Kyrgyzstan [Country Flag of Kyrgyzstan]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Kyrgyzstan]



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Location: Central Asia, west of China

Geographic coordinates: 41 00 N, 75 00 E

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

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

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than South Dakota

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

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

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

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

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Kara-Darya 132 m
highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m

Natural resources: abundant hydroelectric potential; 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: 7%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 44%
forests and woodland: 4%
other: 45% (1993 est.)
note: Kyrgyzstan has the world's largest natural growth walnut forest

Irrigated land: 9,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

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

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography—note: landlocked


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Population: 4,522,281 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 36% (male 817,229; female 800,248)
15-64 years: 58% (male 1,285,520; female 1,337,259)
65 years and over: 6% (male 104,105; female 177,920) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.37% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 22.03 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 8.65 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -9.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 74.76 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 63.77 years
male: 59.45 years
female: 68.3 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.68 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Kyrgyzstani(s)
adjective: Kyrgyzstani

Ethnic groups: Kirghiz 52.4%, Russian 18%, Uzbek 12.9%, Ukrainian 2.5%, German 2.4%, other 11.8%

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

Languages: Kirghiz (Kyrgyz)—official language, Russian—official language
note: in March 1996, the Kyrgyzstani legislature amended the constitution to make Russian an official language, along with Kirghiz, in territories and work places where Russian-speaking citizens predominate

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 99%
female: 96% (1989 est.)


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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

Data code: KG

Government type: republic

National capital: Bishkek

Administrative divisions: 6 oblasttar (singular—oblast) and 1 city* (singular—shaar); 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)

Independence: 31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: National Day, 2 December; Independence Day, 31 August (1991)

Constitution: adopted 5 May 1993
note: amendment proposed by President AKAYEV and passed in a national referendum on 10 February 1996 significantly expands the powers of the president at the expense of the legislature

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Askar AKAYEV (since 28 October 1990)
head of government: Prime Minister Kubanychbek JUMALIYEV (since 25 March 1998)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; elections last held 24 December 1995 (next to be held NA 2000); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Askar AKAYEV elected president; percent of vote—Askar AKAYEV 75%; note—elections were held early which gave the two opposition candidates little time to campaign; AKAYEV may have orchestrated the "deregistration" of two other candidates, one of whom was a major rival

Legislative branch: bicameral Supreme Council or Zhogorku Kenesh consists of the Assembly of People's Representatives (70 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Legislative Assembly (35 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Assembly of People's Representatives—last held 5 February 1995 (next to be held NA 2000); Legislative Assembly—last held 5 February 1995 (next to be held NA 2000)
election results: Assembly of People's Representatives—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—NA; note—not all of the 70 seats were filled at the 5 February 1995 elections; as a result, run-off elections were held at later dates; the assembly meets twice yearly; Legislative Assembly—percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party—NA; note—not all of the 35 seats were filled at the 5 February 1995 elections; as a result, run-off elections were held
note: the legislature became bicameral for the 5 February 1995 elections

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed for a 10-year term by the Supreme Council on recommendation of the president; Constitutional Court; Higher Court of Arbitration

Political parties and leaders: Social Democratic Party or PSD [Zh. IBRAMOV]; Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan or DDK [Jypar JEKSHEYEV, chairman]; National Unity Democratic Movement or DDNE [Yury RAZGULYAYEV]; Communist Party of Kyrgyzstan or PKK [Absamat MASALIYEV, chairman]; Kyrgyzstan Erkin Party (Democratic Movement of Free Kyrgyzstan) or ErK [Tursunbay Bakir UULU]; Republican Popular Party of Kyrgyzstan [Zh. SHARSHENALIYEV]; Agrarian Party of Kyrgyzstan [A. ALIYEV]; Fatherland or Alta Mekel Party [Omurbek TEKEBAYEV]; Banner National Rivival Party or ASABA [Chaprashty BAZARBAY]; Movement for the People's Salvation [Djumgalbek AMAMBAYEV]; Mutual Help Movement or Ashar [Zhumagazy USUPOV]; Peasant Party; Agrarian Party

Political pressure groups and leaders: National Unity Democratic Movement; Council of Free Trade Unions; Union of Entrepreneurs; Kyrgyz Committee on Human Rights [Ramazan DYRYIDAYEV]

International organization participation: AsDB, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, OIC, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Bakyt ABDRISAYEV
chancery: 1732 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 338-5141
FAX: [1] (202) 338-5139

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Anne SIGMUND
embassy: Erkindik Prospekt #66, Bishkek 720002
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [7] (3312) 22-29-21, 22-27-77, 22-26-31, 22-24-73
FAX: [7] (3312) 22-35-51

Flag description: red field with a yellow sun in the center having 40 rays representing the 40 Kirghiz tribes; on the obverse side the rays run counterclockwise, on the reverse, clockwise; in the center of the sun is a red ring crossed by two sets of three lines, a stylized representation of the roof of the traditional Kirghiz yurt


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Economy—overview: Kyrgyzstan is a small, poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Cotton, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products and exports. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, and hydropower. Kyrgyzstan has been one of the most progressive countries of the former Soviet Union in carrying out market reforms. Following a successful stabilization program, which lowered inflation from 88% in 1994 to 15% for 1997, attention is turning toward stimulating growth. Much of the government's stock in enterprises has been sold. Drops in production have been severe since the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, but by mid-1995 production began to recover and exports began to increase. Pensioners, unemployed workers, and government workers with salary arrears continue to suffer. Foreign assistance played a substantial role in the country's economic turnaround in 1996-97.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$9.7 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 10% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,100 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 47%
industry: 12%
services: 41% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 15% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1.7 million
by occupation: agriculture and forestry 40%, industry and construction 19%, other 41% (1995 est.)

Unemployment rate: 8% (December 1996 est.)

revenues: $225 million
expenditures: $308 million, including capital expenditures of $11 million (1996 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 10.8% (1996 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 3.632 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 13.7 billion kWh (1996 est.)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 2,090 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: wool, tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle

total value: $506 million (1996)
commodities: cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; gold, mercury, uranium, hydropower; machinery; shoes
partners: China, UK, FSU

total value: $890 million (1996)
commodities: grain, lumber, industrial products, ferrous metals, fuel, machinery, textiles, footwear
partners: Turkey, Cuba, US, Germany

Debt—external: $746 million (1996)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $56 million (1993)
note: commitments, 1992-95, $1,695 million ($390 million disbursements)

Currency: 1 Kyrgyzstani som (KGS) = 100 tyiyn

Exchange rates: soms (KGS) per US$1—14.6 (January 1997), 11.2 (yearend 1995), 10.6 (yearend 1994)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 342,000 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: poorly developed; about 100,000 unsatisfied applications for household telephones
domestic: principally microwave radio relay
international: 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

Radio broadcast stations: 1 state-run radio broadcast station

Radios: 825,000 (radio receiver systems with multiple speakers for program diffusion 748,000)

Television broadcast stations: 1
note: receives Turkish broadcasts

Televisions: 875,000


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total: 370 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
broad gauge: 370 km 1.520-m gauge (1990)

total: 18,500 km
paved: 16,854 km (including 140 km of expressways)
unpaved: 1,646 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 600 km (1990)

Pipelines: natural gas 200 km

Ports and harbors: Balykchy (Ysyk-Kol or Rybach'ye)

Airports: 54 (1994 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 14
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
under 914 m: 1 (1994 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 40
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 32 (1994 est.)


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Military branches: Army, National Guard, Security Forces (internal and border troops), Civil Defense
note: border troops controlled by Russia

Military manpower—military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 1,124,900 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 912,596 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 45,066 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: 151 million soms (1995); note—conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the current exchange rate could produce misleading results

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: territorial dispute with Tajikistan on southwestern boundary in Isfara Valley area

Illicit drugs: limited illicit cultivator of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; limited government eradication program; increasingly used as transshipment point for illicit drugs to Russia and Western Europe from Southwest Asia