* Before 1947, Karachi had communities of Sindhis, Balochs, Parsis, Hindus, Christians, Jews, Goans, Armenians, Chinese, British, Lebanese, Iranians and Gujaratis.
* Sheedis, the local name for Afro-Pakistanis, trace their roots to African slaves.
* The descendants of Urdu-speakers who migrated from India after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, are the biggest community and dominate the city's administration.
* After Pakistan's civil war in 1971, thousands of Biharis and Bengalis from Bangladesh arrived in the city, followed by refugees from Burma and Uganda.
* Karachi is also home to the largest concentration of ethnic Pukhtoons outside North West Frontier Province. According to some estimates, more than 3.5 million Pukhtoons live in the city.
* Since 1979, because of the Soviet war in Afghanistan and continued upheavals in their country, a steady stream of Afghan refugees have also taken up permanent residence in and around Karachi
* Many other refugees from Iran, Tajikistan and other Central Asian nations have also settled permanently in the city.
* Karachi is home to the central bank and main stock exchange and is also the country's main industrial base.
* The country's two main ports are in Karachi and most foreign companies investing in Pakistan have offices there.