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



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Location: Central Asia, north of Afghanistan

Geographic coordinates: 41 00 N, 64 00 E

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

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

Coastline: 0 km
note: Uzbekistan borders the Aral Sea (420 km)

Maritime claims: none (doubly landlocked)

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

Terrain: mostly flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes; broad, flat intensely irrigated river valleys along course of Amu 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: 9%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 46%
forests and woodland: 3%
other: 41% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 40,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment—current issues: drying up 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 salinization; soil contamination from agricultural chemicals, including DDT

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
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


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Population: 23,784,321 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 38% (male 4,591,140; female 4,451,246)
15-64 years: 57% (male 6,755,371; female 6,874,483)
65 years and over: 5% (male 435,036; female 677,045) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.33% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 23.69 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 7.68 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -2.68 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 71.04 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.11 years
male: 60.49 years
female: 67.91 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.87 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Uzbekistani(s)
adjective: Uzbekistani

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

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

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

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 98%
female: 96% (1989 est.)


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Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Uzbekistan
conventional short form: Uzbekistan
local long form: Uzbekiston Respublikasi
local short form: none
former: Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic

Data code: UZ

Government type: republic; effectively authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch and executive power concentrated in the presidency

National capital: Tashkent (Toshkent)

Administrative divisions: 12 wiloyatlar (singular—wiloyat), 1 autonomous republic* (respublikasi), and 1 city** (shahri); Andijon Wiloyati, Bukhoro Wiloyati, Jizzakh Wiloyati, Farghona Wiloyati, Qoraqalpoghiston* (Nukus), Qashqadaryo Wiloyati (Qarshi), Khorazm Wiloyati (Urganch), Namangan Wiloyati, Nawoiy Wiloyati, Samarqand Wiloyati, Sirdaryo Wiloyati (Guliston), Surkhondaryo Wiloyati (Termiz), Toshkent Shahri**, Toshkent Wiloyati
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: Independence Day, 1 September (1991)

Constitution: new constitution adopted 8 December 1992

Legal system: evolution of Soviet civil law; still lacks independent judicial system

Suffrage: 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 Otkir SULTONOV (since 21 December 1995); First Deputy Prime Minister Ismoil JURABEKOV (since NA 1991); Deputy Prime Ministers Viktor CHZHEN (since NA 1994), Bakhtiyor HAMIDOV (since NA 1992), Kayim HAKKULOV (since NA 1991), Dilbar GHOLOMOVA (since NA 1995), Alisher AZIZKHOJAYEV (since NA 1996), Mirabror USMONOV (since NA 1995), Rustam YUNUSOV (since NA 1994)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president with approval of the Supreme Assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 29 December 1991 (next to be held NA January 2000; note—extension of President KARIMOV's term for an additional four years overwhelmingly approved - 99.6% of total vote in favor—by national referendum held 26 March 1995); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
election results: Islom KARIMOV elected president; percent of vote—Islom KARIMOV 86%, Muhammed SOLIH 12%, other 2%

Legislative branch: unicameral Supreme Assembly or Oliy Majlis (250 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 25 December 1994 (next to be held NA December 1999)
election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—People's Democratic Party 207, Fatherland Progress Party 12, other 31; note—final runoffs were held 22 January 1995; seating was as follows: People's Democratic Party 69, Fatherland Progress Party 14, Social Democratic Party 47, local government 120
note: all parties in parliament support President KARIMOV

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Supreme Assembly

Political parties and leaders: People's Democratic Party or HDP (formerly Communist Party) [Abdulkhafiz JALOLOV, first secretary]; Fatherland Progress Party (Vatan Tarakiyoti) or VTP [Anwar YULDASHEV, chairman]; Adolat (Justice) Social Democratic Party [Turgunpulat DAMINOV, first secretary]; Democratic National Rebirth Party (Milly Tiklanish) or MTP [Ibrahim GAFUROV, chairman]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Birlik (Unity) Movement [Abdurakhim PULATOV, chairman]; Islamic Rebirth Party or IRP [Abdullah UTAYEV, chairman], note—is banned; Erk (Freedom) Democratic Party [Muhamd SOLIH, chairman] was banned 9 December 1992
note: all of the above groups are illegal; UTAYEV disappeared in 1992 and probably was detained by the government, but his whereabouts is unknown

International organization participation: AsDB, CCC, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Sadyk SAFAYEV
chancery: 1746 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 887-5300, 293-6801 through 6803
FAX: [1] (202) 293-6804
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph A. PRESEL (since November 1997)
embassy: 82 Chilanzarskaya, Tashkent 700115
mailing address: use embassy street address; Embassy Tashkent, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-7110
telephone: [7] (3712) 77-14-07, 77-10-81, 77-69-86, 77-11-32, 77-12-62
FAX: [7] (3712) 40-63-35

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


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Economy—overview: Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country of which 10% consists of intensely cultivated, irrigated river valleys. It was one of the poorest areas of the former Soviet Union with more than 60% of its population living in densely populated rural communities. Uzbekistan is now the world's third largest cotton exporter, a major producer of gold and natural gas, 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. Faced with high rates of inflation, however, the government began to reform in mid-1994, by introducing tighter monetary policies, expanding privatization, slightly reducing the role of the state in the economy, and improving the environment for foreign investors. Nevertheless, the state continues to be a dominating influence in the economy, and reforms have so far failed to bring about much-needed structural changes. The IMF suspended Uzbekistan's $185 million standby arrangement in late 1996 because of governmental steps that made impossible fulfillment of Fund conditions.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$60.7 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 2.4% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,500 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 26%
industry: 27%
services: 47% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 55% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total: 8.6 million (1996 est.)
by occupation: agriculture and forestry 44%, industry and construction 20%, other 36% (1995)

Unemployment rate: 5% plus another 10% underemployed (December 1996 est.)

revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, natural gas

Industrial production growth rate: 6% (1996)

Electricity—capacity: 11.822 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 45.42 billion kWh (1996 est.)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 1,916 kWh (1996 est.)

Agriculture—products: cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain; livestock

total value: $3.8 billion (1996)
commodities: cotton, gold, natural gas, mineral fertilizers, ferrous metals, textiles, food products, autos
partners: Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Western Europe

total value: $4.7 billion (1996)
commodities: grain, machinery and parts, consumer durables, other foods
partners: principally other FSU, Czech Republic, Western Europe

Debt—external: $2.3 billion (of which $510 million to Russia) (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $71 million (1993)
note: commitments, $2,915 million ($135 million in disbursements) (1992-95)

Currency: introduced provisional som-coupons 10 November 1993 which circulated parallel to the Russian rubles; became the sole legal currency 31 January 1994; was replaced in July 1994 by the som currency

Exchange rates: Uzbekistani soms (UKS) per US$1—75.8 (September 1997), 41.1 (1996), 30.2 (1995), 11.4 (1994), 1.0 (1993)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 1.458 million (1995 est.)

Telephone system: poorly developed
domestic: NMT-450 analog cellular network established in Tashkent
international: linked by landline or microwave radio relay with CIS member states and to other countries by leased connection via the Moscow international gateway switch; new Intelsat links to Tokyo and Ankara give Uzbekistan international access independent of Russian facilities; satellite earth stations—NA Orbita and NA Intelsat

Radio broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA; note—there is at least one state-owned broadcast station of NA type

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 2 national, over 30 local

Televisions: NA


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total: 3,380 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
broad gauge: 3,380 km 1.520-m gauge (300 km electrified) (1993)

total: 81,600 km
paved: 71,237 km (note—these roads are said to be hard surfaced, meaning that some are paved and some are all-weather gravel surfaced)
unpaved: 10,363 km dirt (1996 est.)

Waterways: 1,100 (1990)

Pipelines: crude oil 250 km; petroleum products 40 km; natural gas 810 km (1992)

Ports and harbors: Termiz (Amu Darya river)

Airports: 3 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (1997 est.)


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Military branches: Ministry of Defense (Army, Air, and Air Defense), Security Forces (internal and border troops)
note: National Guard is a component of the Army

Military manpower—military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 5,996,041 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 4,874,324 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 246,706 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: 39.2 billion soms (1996); note—conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the current exchange rate could produce misleading results

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 7% (1996)

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: none

Illicit drugs: limited illicit cultivator of cannabis and small amounts of opium poppy, mostly for domestic consumption; limited government eradication program; increasingly used as transshipment point for illicit drugs from Afghanistan to Russia and Western Europe and for acetic anhydride destined for Afghanistan