the age bracket of 36 to 45 years. Among them, 13.25m are male and 12.10m are female voters. In this category, 14.52m voters are in Punjab; followed by 5.70m in Sindh, 3.83m in KP, 1.01m in Balochistan and around 184,000 in the federal capital.

The country has 17.27m (14.25pc) voters, aged between 46 and 55 years. They comprise 9.16m male and 8.11m female voters.

In the age bracket of 56 to 65 years, there are 10.98m (9.06pc) voters — 5.76m male and 5.20m female voters — in the country.

Similarly, those above 65 years include 6.07m male and 5.92m female voters, giving a total of 12m (9.90pc) in this category.

2018 statistics

In the 2018 general elections, there were over 46m voters below the age of 35 years, forming 43.82pc of total number of registered voters. Of those 46m voters, 17.44m and 28.99m were in the age groups of 18 to 25 and 26 to 35 years, respectively.

Besides, there were 22.48m voters aged between 36 and 45 years in the last general elections.

Of the 17.44m voters below 25 years, Punjab had 10.13m voters, followed by Sindh with 3.11m, KP with 2.77m, Balochistan with around 774,000, while the then federally administered tribal areas had nearly 558,000 voters and Islamabad had around 117,000 in this age group.

Similarly, in the age bracket of 26 to 35 years, 16.09m voters were in Punjab, 6.17m in Sindh, 4.49m in KP, 1.23m in Balochistan, 776,000 in erstwhile Fata and 208,000 in the federal capital.

Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2021

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