the population of karachi lies between 13 million and 15 million. karachi is called as city of lights. before islamabad, karachi was the capital of pakistan. it is also known as the financial centre of pakistan. the city is spread over 3,527 km2 (1,362 sq mi) in area and is known as the largest city of pakistan.
karachi is an important financial and industrial centre and handles most of the overseas trade of pakistan and the world. it accounts for a lion's share of the gdp of pakistan. karachi’s gdp is around 20% of the total gdp of pakistan. according to the federal board of revenue's 2006-2007 year book, tax and customs units in karachi were responsible for 46.75% of direct taxes, 33.65% of federal excise tax, and 23.38% of domestic sales tax. textiles, cement, steel, heavy machinery, chemicals, food, banking and insurance are the major segments contributing to karachi's gdp.
the karachi stock exchange is the largest stock exchange in pakistan. karachi has become the software outsourcing hub of pakistan and has seen an expansion of information and communications technology and electronic media. many of pakistan’s independent television and radio stations are based in karachi i.e. world-popular business plus, aaj news, geo tv, ktn, sindh tv, cnbc pakistan, tv one, ary digital, indus television network, samaa tv and dawn news and several local stations as well.
karachi presents exhibitions on a regular basis and many museums are situated over there, including the mohatta palace and the national museum of pakistan. karachi expo centre hosts many regional and international exhibitions. this city hosts many cultural and fashion shows. the famous bazaars of karachi include bohri bazaar, soldier bazaar, and urdu bazaar. port grand retail and entertainment complex is newly constructed in karachi for shopping. the jinnah international airport is located in karachi and is the largest and busiest airport of pakistan.
many famous buildings of classical architecture are located in karachi including the aga khan university hospital, masjid e tooba, faran mosque, bait-ul mukarram mosque, quaid's mausoleum, and the textile institute of pakistan. also the buildings which were constructed in british rule include frere hall, empress market and st. patrick's cathedral. the national stadium and peoples football stadium are famous stadiums of karachi.
famous educational institutes of karachi include: university of karachi, ned university of engineering and technology, national university of computer and emerging sciences (nuces-fast), sir syed university of engineering and technology (ssuet), karachi institute of economics & technology (kiet), institute of business administration (iba), shaheed zulfiqar ali bhutto institute of science and technology (szabist), jinnah university for women, institute of chartered accountants of pakistan (icap) and institute of cost and management accountants of pakistan (icmap).