Introduction ::Uzbekistan
Russia conquered the territory of present-day Uzbekistan in the late 19th century. Stiff resistance to the Red Army after the Boshevik Revolution was eventually suppressed and a socialist republic established 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.
Geography ::Uzbekistan
Central Asia, north of Afghanistan
41 00 N, 64 00 E
total: 447,400 sq km
country comparison to the world: 56
land: 425,400 sq km
water: 22,000 sq km
slightly larger than California
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
0 km (doubly landlocked); note - Uzbekistan includes the southern portion of the Aral Sea with a 420 km shoreline
none (doubly landlocked)
Current Weather
mostly midlatitude desert, long, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid grassland in east
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
lowest point: Sariqarnish Kuli -12 m
highest point: Adelunga Toghi 4,301 m
natural gas, petroleum, coal, gold, uranium, silver, copper, lead and zinc, tungsten, molybdenum
arable land: 10.51%
permanent crops: 0.76%
other: 88.73% (2005)
42,810 sq km (2003)
72.2 cu km (2003)
total: 58.34 cu km/yr (5%/2%/93%)
per capita: 2,194 cu m/yr (2000)
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
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
along with Liechtenstein, one of the only two doubly landlocked countries in the world
People ::Uzbekistan
27,606,007 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
0-14 years: 28.1% (male 3,970,386/female 3,787,371)
15-64 years: 67% (male 9,191,439/female 9,309,791)
65 years and over: 4.9% (male 576,191/female 770,829) (2010 est.)
total: 25.2 years
male: 24.7 years
female: 25.8 years (2010 est.)
0.935% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
17.58 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
5.29 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
-2.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
urban population: 37% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.6% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
total: 23.43 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 90
male: 27.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
total population: 71.96 years
country comparison to the world: 125
male: 68.95 years
female: 75.15 years (2010 est.)
1.92 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
16,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
fewer than 500 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
noun: Uzbekistani
adjective: Uzbekistani
Uzbek 80%, Russian 5.5%, Tajik 5%, Kazakh 3%, Karakalpak 2.5%, Tatar 1.5%, other 2.5% (1996 est.)
Muslim 88% (mostly Sunnis), Eastern Orthodox 9%, other 3%
Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.3%
male: 99.6%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
total: 11 years
male: 12 years
female: 11 years (2007)
9.4% of GDP (1991)
country comparison to the world: 7
Government ::Uzbekistan
conventional long form: Republic of Uzbekistan
conventional short form: Uzbekistan
local long form: Ozbekiston Respublikasi
local short form: Ozbekiston
former: Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic
republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch
name: Tashkent (Toshkent)
geographic coordinates: 41 20 N, 69 18 E
time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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 [Karakalpakstan]* (Nukus), Samarqand Viloyati, Sirdaryo Viloyati (Guliston), Surxondaryo Viloyati (Termiz), Toshkent Shahri [Tashkent City]**, Toshkent Viloyati [Tashkent province], Xorazm Viloyati (Urganch)
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
1 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
Independence Day, 1 September (1991)
adopted 8 December 1992
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
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 MIRZIYOYEV (since 11 December 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam AZIMOV (since 2 January 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president with approval of the Supreme Assembly
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elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term; previously was a five-year term, extended by constitutional amendment in 2002); election last held on 23 December 2007 (next to be held in 2014); prime minister, ministers, and deputy ministers appointed by the president
election results: Islom KARIMOV reelected president; percent of vote - Islom KARIMOV 88.1%, Asliddin RUSTAMOV 3.2%, Dilorom T0SHMUHAMEDOVA 2.9%, Akmal SAIDOV 2.6%
bicameral Supreme Assembly or Oliy Majlis consists of an upper house or Senate (100 seats; 84 members elected by regional governing councils and 16 appointed by the president; members to serve five-year terms) and a lower house or Legislative Chamber (150 seats; 135 members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms, while 15 spots reserved for the new Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan)
elections: last held on 27 December 2009 and 10 January 2010 (next to be held in December 2014)
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 53, NDP 32, National Rebirth Party 31, Adolat 19
note: all parties in the Supreme Assembly support President KARIMOV
Supreme Court (judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Supreme Assembly)
Adolat (Justice) Social Democratic Party [Ismoil SAIFNAZAROV]; Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan [Boriy ALIXONOV, chairman]; Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan or LDPU [Muhammadjon AHMADJONOV]; National Rebirth Party (Milliy Tiklanish) [Ahtam TURSUNOV]; People's Democratic Party or NDP (formerly Communist Party) [Latif GULOMOV]
there are no significant opposition political parties or pressure groups operating in Uzbekistan
chief of mission: Ambassador Ilxamdjan NEMATOV
chancery: 1746 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 887-5300
FAX: [1] (202) 293-6804
consulate(s) general: New York
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard B. NORLAND
embassy: 3 Moyqo'rq'on, 5th Block, Yunusobod District, Tashkent 100093
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [998] (71) 120-5450
FAX: [998] (71) 120-6335
three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and green separated by red fimbriations with a white crescent moon (closed side to the hoist) and 12 white stars shifted to the hoist on the top band; blue is the color of the Turkic peoples and of the sky, white signifies peace and the striving for purity in thoughts and deeds, while green represents nature and is the color of Islam; the red stripes are the vital force of all living organisms that links good and pure ideas with the eternal sky and with deeds on earth; the crescent represents Islam and the 12 stars the months and constellations of the Uzbek calendar
Economy ::Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country; 11% of the land is intensely cultivated, in irrigated river valleys. More than 60% of the population lives in densely populated rural communities. Export of hydrocarbons, including natural gas and petroleum, provided about 40% of foreign exchange earnings in 2009. Other major export earners include gold and cotton. Uzbekistan is now the world's second-largest cotton exporter and fifth largest producer; it has come under increasing international criticism for the use of child labor in its annual cotton harvest. 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 Article VIII obligations under the 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, as well as increased cooperation with South Korea in the realm of civil aviation, may boost growth prospects. In November 2005, Russian President Vladimir PUTIN and Uzbekistan President KARIMOV signed an "alliance," 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 2006, Uzbekistan took steps to rejoin the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Eurasian Economic Community (EurASEC), which it subsequently left in 2008, both organizations dominated by Russia. In the past Uzbek authorities had accused US and other foreign companies operating in Uzbekistan of violating Uzbek tax laws and have frozen their assets, but no new expropriations occurred in 2008-09. Instead, the Uzbek Government has actively courted several major U.S. and international corporations, offering attractive financing and tax advantages, and has landed a significant US investment in the automotive industry. Although growth slowed in 2009, Uzbekistan has seen few other effects from the global economic downturn, primarily due to its relative isolation from the global financial markets.
$78.34 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
$72.47 billion (2008 est.)
$66.48 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
$32.82 billion (2009 est.)
8.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
9% (2008 est.)
9.5% (2007 est.)
$2,800 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
$2,700 (2008 est.)
$2,500 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
agriculture: 26.7%
industry: 39.7%
services: 33.5% (2009 est.)
15.77 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
agriculture: 44%
industry: 20%
services: 36% (1995)
1.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
1% (2008 est.)
note: officially measured by the Ministry of Labor, plus another 20% underemployed
26% (2008 est.)
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 29.6% (2003)
36.8 (2003)
country comparison to the world: 80
44.7 (1998)
revenues: $10.54 billion
expenditures: $10.48 billion (2009 est.)
9.6% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
10% of GDP (2008 est.)
14.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 215
12.7% (2008 est.)
note: official data; based on independent analysis of consumer prices, inflation reached 38% in 2008
$NA (31 December 2009)
$NA (31 December 2007)
$715.3 million (31 December 2006)
cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain; livestock
textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, gold, petroleum, natural gas, chemicals
6.7% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
44.8 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
40.1 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
11.52 billion kWh (2009 est.)
11.44 billion kWh (2009 est.)
70,910 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
145,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
6,104 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
35,810 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
594 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
67.6 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
52.6 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
15 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
1.841 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
$3.596 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
$4.087 billion (2008 est.)
$10.74 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
$10.3 billion (2008 est.)
energy products, cotton, gold, mineral fertilizers, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, textiles, food products, machinery, automobiles
Ukraine 29.91%, Russia 13.94%, Turkey 7.53%, Kazakhstan 7.26%, Bangladesh 6.83%, China 5.69%, South Korea 4.19% (2009)
$9.023 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
$9.277 billion (2008 est.)
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, ferrous and non-ferrous metals
Russia 23.72%, China 20.36%, South Korea 13.03%, Germany 6.09%, Ukraine 5.39%, Kazakhstan 4.68% (2009)
$9 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
$10.15 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$3.63 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
$4.022 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Uzbekistani soum (UZS) per US dollar - 1,469 (2009), 1,317 (2008), 1,263.8 (2007), 1,219.8 (2006), 1,020 (2005)
Communications ::Uzbekistan
1.85 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 61
12.734 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 49
general assessment: digital exchanges in large cities but still antiquated and inadequate in rural areas
domestic: the state-owned telecommunications company, Uzbektelecom, owner of the fixed line telecommunications system, has used loans from the Japanese government and the China Development Bank to upgrade fixed-line services including conversion to digital exchanges; mobile-cellular services are growing rapidly, with the subscriber base reaching 12.7 million in 2008
international: country code - 998; linked by fiber-optic cable 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 plans to establish a fiber-optic connection to Afghanistan (2009)
government controls media; 8 state-owned broadcasters - 4 TV and 4 radio - provide service to virtually the entire country; about 20 privately-owned TV stations, overseen by local officials, broadcast to local markets; privately-owned TV stations are required to lease transmitters from the government-owned Republic TV and Radio Industry Corporation and are prohibited from broadcasting live; about 15 privately-owned radio broadcasters; programming content includes news updates, music, call-in talk shows, and other entertainment in a half-Russian, half-Uzbek format mandated for private radio (2007)
50,228 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 90
2.469 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 65
Transportation ::Uzbekistan
54 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 87
total: 33
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 13
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 4 (2010)
total: 21
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
under 914 m: 19 (2010)
gas 9,706 km; oil 868 km (2009)
total: 3,645 km
country comparison to the world: 47
broad gauge: 3,645 km 1.520-m gauge (620 km electrified) (2008)
total: 86,496 km
country comparison to the world: 56
paved: 75,511 km
unpaved: 10,985 km (2000)
1,100 km (2008)
country comparison to the world: 63
Termiz (Amu Darya)
Military ::Uzbekistan
Army, Air and Air Defense Forces, National Guard
18 years of age for compulsory military service; 1-year conscript service obligation; moving toward a professional military, but conscription will continue; the military cannot accommodate everyone who wishes to enlist, and competition for entrance into the military is similar to the competition for admission to universities (2009)
males age 16-49: 7,776,645
females age 16-49: 7,783,901 (2010 est.)
males age 16-49: 6,456,675
females age 16-49: 6,658,475 (2010 est.)
male: 306,743
female: 299,264 (2010 est.)
2% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
Transnational Issues ::Uzbekistan
prolonged drought and cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2004; border delimitation of 130 km of border with Kyrgyzstan is hampered by serious disputes around enclaves and other areas
refugees (country of origin): 39,202 (Tajikistan); 1,060 (Afghanistan)
IDPs: 3,400 (forced population transfers by government from villages near Tajikistan border) (2007)
current situation: Uzbekistan is a source country for women and girls trafficked to Kazakhstan, Russia, Middle East, and Asia for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; men are trafficked to Kazakhstan and Russia for purposes of forced labor in the construction, cotton, and tobacco industries; men and women are also trafficked internally for the purposes of domestic servitude, forced labor in the agricultural and construction industries, and for commercial sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Uzbekistan is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in 2007; the government did not amend its criminal code to increase penalties for convicted traffickers; in March 2008, Uzbekistan adopted ILO Conventions on minimum age of employment and on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor and is working with the ILO on implementation; the government also demonstrated its increasing commitment to combat trafficking in March 2008 by adopting a comprehensive anti-trafficking law; Uzbekistan has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2008)
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