Flag of Uzbekistan

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Russia conquered Uzbekistan in the late 19th century. Stiff resistance to the Red Army after World War I was eventually suppressed and a socialist republic set up in 1924. During the Soviet era, intensive production of "white gold" (cotton) and grain led to overuse of agrochemicals and the depletion of water supplies, which have left the land poisoned and the Aral Sea and certain rivers half dry. Independent since 1991, the country seeks to gradually lessen its dependence on agriculture while developing its mineral and petroleum reserves. Current concerns include terrorism by Islamic militants, economic stagnation, and the curtailment of human rights and democratization.


Central Asia, north of Afghanistan

Geographic coordinates:

41 00 N, 64 00 E


total: 447,400 sq km
land: 425,400 sq km
water: 22,000 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 6,221 km
border countries: Afghanistan 137 km, Kazakhstan 2,203 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,099 km, Tajikistan 1,161 km, Turkmenistan 1,621 km


0 km (doubly landlocked); note - Uzbekistan includes the southern portion of the Aral Sea with a 420 km shoreline

Maritime claims:

none (doubly landlocked)


mostly midlatitude desert, long, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid grassland in east


mostly flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes; broad, flat intensely irrigated river valleys along course of Amu Darya, Syr Darya (Sirdaryo), and Zarafshon; Fergana Valley in east surrounded by mountainous Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; shrinking Aral Sea in west

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Sariqarnish Kuli -12 m
highest point: Adelunga Toghi 4,301 m

Natural resources:

natural gas, petroleum, coal, gold, uranium, silver, copper, lead and zinc, tungsten, molybdenum

Land use:

arable land: 10.51%
permanent crops: 0.76%
other: 88.73% (2005)

Irrigated land:

42,810 sq km (2003)

Environment - current issues:

shrinkage of the Aral Sea is resulting in growing concentrations of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then blown from the increasingly exposed lake bed and contribute to desertification; water pollution from industrial wastes and the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides is the cause of many human health disorders; increasing soil salination; soil contamination from buried nuclear processing and agricultural chemicals, including DDT

Geography - note:

along with Liechtenstein, one of the only two doubly landlocked countries in the world


27,307,134 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 32.9% (male 4,572,721/female 4,403,405)
15-64 years: 62.3% (male 8,420,174/female 8,594,478)
65 years and over: 4.8% (male 539,336/female 777,020) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 22.7 years
male: 22 years
female: 23.3 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.7% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

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

Death rate:

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

Net migration rate:

-1.5 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: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 69.99 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 74.14 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 65.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 64.58 years
male: 61.19 years
female: 68.14 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

2.91 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

people living with HIV/AIDS:

11,000 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

less than 500 (2003 est.)


noun: Uzbekistani
adjective: Uzbekistani

Ethnic groups:

Uzbek 80%, Russian 5.5%, Tajik 5%, Kazakh 3%, Karakalpak 2.5%, Tatar 1.5%, other 2.5% (1996 est.)


Muslim 88% (mostly Sunnis), Eastern Orthodox 9%, other 3%


Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.3%
male: 99.6%
female: 99% (2003 est.)

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Uzbekistan
conventional short form: Uzbekistan
local long form: Ozbekiston Respublikasi
local short form: Ozbekiston
former: Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type:

republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch


Tashkent (Toshkent)

Administrative divisions:

12 provinces (viloyatlar, singular - viloyat), 1 autonomous republic* (respublika), and 1 city** (shahar); Andijon Viloyati, Buxoro Viloyati, Farg'ona Viloyati, Jizzax Viloyati, Namangan Viloyati, Navoiy Viloyati, Qashqadaryo Viloyati (Qarshi), Qoraqalpog'iston Respublikasi* (Nukus), Samarqand Viloyati, Sirdaryo Viloyati (Guliston), Surxondaryo Viloyati (Termiz), Toshkent Shahri**, Toshkent Viloyati, Xorazm Viloyati (Urganch)
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)


1 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 1 September (1991)


new constitution adopted 8 December 1992

Legal system:

evolution of Soviet civil law; still lacks independent judicial system


18 years of age; universal

Legislative branch:

bicameral Supreme Assembly or Oliy Majlis consists of an Upper House or Senate (100 seats; 84 members are elected by regional governing councils to serve five-year terms and 16 are appointed by the president) and a Lower House or Legislative Chamber (120 seats; elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 26 December 2004 and 9 January 2005 (next to be held December 2009)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; Legislative Chamber - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - LDPU 41, NDP 32, Fidokorlar 17, MTP 11, Adolat 9, unaffiliated 10
note: all parties in the Supreme Assembly support President KARIMOV

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court (judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Supreme Assembly)

Economy - overview:

Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country of which 11% consists of intensely cultivated, irrigated river valleys. More than 60% of its population lives in densely populated rural communities. Uzbekistan is now the world's second-largest cotton exporter and fifth largest producer; it relies heavily on cotton production as the major source of export earnings. Other major export earners include gold, natural gas, and oil. Following independence in September 1991, the government sought to prop up its Soviet-style command economy with subsidies and tight controls on production and prices. While aware of the need to improve the investment climate, the government still sponsors measures that often increase, not decrease, its control over business decisions. A sharp increase in the inequality of income distribution has hurt the lower ranks of society since independence. In 2003, the government accepted the obligations of Article VIII under the International Monetary Fund (IMF), providing for full currency convertibility. However, strict currency controls and tightening of borders have lessened the effects of convertibility and have also led to some shortages that have further stifled economic activity. The Central Bank often delays or restricts convertibility, especially for consumer goods. Potential investment by Russia and China in Uzbekistan's gas and oil industry would increase economic growth prospects. In November 2005, Russian President Vladimir PUTIN and Uzbekistan President KARIMOV signed an "alliance" treaty, which included provisions for economic and business cooperation. Russian businesses have shown increased interest in Uzbekistan, especially in mining, telecom, and oil and gas. In December 2005, the Russians opened a "Trade House" to support and develop Russian-Uzbek business and economic ties.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$53.01 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$10.12 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

7.2% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$2,000 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 38%
industry: 26.3%
services: 35.7% (2003 est.)

Labor force:

14.26 million (2005 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 44%
industry: 20%
services: 36% (1995)

Unemployment rate:

0.7% officially, plus another 20% underemployed (2005 est.)

Population below poverty line:

28% (2004 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 22% (2000)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

26.8 (2000)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

8.8% (2005 est.)


revenues: $2.815 billion
expenditures: $2.917 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Public debt:

39% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products:

cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain; livestock


textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, gold petroleum, natural gas, chemicals

Industrial production growth rate:

7.7% (2005 est.)

Electricity - production:

46.52 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

48.45 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - exports:

5.36 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - imports:

10.55 billion kWh (2003)

Oil - production:

152,000 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - consumption:

120,000 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - proved reserves:

600 million bbl (1 January 2005)

Natural gas - production:

55.8 billion cu m (2004)

Natural gas - consumption:

49.3 billion cu m (2004)

Natural gas - exports:

6.5 billion cu m (2004)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

1.875 trillion cu m (1 January 2005)

Current account balance:

$831.9 million (2005 est.)


$5 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

cotton 41.5%, gold 9.6%, energy products 9.6%, mineral fertilizers, ferrous metals, textiles, food products, automobiles (1998)

Exports - partners:

Russia 22%, China 14.7%, Turkey 6.4%, Tajikistan 6.1%, Kazakhstan 4.2%, Bangladesh 4% (2004)


$3.8 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment 49.8%, foodstuffs 16.4%, chemicals, metals (1998)

Imports - partners:

Russia 26.8%, South Korea 12.6%, US 8%, Germany 7.7%, Kazakhstan 6.3%, China 5.8%, Turkey 5.1%, Ukraine 4.5% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$2.123 billion (2005 est.)

Debt - external:

$5.184 billion (2005 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

$91.6 million from the US (2005)

Currency (code):

Uzbekistani soum (UZS)

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

1,717,100 (2003)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

544,100 (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: antiquated and inadequate; in serious need of modernization
domestic: the domestic telephone system is being expanded and technologically improved, particularly in Tashkent (Toshkent) and Samarqand, under contracts with prominent companies in industrialized countries; moreover, by 1998, six cellular networks had been placed in operation - four of the GSM type (Global System for Mobile Communication), one D-AMPS type (Digital Advanced Mobile Phone System), and one AMPS type (Advanced Mobile Phone System)
international: country code - 998; linked by landline or microwave radio relay with CIS member states and to other countries by leased connection via the Moscow international gateway switch; after the completion of the Uzbek link to the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic cable, Uzbekistan will be independent of Russian facilities for international communications; Inmarsat also provides an international connection, albeit an expensive one; satellite earth stations - NA (1998)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 20, FM 7, shortwave 10 (1998)

Television broadcast stations:

4 (plus two repeaters that relay Russian programs), 1 cable rebroadcaster in Tashkent; approximately 20 stations in regional capitals (2003)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

7,124 (2005)

Internet users:

880,000 (2005)


79 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 33
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 13
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 4 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 46
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
under 914 m: 42 (2005)


gas 9,149 km; oil 869 km; refined products 33 km (2004)


total: 3,950 km
broad gauge: 3,950 km 1.520-m gauge (620 km electrified) (2004)


total: 81,600 km
paved: 71,237 km
unpaved: 10,363 km (1999)


1,100 km (2006)

Ports and terminals:

Termiz (Amu Darya)

Military branches:

Army, Air and Air Defense Forces, National Guard

Disputes - international:

prolonged drought and cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; delimitation with Kazakhstan complete with demarcation underway; border delimitation of 130 km of border with Kyrgyzstan is hampered by serious disputes around enclaves and other areas

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 39,202 (Tajikistan) 5,238 (Afghanistan)
IDPs: 3,000 (forced population transfers by government from villages near Tajikistan border) (2005)

Illicit drugs:

transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and, to a lesser extent, Western European markets; limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and small amounts of opium poppy for domestic consumption; poppy cultivation almost wiped out by government crop eradication program; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan