Irfan Khan
Irfan Khan

ISLAMABAD: The number of voters between the ages of 18 and 35 years has increased by over nine million, turning them into a significant force which could swing the results of upcoming elections if convinced to come to the polling booth.

According to voter statistics released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday, the number of young voters stood at 55.74 million as of March 28.

This age group constituted 44.36 per cent of the total registered voters, which stood at over 125.6m. The same age group made up 43.82pc of the total voters in 2018 when the last general elections were held.

The age-wise statistics show that over 23.1m or 18pc of the total eligible voters are between 18 and 25 years, 32.6m or 26pc are between 26 and 35 years, 27.7m or 22pc are between 36 and 45 years, 18.1m or 14pc are between 46 and 55 years, 11.9m or nine per cent are between 56 and 65 years and 12.1m or 10pc are over the age of 65.

ECP data shows 55.74m between 18-35 eligible to vote in 2023; electoral rolls swell by 19.67m

Analysts believe that the huge number of young voters, a majority of whom actively use social media, could influence results in several constituencies if they turn out in large numbers on poll day.

Age-wise breakdown of numbers

Of the 23.1m voters under 25 years,12.53m or more than half of the total voters in the age group are in Punjab, 4.83m are in Sindh, 4.47m in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1.09m in Balochistan and 0.18m in Islamabad.

Of the 32.62m voters between the ages 26 and 35, 18.44m are in Punjab, 6.49m in Sindh, 6.04m in KP, 1.38m in Balochistan and 0.25m in the federal capital.

The breakdown of voters between the ages 36 and 45 shows that 15.87m of them are from Punjab, 6.11m from Sindh, 4.41m from KP, 1.12m from Balochistan, and 0.219m from the federal capital.

There are 18.12m voters in the age group of 45-55 years, of which 10.41m hail from Punjab, 4m from Sindh, 2.84m are from KP, 0.70m from Balochistan and 0.14m voters from the federal capital.

Of the 11.89m voters between the ages 56 and 66 years, 7.09m are from Punjab, 2.43m from Sindh, 1.81m from KP, 0.45m from Balochistan and 0.10m from Islamabad.

According to the ECP’s data, as of March 28, there were 67.89m or 54pc male voters and 57.73m or 46pc female voters in the country. The total number of voters in 2023, so far, has increased by over 19.67m from 105.95m in 2018. The breakdown for male and female voters was 59.22m and 46.73m, respectively, in the 2018 general elections.

As many as 12.10m voters in the country are over 66 years old, of whom 7.20m are from Punjab, 2.51m are from Sindh, 1.82m are from KP, 0.46m are from Balochistan and 0.10m are from the federal capital.

Overall voters

According to the ECP’s data, as of March 28, there were 67.89m or 54pc male voters and 57.73m or 46pc female voters in the country. The total number of voters in 2023, so far, has increased by over 19.67m from 105.95m in 2018. The breakdown for male and female voters was 59.22m and 46.73m, respectively, in the 2018 general elections.

Five years ago, 17.44m voters were between the ages 18 and 25, 28.99m between 26 and 35 years and 22.48m between 36 and 45 years.

In the electoral rolls prepared for the 2013 general polls, the total number of voters was 86.18m, of which 17.5m voters were under 25 years, 24.2m between 26 and 35 years, 17.2m between 36 and 45 years, 12m between 46 and 55 years, 8.4m between 56 and 65 years and 6.7m above 66 years.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2023

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