According to the 1998 census, Lahore's population was 6,318,745. Mid-2006 government estimates put the population at somewhere around 10 million, which makes it the second largest city in Pakistan, after Karachi. It is considered to be one of the 30 largest cities of the world.
Punjabi is the native language of the province and is the most widely spoken language in Lahore. Punjabi is the primary means of communication in both the city and adjoining rural areas. English has become increasingly popular with educated and younger people due to its official status in government and preferred language status for business. Many Punjabi speakers in Lahore are known as Majha Dialect Of Punjabi. According to the 1998 census, 86.2% or 6,896,000 of the population are Punjabis; 10.2% or 816,000 are Urdu speakers and the Seraikis, at 0.4%, number about 32,000.
According to the 1998 census, 94% of Lahore's population is Sunni or Shia Muslim, up from 60% in 1941. Other religions include Christians (5.80% of the total population, though they form around 9.0% of the rural population), and a small number of Bahá'ís, Hindus, Parsis, and Sikhs. Due to Lahore's diverse culture, there are many mosques, shrines, synagogues, Hindu and Jain temples, Sikh Gurudwaras, and churches across the city. Some of the most famous mosques include: Badshahi Masjid, Dai Anga Mosque, Data Durbar Complex, Shia Masjid, Suneri Mosque, Wazir Khan Mosque, Moti Masjid, Masjid-e-Shuhda (Martyr's Mosque) and Mosque of Mariyam Zamani Begum. Some of the famous shrines include: Tomb of Muhammad Iqbal, Bibi Pak Daman, Samadhi of Ranjit Singh, Tomb of Shah Jamal, Tomb of Lal Hussain, Tomb of Anārkalī, Tomb of Jahangir, Tomb of Empress Nur Jehan and Tomb of Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan. Some of the well-known churches include Regal Church, Hall Road Church, Convent of Jesus and Mary and Sacred Heart Cathedral.
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