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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.
Geography Uzbekistan
Central Asia, north of Afghanistan
Geographic coordinates:
41 00 N, 64 00 E
Map references:
total: 447,400 sq km
water: 22,000 sq km
land: 425,400 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than California
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 - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):
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: 10.8%
permanent crops: 0.91%
other: 88.29% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
42,810 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
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
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
along with Liechtenstein, one of the only two doubly landlocked countries in the world
People Uzbekistan
26,410,416 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 34.1% (male 4,583,228; female 4,418,003)
15-64 years: 61.1% (male 7,990,233; female 8,157,136)
65 years and over: 4.8% (male 513,434; female 748,382) (2004 est.)
Median age:
total: 22.1 years
male: 21.4 years
female: 22.7 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.65% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
26.12 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
7.95 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
-1.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 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 (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 71.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 67.39 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 75.03 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.09 years
male: 60.67 years
female: 67.69 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.97 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 740 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (2001 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.)
Government Uzbekistan
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Uzbekistan
conventional short form: Uzbekistan
local short form: Ozbekiston
former: Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic
local long form: Ozbekiston Respublikasi
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), Qaraqalpog'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
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Islom KARIMOV (since 24 March 1990, when he was elected president by the then Supreme Soviet)
head of government: Prime Minister Shavkat MIRZIYAYEV (since 11 December 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president with approval of the Supreme Assembly
election results: Islom KARIMOV reelected president; percent of vote - Islom KARIMOV 91.9%, Abdulkhafiz JALALOV 4.2%
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (previously was a five-year term, extended by constitutional amendment in 2002); election last held 9 January 2000 (next to be held NA December 2007); prime minister and deputy ministers appointed by the president
Legislative branch:
unicameral Supreme Assembly or Oliy Majlis (250 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - 2002 amendment to the constitution creates a second chamber to be established via elections in December 2004
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NDP 48, Self-Sacrificers Party 34, Fatherland Progress Party 20, Adolat Social Democratic Party 11, MTP 10, citizens' groups 16, local government 110, vacant 1
note: not all seats in the last Supreme Assembly election were contested; all parties in the Supreme Assembly support President KARIMOV
elections: last held 5 December and 19 December 1999 (next to be held NA December 2004)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Supreme Assembly)
Political parties and leaders:
Adolat (Justice) Social Democratic Party [Anwar JURABAYEV, first secretary]; Democratic National Rebirth Party (Milly Tiklanish) or MTP [Aziz KAYUMOV, chairman]; Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan [Kobijon TOSHMATOV]; People's Democratic Party or NDP (formerly Communist Party) [Asliddin RUSTAMOV, first secretary]; Self-Sacrificers Party or Fidokorlar National Democratic Party [Ahtam TURSUNOV, first secretary]; note - Fatherland Progress Party merged with Self-Sacrificers Party
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Agrarian and Entrepreneurs' Party [Marat ZAHIDOV]; Birlik (Unity) Movement [Abdurakhim POLAT, chairman]; Erk (Freedom) Democratic Party [Muhammad SOLIH, chairman] was banned 9 December 1992; Ezgulik [Vasilia INOYATOVA]; Free Farmers' Party [Nigara KHIDOYATOVA]; Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan [Tolib YAKUBOV, chairman]; Independent Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan [Abduhoshim GHAFUROV, chairman]; Mazlum [Oygul MAMATOVA]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Abdulaziz KAMILOV
FAX: [1] (202) 293-6804
consulate(s) general: New York
telephone: [1] (202) 293-6803
chancery: 1746 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jon PURNELL
embassy: 82 Chilanzarskaya, Tashkent 700115
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [998] (71) 120-5450
FAX: [998] (71) 120-6335
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and green separated by red fimbriations with a white crescent moon and 12 white stars in the upper hoist-side quadrant
Economy Uzbekistan
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, a large producer of gold and oil, and a regionally significant producer of chemicals and machinery. Following independence in December 1991, the government sought to prop up its Soviet-style command economy with subsidies and tight controls on production and prices. Uzbekistan responded to the negative external conditions generated by the Asian and Russian financial crises by emphasizing import substitute industrialization and by tightening export and currency controls within its already largely closed economy. The government, while aware of the need to improve the investment climate, sponsors measures that often increase, not decrease, the government's control over business decisions. A sharp increase in the inequality of income distribution has hurt the lower ranks of society since independence.
purchasing power parity - $44.11 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.4% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 36%
industry: 21%
services: 43% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
NA% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 32.8% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
44.7 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
21.9% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
11.9 million (1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 44%, industry 20%, services 36% (1995)
Unemployment rate:
10% plus another 20% underemployed (2001 est.)
revenues: $2.42 billion
expenditures: $2.45 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2003 est.)
textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, natural gas, chemicals
Industrial production growth rate:
6.2% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
44.49 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 88.2%
hydro: 11.8%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
47.07 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
3.998 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
9.7 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
142,700 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
142,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Oil - imports:
Oil - proved reserves:
297 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
63.1 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
45.2 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
17.9 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
937.3 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Agriculture - products:
cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain; livestock
$2.83 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
cotton 41.5%, gold 9.6%, energy products 9.6%, mineral fertilizers, ferrous metals, textiles, food products, automobiles (1998 est.)
Exports - partners:
Russia 19.9%, Italy 8.6%, Tajikistan 7.7%, South Korea 5.6%, Kazakhstan 5.1%, US 4.7%, Turkey 4.4%, Japan 4.3% (2002)
$2.31 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment 49.8%, foodstuffs 16.4%, chemicals, metals (1998 est.)
Imports - partners:
Russia 24%, Germany 10.8%, South Korea 10%, US 7.3%, China 5.5%, Kazakhstan 5.3%, Turkey 4.9% (2002)
Debt - external:
$1.7 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$87.4 million from the US (2003)
Uzbekistani sum (UZS)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Uzbekistani sums per US dollar - 115.9 (2003), 125.3 (2002), NA (2001), 236.61 (2000), 124.63 (1999)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Uzbekistan
Telephones - main lines in use:
1,681,100 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
186,900 (2002)
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)
10.8 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
4 (plus two repeaters that relay Russian programs), 1 cable rebroadcaster in Tashkent; approximately 20 stations in regional capitals (2003)
6.4 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
281 (2002)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
42 (2000)
Internet users:
275,000 (2002)
Transportation Uzbekistan
total: 3,950 km
broad gauge: 3,950 km 1.520-m gauge (620 km electrified) (2002)
total: 81,600 km
paved: 71,237 km
unpaved: 10,363 km (1999 est.)
1,100 km (1990)
gas 9,012 km; oil 869 km; refined products 33 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Termiz (Amu Darya)
247 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 33
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 14
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 4 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 214
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 200 (2003 est.)
Military Uzbekistan
Military branches:
Army, Air and Air Defense Forces, National Guard
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 7,126,325 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 5,783,740 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 321,886 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$200 million (FY97)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2% (FY97)
Transnational Issues Uzbekistan
Disputes - international:
prolonged drought and cotton monoculture creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; delimitation with Kazakhstan complete with demarcation underway; delimitation is underway with Kyrgyzstan but serious disputes around enclaves and elsewhere continue to mar progress for some 130 km of border; talks continue with Tajikistan to determine and delimit border
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