Introduction

Background
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.

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Geography

Location
Central Asia, north of Afghanistan

Geographic Coordinates
41 00 N, 64 00 E

Area
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 (doubly landlocked); note – Uzbekistan includes the southern portion of the Aral Sea with a 420 km shoreline

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, 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: 10.51%; permanent crops: 0.76%; other: 88.73% (2005)

Irrigated Land
42,810 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural Hazards
NA

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

Notes
along with Liechtenstein, one of the only two doubly landlocked countries in the world

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People

Population
27,307,134 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 32.9% (male 4,572,721/female 4,403,405); 15-64 years: 62.3% (male 8,420,174/female 8,594,478); 65 years and over: 4.8% (male 539,336/female 777,020) (2006 est.)

Median Age
total: 22.7 years; male: 22 years; female: 23.3 years (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
1.7% (2006 est.)

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

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

Net Migration Rate
-1.5 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: 0.98 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female; total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 69.99 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 74.14 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 65.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 64.58 years; male: 61.19 years; female: 68.14 years (2006 est.)

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

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

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS
11,000 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
less than 500 (2003 est.)

Nationality
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.)

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

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

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99.3%; male: 99.6%; female: 99% (2003 est.)

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Government

Country Name
conventional long form: Republic of Uzbekistan; conventional short form: Uzbekistan; local long form: Ozbekiston Respublikasi; local short form: Ozbekiston; former: Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic

Government Type
republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch

Capital
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), Qoraqalpog’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)

Independence
1 September 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 Shavkat MIRZIYAYEV (since 11 December 2003); cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president with approval of the Supreme Assembly; 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 in 2007); prime minister, ministers, and deputy ministers appointed by the president; election results: Islom KARIMOV reelected president; percent of vote – Islom KARIMOV 91.9%, Abdulkhafiz JALALOV 4.2%

Legislative Branch
bicameral Supreme Assembly or Oliy Majlis consists of an Upper House or Senate (100 seats; 84 members are elected by regional governing councils to serve five-year terms and 16 are appointed by the president) and a Lower House or Legislative Chamber (120 seats; elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); elections: last held 26 December 2004 and 9 January 2005 (next to be held December 2009); election results: Senate – percent of vote by party – NA%; seats by party – NA; Legislative Chamber – percent of vote by party – NA%; seats by party – LDPU 41, NDP 32, Fidokorlar 17, MTP 11, Adolat 9, unaffiliated 10; note: all parties in the Supreme Assembly support President KARIMOV

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 [Dilorom TOSHMUHAMMADOVA, chairman]; Democratic National Rebirth Party (Milly Tiklanish) or MTP [Xurshid DOSTMUHAMMADOV, chief]; Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan or LDPU [Adham SHODMONOV, chairman]; People’s Democratic Party or NDP (formerly Communist Party) [Asliddin RUSTAMOV, first secretary]; Self-Sacrificers Party or Fidokorlar National Democratic Party [Ahtam TURSUNOV, chief]; 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 Human Rights Society [Vasilia INOYATOVA]; Free Farmers’ Party or Ozod Dehqonlar [Nigara KHIDOYATOVA]; Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan [Tolib YAKUBOV, chairman]; Independent Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan [Mikhail ARDZINOV, chairman]; Mazlum [leader NA]; Sunshine Coalition [Sanjar UMAROV, chairman]

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

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Abdulaziz KAMILOV; chancery: 1746 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036; telephone: [1] (202) 887-5300; FAX: [1] (202) 293-6804; consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Jon PURNELL; embassy: 3 Moyqo’rq’on, 5th Block, Yunusobod District, Tashkent 700093; 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

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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 and fifth largest producer; it relies heavily on cotton production as the major source of export earnings. Other major export earners include gold, natural gas, and oil. Following independence in September 1991, the government sought to prop up its Soviet-style command economy with subsidies and tight controls on production and prices. While aware of the need to improve the investment climate, the government still sponsors measures that often increase, not decrease, its control over business decisions. A sharp increase in the inequality of income distribution has hurt the lower ranks of society since independence. In 2003, the government accepted the obligations of Article VIII under the International Monetary Fund (IMF), providing for full currency convertibility. However, strict currency controls and tightening of borders have lessened the effects of convertibility and have also led to some shortages that have further stifled economic activity. The Central Bank often delays or restricts convertibility, especially for consumer goods. Potential investment by Russia and China in Uzbekistan’s gas and oil industry would increase economic growth prospects. In November 2005, Russian President Vladimir PUTIN and Uzbekistan President KARIMOV signed an “alliance” treaty, which included provisions for economic and business cooperation. Russian businesses have shown increased interest in Uzbekistan, especially in mining, telecom, and oil and gas. In December 2005, the Russians opened a “Trade House” to support and develop Russian-Uzbek business and economic ties.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$53.01 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$10.12 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
7.2% (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$2,000 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 38%; industry: 26.3%; services: 35.7% (2003 est.)

Labor Force
14.26 million (2005 est.)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture 44%, industry 20%, services 36% (1995)

Unemployment Rate
0.7% officially, plus another 20% underemployed (2005 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
28% (2004 est.)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: 3.6%; highest 10%: 22% (2000)

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
26.8 (2000)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
8.8% (2005 est.)

Budget
revenues: $2.815 billion; expenditures: $2.917 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Public Debt
39% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture – Products
cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain; livestock

Industries
textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, gold petroleum, natural gas, chemicals

Industrial Production Growth Rate
7.7% (2005 est.)

Electricity – Production
46.52 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Consumption
48.45 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Exports
5.36 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Imports
10.55 billion kWh (2003)

Oil – Production
152,000 bbl/day (2004)

Oil – Consumption
120,000 bbl/day (2004)

Oil – Exports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Imports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Proved Reserves
600 million bbl (1 January 2005)

Natural Gas – Production
55.8 billion cu m (2004)

Natural Gas – Consumption
49.3 billion cu m (2004)

Natural Gas – Exports
6.5 billion cu m (2004)

Natural Gas – Imports
0 cu m (2004)

Natural Gas – Proved Reserves
1.875 trillion cu m (1 January 2005)

Current Account Balance
$831.9 million (2005 est.)

Exports
$5 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
cotton 41.5%, gold 9.6%, energy products 9.6%, mineral fertilizers, ferrous metals, textiles, food products, automobiles (1998)

Exports – Partners
Russia 22%, China 14.7%, Turkey 6.4%, Tajikistan 6.1%, Kazakhstan 4.2%, Bangladesh 4% (2004)

Imports
$3.8 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
machinery and equipment 49.8%, foodstuffs 16.4%, chemicals, metals (1998)

Imports – Partners
Russia 26.8%, South Korea 12.6%, US 8%, Germany 7.7%, Kazakhstan 6.3%, China 5.8%, Turkey 5.1%, Ukraine 4.5% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold
$2.123 billion (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$5.184 billion (2005 est.)

Economic Aid – Recipient
$91.6 million from the US (2005)

Currency (Code)
Uzbekistani soum (UZS)

Exchange Rates
Uzbekistani soum per US dollar – 1,020 (2005), 971.265 (2004), 771.029 (2002), 423.832 (2002), 236.61 (2001)

Fiscal Year
calendar year

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Communications

Telephones – Main Lines in Use
1,717,100 (2003)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
544,100 (2004)

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)

Television Broadcast Stations
4 (plus two repeaters that relay Russian programs), 1 cable rebroadcaster in Tashkent; approximately 20 stations in regional capitals (2003)

Internet Country Code
.uz

Internet Hosts
7,124 (2005)

Internet Users
880,000 (2005)

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Transportation

Airports
79 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 33; over 3,047 m: 6; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 13; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 5; 914 to 1,523 m: 5; under 914 m: 4 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 46; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2; under 914 m: 42 (2005)

Pipelines
gas 9,149 km; oil 869 km; refined products 33 km (2004)

Railways
total: 3,950 km; broad gauge: 3,950 km 1.520-m gauge (620 km electrified) (2004)

Roadways
total: 81,600 km; paved: 71,237 km; unpaved: 10,363 km (1999)

Waterways
1,100 km (2006)

Ports and Terminals
Termiz (Amu Darya)

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Military

Military Branches
Army, Air and Air Defense Forces, National Guard

Military Service Age and Obligation
18 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation – 12 months (2004)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 18-49: 6,340,220 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 18-49: 4,609,621 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 324,722 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$200 million (FY97)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
2% (FY97)

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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
prolonged drought and cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; delimitation with Kazakhstan complete with demarcation underway; border delimitation of 130 km of border with Kyrgyzstan is hampered by serious disputes around enclaves and other areas

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
refugees (country of origin): 39,202 (Tajikistan) 5,238 (Afghanistan); IDPs: 3,000 (forced population transfers by government from villages near Tajikistan border) (2005)

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

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