Flag of Kyrgyzstan

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A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, Kyrgyzstan was annexed by Russia in 1864; it achieved independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Nationwide demonstrations in the spring of 2005 resulted in the ouster of President Askar AKAYEV, who had run the country since 1990. Subsequent presidential elections in July 2005 were won overwhelmingly by former prime minister Kurmanbek BAKIYEV. Current concerns include: privatization of state-owned enterprises, expansion of democracy and political freedoms, reduction of corruption, improving interethnic relations, and combating terrorism.


Central Asia, west of China

Geographic coordinates:

41 00 N, 75 00 E


total: 198,500 sq km
land: 191,300 sq km
water: 7,200 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 3,878 km
border countries: China 858 km, Kazakhstan 1,051 km, Tajikistan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,099 km


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone


peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basins encompass entire nation

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Kara-Daryya (Karadar'ya) 132 m
highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m

Natural resources:

abundant hydropower; significant deposits of gold and rare earth metals; locally exploitable coal, oil, and natural gas; other deposits of nepheline, mercury, bismuth, lead, and zinc

Land use:

arable land: 6.55%
permanent crops: 0.28%
other: 93.17%
note: Kyrgyzstan has the world's largest natural growth walnut forest (2005)

Irrigated land:

10,720 sq km (2003)

Environment - current issues:

water pollution; many people get their water directly from contaminated streams and wells; as a result, water-borne diseases are prevalent; increasing soil salinity from faulty irrigation practices

Geography - note:

landlocked; entirely mountainous, dominated by the Tien Shan range; many tall peaks, glaciers, and high-altitude lakes


5,213,898 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 30.9% (male 821,976/female 789,687)
15-64 years: 62.9% (male 1,607,396/female 1,669,612)
65 years and over: 6.2% (male 126,847/female 198,380) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 23.6 years
male: 22.8 years
female: 24.5 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.32% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

22.8 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

7.08 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

-2.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 34.49 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 39.72 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 28.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 68.49 years
male: 64.48 years
female: 72.7 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.69 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

people living with HIV/AIDS:

3,900 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

less than 200 (2003 est.)


noun: Kyrgyzstani(s)
adjective: Kyrgyzstani

Ethnic groups:

Kyrgyz 64.9%, Uzbek 13.8%, Russian 12.5%, Dungan 1.1%, Ukrainian 1%, Uygur 1%, other 5.7% (1999 census)


Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%


Kyrgyz (official), Russian (official)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.7%
male: 99.3%
female: 98.1% (1999 est.)

Country name:

conventional long form: Kyrgyz Republic
conventional short form: Kyrgyzstan
local long form: Kyrgyz Respublikasy
local short form: none
former: Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type:




Administrative divisions:

7 provinces (oblastlar, singular - oblasty) and 1 city* (shaar); Batken Oblasty, Bishkek Shaary*, Chuy Oblasty (Bishkek), Jalal-Abad Oblasty, Naryn Oblasty, Osh Oblasty, Talas Oblasty, Ysyk-Kol Oblasty (Karakol)
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)


31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 31 August (1991)


adopted 5 May 1993; note - amendment proposed by President Askar AKAYEV and passed in a national referendum on 2 February 2003 significantly expands the powers of the president at the expense of the legislature; following the spring 2005 demonstrations, a new Constitutional Council was appointed and the reform process is ongoing

Legal system:

based on civil law system


18 years of age; universal

Legislative branch:

unicameral Supreme Council or Jorgorku Kenesh (75 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five year terms)
elections: elections for the new unicameral body or Jorgorku Kenesh were held 27 February 2005, but the vast majority of positions remained undecided and were contested in a runoff election on 13 March 2005; election irregularities caused widespread protests that resulted in the president being forced to flee the country
election results: Supreme Council - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court (judges are appointed for 10-year terms by the Supreme Council on the recommendation of the president); Constitutional Court; Higher Court of Arbitration

Economy - overview:

Kyrgyzstan is a poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only tobacco and cotton are exported in any quantity. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, and electricity. Kyrgyzstan has been progressive in carrying out market reforms, such as an improved regulatory system and land reform. Kyrgyzstan was the first CIS country to be accepted into the World Trade Organization. Much of the government's stock in enterprises has been sold. Drops in production had been severe after the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, but by mid-1995, production began to recover and exports began to increase. Kyrgyzstan has distinguished itself by adopting relatively liberal economic policies. The drop in output at the Kumtor gold mine sparked a 0.5% decline in GDP in 2002, but GDP growth bounced back in 2003-05. The government has made steady strides in controlling its substantial fiscal deficit and reduced the deficit to 1% of GDP in 2005. The government and international financial institutions have been engaged in a comprehensive medium-term poverty reduction and economic growth strategy, and in 2005 agreed to pursue much-needed tax reform. Progress fighting corruption, further restructuring of domestic industry, and success in attracting foreign investment are keys to future growth.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$9.033 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$2.041 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

2% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,800 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 37.1%
industry: 21.9%
services: 41% (2005 est.)

Labor force:

2.7 million (2000)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 55%
industry: 15%
services: 30% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate:

18% (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line:

40% (2004 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.9%
highest 10%: 23.3% (2001)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

29 (2001)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.2% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

15% of GDP (2005 est.)


revenues: $516.3 million
expenditures: $539.9 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products:

tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool


small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes, sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare earth metals

Industrial production growth rate:

7.1% (2004 est.)

Electricity - production:

13.77 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

8.783 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - exports:

4.13 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - imports:

108 million kWh (2003)

Oil - production:

1,990 bbl/day (2003)

Oil - consumption:

11,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Natural gas - production:

6 million cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

1.5 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas - imports:

1.5 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Current account balance:

-$77.02 million (2005 est.)


$759 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, hydropower; machinery; shoes

Exports - partners:

UAE 28.2%, Russia 19.1%, China 12%, Kazakhstan 11.1%, Switzerland 6.3% (2004)


$937.4 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

oil and gas, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs

Imports - partners:

China 26.3%, Russia 22.3%, Kazakhstan 17.1%, Turkey 5.4% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$593.2 million (2005 est.)

Debt - external:

$2.428 billion (31 December 2004 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

$50 million from the US (2001)

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

416,400 (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

263,400 (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: development of telecommunications infrastructure is slow; fixed line penetration remains low and concentrated in Bishkek
domestic: two wireless telephony service providers, but penetration remains low
international: country code - 996; connections with other CIS countries by landline or microwave radio relay and with other countries by leased connections with Moscow international gateway switch and by satellite; satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik and 1 Intelsat; connected internationally by the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 12 (plus 10 repeater stations), FM 14, shortwave 2 (1998)

Television broadcast stations:

NA (repeater stations throughout the country relay programs from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkey) (1997)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

18,539 (2005)

Internet users:

263,000 (2005)


37 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 18
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
under 914 m: 3 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 16 (2005)


gas 367 km; oil 13 km (2004)


total: 470 km
broad gauge: 470 km 1.520-m gauge (2004)


total: 18,500 km
paved: 16,854 km
unpaved: 1,646 km (1999)


600 km (2006)

Ports and terminals:

Balykchy (Ysyk-Kol or Rybach'ye)

Military branches:

Army, Air Force, National Guard (2004)

Disputes - international:

delimitation with Kazakhstan is complete; disputes in Isfara Valley delay completion of delimitation with Tajikistan; delimitation of 130 km of border with Uzbekistan is hampered by serious disputes around enclaves and other areas

Illicit drugs:

limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy for CIS markets; limited government eradication of illicit crops; transit point for Southwest Asian narcotics bound for Russia and the rest of Europe