Pakistan’s population has risen to nearly 208 million people with an average annual growth of 2.4 per cent, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said on Friday, after the South Asian nation conducted its first census in 19 years.

The total population is made up of more than 106 million males, more than 101 million females and 10,418 transgender people, who have been counted in a census for the first time, the bureau said.

“Provisional results show the total population of Pakistan as 207.774 million, with an average annual growth rate of 2.4 percent over a period of 1998-2017,” the bureau said in a statement.

The population was just over 130 million in 1998, the last time a census was conducted.

Nearly 118,000 government officials escorted by tens of thousands of troops and police started the 70-day data-gathering drive in March on the orders of the Supreme Court.

Electoral seats in Pakistan’s parliament are assigned using population density data.

The census found a nearly four per cent increase in the urban population, with 36.38 per cent of the total population living in urban areas.

The southern province of Sindh is the most urbanised with 52.02 per cent of people there in cities.

The most prosperous province of Punjab, which is considered the political heartland and bread basket, maintains its status as the most populous province with more than half of all Pakistanis - 110 million people.