Introduction

Background
A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, Kyrgyzstan was annexed by Russia in 1864; it achieved independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Nationwide demonstrations in the spring of 2005 resulted in the ouster of President Askar AKAYEV, who had run the country since 1990. Subsequent presidential elections in July 2005 were won overwhelmingly by former prime minister Kurmanbek BAKIYEV. Current concerns include: privatization of state-owned enterprises, expansion of democracy and political freedoms, reduction of corruption, improving interethnic relations, and combating terrorism.
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Geography

Location
Central Asia, west of China

Geographic Coordinates
41 00 N, 75 00 E

Area
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-Daryya (Karadar’ya) 132 m; highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m

Natural Resources
abundant hydropower; 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: 6.55%; permanent crops: 0.28%; other: 93.17%; note: Kyrgyzstan has the world’s largest natural growth walnut forest (2005)

Irrigated Land
10,740 sq km (1998 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: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Notes
landlocked; entirely mountainous, dominated by the Tien Shan range; many tall peaks, glaciers, and high-altitude lakes

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People

Population
5,213,898 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 30.9% (male 821,976/female 789,687); 15-64 years: 62.9% (male 1,607,396/female 1,669,612); 65 years and over: 6.2% (male 126,847/female 198,380) (2006 est.)

Median Age
total: 23.6 years; male: 22.8 years; female: 24.5 years (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
1.32% (2006 est.)

Birth Rate
22.8 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate
7.08 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net Migration Rate
-2.5 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: 0.96 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female; total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 34.49 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 39.72 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 28.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 68.49 years; male: 64.48 years; female: 72.7 years (2006 est.)

Total Fertility Rate
2.69 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS
3,900 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
less than 200 (2003 est.)

Nationality
noun: Kyrgyzstani(s); adjective: Kyrgyzstani

Ethnic Groups
Kyrgyz 64.9%, Uzbek 13.8%, Russian 12.5%, Dungan 1.1%, Ukrainian 1%, Uygur 1%, other 5.7% (1999 census)

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

Languages
Kyrgyz (official), Russian (official)

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 98.7%; male: 99.3%; female: 98.1% (1999 est.)

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Government

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

Government Type
republic

Capital
Bishkek

Administrative Divisions
7 provinces (oblastlar, singular – oblasty) and 1 city* (shaar); Batken Oblasty, 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
Independence Day, 31 August (1991)

Constitution
adopted 5 May 1993; note – amendment proposed by President Askar AKAYEV and passed in a national referendum on 2 February 2003 significantly expands the powers of the president at the expense of the legislature; following the spring 2005 demonstrations, a new Constitutional Council was appointed and the reform process is ongoing

Legal System
based on civil law system

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
chief of state: President Kurmanbek BAKIYEV (since 14 August 2005); note – former President Askar AKAYEV resigned effective 11 April 2005 following widespread protests that forced him to flee the country on 24 March 2005; head of government: Prime Minister Feliks KULOV (since 1 September 2005); First Deputy Prime Minister Medetbek KERIMKULOV (since 2 December 2005); cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister; elections: Kurmanbek BAKIYEV elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 10 July 2005 (next scheduled for 2010); prime minister nominated by the president for approval by Parliament; election results: Kurmanbek BAKIYEV elected president; percent of vote – Kurmanbek BAKIYEV 88.6%, Tursunbai BAKIR-UULU 3.9%, other candidates 7.5%; Feliks KULOV approved as prime minister 55-8

Legislative Branch
unicameral Supreme Council or Jorgorku Kenesh (75 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five year terms); elections: elections for the new unicameral body or Jorgorku Kenesh were held 27 February 2005, but the vast majority of positions remained undecided and were contested in a runoff election on 13 March 2005; election irregularities caused widespread protests that resulted in the president being forced to flee the country; election results: Supreme Council – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – NA

Judicial Branch
Supreme Court (judges are appointed for 10-year terms by the Supreme Council on the recommendation of the president); Constitutional Court; Higher Court of Arbitration

Political Parties and Leaders
Adilet (Justice) Party [Toychubek KASYMOV]; Agrarian Labor Party of Kyrgyzstan [Uson SYDYKOV]; Agrarian Party of Kyrgyzstan [Erkin ALIYEV]; Alga, Kyrgyzstan (Forward, Kyrgyzstan) [Bolot BEGALIYEV]; Ar-Namys (Dignity) Party [Emil ALIYEV]; Asaba (Banner National Revival Party) [Azimbek BEKNAZAROV]; Ata-Meken (Fatherland) [Omurbek TEKEBAYEV]; Communist Party of Kyrgyzstan [Klara ADZHIBEKOVA]; Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan or DDK [Jypar JEKSHEYEV]; Erkin Kyrgyzstan Progressive and Democratic Party [Bektur ASANOV]; Erkindik (Freedom) Party [Topchubek TURGUNALIYEV]; Future of Kyrgyzstan [Balbak TULEBAYEV]; Jany Kyrgyzstan (New Kyrgyzstan) [Dosbol NUR UULU]; Kairan El [Dooronbek SADYKOV]; Kyrgyz National Party [Bakyt BESHIMOV]; Kyrgyzstan Kelechegi [Ruslan CHYNYBAYEV]; Manas El (Party of Spiritual Restoration) [Chingiz AITMATOV]; Moya Strana (My Country Party of Action) [Joomart OTORBAYEV]; Party of Communists of Kyrgyzstan or KCP [Bakytbek BEKBOYEV]; Party of Justice and Progress [Muratbek IMANALIEV]; Party of Peasants [Esengul ISAKOV]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders
Council of Free Trade Unions; Kyrgyz Committee on Human Rights [Ramazan DYRYLDAYEV]; National Unity Democratic Movement; Union of Entrepreneurs

International Organization Participation
AsDB, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OIC, ONUB, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SCO, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Zamira SYDYKOVA; chancery: 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; telephone: [1] (202) 742-6604; FAX: [1] (202) 742-6501; consulate(s): New York

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Marie L. YOVANOVITCH; embassy: 171 Prospect Mira, Bishkek 720016; mailing address: use embassy street address; telephone: [996] (312) 551-241, (517) 777-217; FAX: [996] (312) 551-264

Flag Description
red field with a yellow sun in the center having 40 rays representing the 40 Kyrgyz 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 Kyrgyz yurt

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Economy

Overview
Kyrgyzstan is a poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only tobacco and cotton are exported in any quantity. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, and electricity. Kyrgyzstan has been progressive in carrying out market reforms, such as an improved regulatory system and land reform. Kyrgyzstan was the first CIS country to be accepted into the World Trade Organization. Much of the government’s stock in enterprises has been sold. Drops in production had been severe after the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, but by mid-1995, production began to recover and exports began to increase. Kyrgyzstan has distinguished itself by adopting relatively liberal economic policies. The drop in output at the Kumtor gold mine sparked a 0.5% decline in GDP in 2002, but GDP growth bounced back in 2003-05. The government has made steady strides in controlling its substantial fiscal deficit and reduced the deficit to 1% of GDP in 2005. The government and international financial institutions have been engaged in a comprehensive medium-term poverty reduction and economic growth strategy, and in 2005 agreed to pursue much-needed tax reform. Progress fighting corruption, further restructuring of domestic industry, and success in attracting foreign investment are keys to future growth.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$9.033 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$2.041 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
2% (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$1,800 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 37.1%; industry: 21.9%; services: 41% (2005 est.)

Labor Force
2.7 million (2000)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture 55%, industry 15%, services 30% (2000 est.)

Unemployment Rate
18% (2004 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
40% (2004 est.)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: 3.9%; highest 10%: 23.3% (2001)

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
29 (2001)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
4.2% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)
15% of GDP (2005 est.)

Budget
revenues: $516.3 million; expenditures: $539.9 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Agriculture – Products
tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool

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

Industrial Production Growth Rate
7.1% (2004 est.)

Electricity – Production
13.77 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Consumption
8.783 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Exports
4.13 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Imports
108 million kWh (2003)

Oil – Production
1,990 bbl/day (2003)

Oil – Consumption
11,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil – Exports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Imports
NA bbl/day

Natural Gas – Production
6 million cu m (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Consumption
1.5 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Exports
0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Imports
1.5 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Current Account Balance
$-77.02 million (2005 est.)

Exports
$759 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, hydropower; machinery; shoes

Exports – Partners
UAE 28.2%, Russia 19.1%, China 12%, Kazakhstan 11.1%, Switzerland 6.3% (2004)

Imports
$937.4 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
oil and gas, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs

Imports – Partners
China 26.3%, Russia 22.3%, Kazakhstan 17.1%, Turkey 5.4% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold
$593.2 million (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$2.428 billion (31 December 2004 est.)

Economic Aid – Recipient
$50 million from the US (2001)

Currency (Code)
soms

Exchange Rates
soms per US dollar – 41.012 (2005), 42.65 (2004), 43.648 (2003), 46.937 (2002), 48.378 (2001)

Fiscal Year
calendar year

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Communications

Telephones – Main Lines in Use
416,400 (2004)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
263,400 (2004)

Telephone System
general assessment: development of telecommunications infrastructure is slow; fixed line penetration remains low and concentrated in Bishkek; domestic: two wireless telephony service providers, but penetration remains low; international: country code – 996; 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; connected internationally by the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line

Radio Broadcast Stations
AM 12 (plus 10 repeater stations), FM 14, shortwave 2 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations
NA (repeater stations throughout the country relay programs from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkey) (1997)

Internet Country Code
.kg

Internet Hosts
18,539 (2005)

Internet Users
263,000 (2005)

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Transportation

Airports
37 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 18; over 3,047 m: 1; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 11; under 914 m: 3 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 19; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2; 914 to 1,523 m: 1; under 914 m: 16 (2005)

Pipelines
gas 367 km; oil 13 km (2004)

Railways
total: 470 km; broad gauge: 470 km 1.520-m gauge (2004)

Roadways
total: 18,500 km; paved: 16,854 km; unpaved: 1,646 km (1999)

Waterways
600 km (2006)

Ports and Terminals
Balykchy (Ysyk-Kol or Rybach’ye)

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Military

Military Branches
Army, Air Force, National Guard (2004)

Military Service Age and Obligation
18 years of age for compulsory military service (2001)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 18-49: 1,193,529 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 18-49: 871,493 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 61,091 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$19.2 million (FY01)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
1.4% (FY01)

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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
delimitation with Kazakhstan is complete; disputes in Isfara Valley delay completion of delimitation with Tajikistan; delimitation of 130 km of border with Uzbekistan is hampered by serious disputes around enclaves and other areas

Illicit Drugs
limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy for CIS markets; limited government eradication of illicit crops; transit point for Southwest Asian narcotics bound for Russia and the rest of Europe

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