Tajikistan Travel Information

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Biodiversity in Tajikistan

Facts About Tajikistan

Background: Tajikistan has experienced three changes in government and a five-year civil war since it gained independence in 1991 from the USSR. A peace agreement among rival factions was signed in 1997, and implementation reportedly completed by late 1999. Part of the agreement required the legalization of opposition political parties prior to the 1999 elections, which occurred, but such parties have made little progress in successful participation in government. Random criminal and political violence in the country remains a complication impairing Tajikistan's ability to engage internationally.

Government type: republic
Capital: Dushanbe
Currency: somoni (SM) = 100 tanga

Geography of Tajikistan

Location: Central Asia, west of China
Geographic coordinates: 39 00 N, 71 00 E
Area:
total: 143,100 sq km
land: 142,700 sq km
water: 400 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 3,651 km
border countries: Afghanistan 1,206 km, China 414 km, Kyrgyzstan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,161 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Climate: midlatitude continental, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid to polar in Pamir Mountains
Terrain: Pamir and Alay mountains dominate landscape; western Fergana Valley in north, Kofarnihon and Vakhsh Valleys in southwest
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Syrdariya 300 m
highest point: Pik Imeni Ismail Samani 7,495 m
Natural resources: hydropower, some petroleum, uranium, mercury, brown coal, lead, zinc, antimony, tungsten
Land use:
arable land: 6%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 25%
forests and woodland: 4%
other: 65% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 6,390 sq km (1993 est.)
Environment - current issues: inadequate sanitation facilities; increasing levels of soil salinity; industrial pollution; excessive pesticides; part of the basin of the shrinking Aral Sea suffers from severe overutilization of available water for irrigation and associated pollution.
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: landlocked; mountainous region dominated by the Trans-Alay Range in the north and the Pamirs in the southeast; highest point, Pik Imeni Ismail Samani (formerly Communism Peak), was the tallest mountain in the former USSR.

People of Tajikistan

Contemporary Tajiks are the descendants of ancient Eastern Iranian inhabitants of Central Asia, in particular the Soghdians and the Bactrians, and possibly other groups, with an admixture of western Iranian Persians and non-Iranian peoples, Mongols, and Turkic peoples, and reports of Alexander the Great's army. Until the 20th century, people in the region used two types of distinction to identify themselves: way of life--either nomadic or sedentary--and place of residence. By the late 19th century, the Tajik and Uzbek peoples, who lived in proximity for centuries and often used--and continue to use--each other's languages, did not perceive themselves as two distinct nationalities. The division of Central Asia into five Soviet Republics in the 1920s imposed artificial labels on a region in which many different peoples lived intermixed.

Population: 7,163,506 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 42% 
15-64 years: 54% 
65 years and over: 4% 
Population growth rate: 2.12% 
Birth rate: 33.56 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 8.64 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -3.71 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 117.42 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.08 years
male: 60.95 years
female: 67.38 years 
Total fertility rate: 4.35 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Tajikistani(s)
adjective: Tajikistani
Ethnic groups: Tajik 64.9%, Uzbek 25%, Russian 3.5% (declining because of emigration), other 6.6%
Religions: Sunni Muslim 80%, Shi'a Muslim 5%
Languages: Tajik (official), Russian widely used in government and business
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 99%
female: 97% (1989 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Tajikistan > Map Economy History