The Punjabi people are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group from South Asia. They originate from the Punjab region, which has been host to some of the oldest civilizations in the world including one of the world's first and oldest civilizations, the Indus Valley Civilization. The Punjabi identity is primarily cultural and linguistic, with Punjabis being those whose first language is Punjabi, an Indo-European and Indo-Scythian tongue. In recent times, however, the definition has been broadened to include also emigrants of Punjabi descent who maintain Punjabi cultural traditions, even when they no longer speak the language.
Punjabis are mostly and primarily found in the Punjab region, of India & Pakistan, which forms the present Indian state of Punjab and Pakistan province of Punjab , this is because the Punjab region was divided between the two nations at independence from Britain. In Pakistan, Punjabis comprise the largest ethnic group at roughly 60% of the total population of the country and reside predominantly in the province (state) of Punjab and Azad Kashmir. In India, Punjabis represent about 3% of the population. The majority of Punjabi-speaking people in India can be found across the greater Punjab region which comprises the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Besides these, large communities are also found in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian states of Rajasthan, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh.
Punjabi is the dominant language spoken in Pakistan, and 11th most spoken language in India and 3rd most spoken language in South Asia. According to the Ethnologue 2005 estimate, there are 88 million native speakers of the Punjabi language, which makes it approximately the 11th most widely spoken language in the world. According to the 2008 Census of Pakistan, there are approximately 76,335,300 native speakers of Punjabi in Pakistan, and according to the Census of India, there are over 29,102,477 Punjabi speakers in India. Punjabi is also spoken as a minority language in several other countries where Punjabis have emigrated in large numbers, such as the United Kingdom (where it is the second most commonly used language) and Canada, where in recent times Punjabi has grown fast and has now become the fourth most spoken language.. Punjabi is the 2nd most common language in the UK after English. The 4th most common spoken language in Canada after English, French and Chinese. There are also sizable communities in United States, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Persian Gulf countries, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
Punjabis are ethno-linguistically and culturally related to the other Indo-Aryan peoples of South Asia. There are an estimated 120 million Punjabis around the world.