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Quick Facts
CapitalBishkek
Governmentrepublic
CurrencyKyrgyzstani som (KGS)
Areatotal: 198,500 sq km
water: 7,200 sq km
land: 191,300 sq km
Population4,822,166 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageKyrgyz - official language, Russian - official language
note: in December 2001, the Kyrgyzstani legislature made Russian an official language, equal in status to Kyrgyz
ReligionMuslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%

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. Current concerns include: privatization of state-owned enterprises, expansion of democracy and political freedoms, interethnic relations, and combating terrorism.

Geography

Location 
Central Asia, west of China
Geographic coordinates 
41 00 N, 75 00 E
Map references 
Asia
Area 
total: 198,500 sq km
water: 7,200 sq km
land: 191,300 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: 7.04%
permanent crops: 0.39%
note: Kyrgyzstan has the world's largest natural growth walnut forest (1998 est.)
other: 92.57%
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, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note 
landlocked; entirely mountainous, dominated by the Tien Shan range; many tall peaks, glaciers, and high-altitude lakes

People

Population 
4,822,166 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: 34.4% (male 838,224; female 821,230)
15-64 years: 59.4% (male 1,403,328; female 1,459,914)
65 years and over: 6.2% (male 113,861; female 185,609) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 
1.45% (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
26.11 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate 
9.1 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate 
-2.51 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio 
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.61 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
75.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 63.56 years
female: 67.98 years (2002 est.)
male: 59.35 years
Total fertility rate 
3.16 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 
less than 0.01% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 
less than 100 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths 
less than 100 (1999 est.)
Nationality 
noun: Kyrgyzstani(s)
adjective: Kyrgyzstani
Ethnic groups 
Kyrgyz 52.4%, Russian 18%, Uzbek 12.9%, Ukrainian 2.5%, German 2.4%, other 11.8%
Religions 
Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%
Languages 
Kyrgyz - official language, Russian - official language
note: in December 2001, the Kyrgyzstani legislature made Russian an official language, equal in status to Kyrgyz
Literacy 
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 99%
female: 96% (1989 est.)

Government

Country name 
conventional long form: Kyrgyz Republic
conventional short form: Kyrgyzstan
local short form: none
former: Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic
local long form: Kyrgyz Respublikasy
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 AKAYEV and passed in a national referendum on 10 February 1996 significantly expands the powers of the president at the expense of the legislature
Legal system 
based on civil law system
Suffrage 
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch 
chief of state: President Askar AKAYEV (since 28 October 1990)
head of government: Prime Minister Nikolay TANAYEV (since 22 May 2002); note - Prime Minister Kurmanbek BAKIYEV resigned on 22 May 2002 when five demonstrators were killed in clashes with the police
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
election results: Askar AKAYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Askar AKAYEV 74%, Omurbek TEKEBAYEV 14%, other candidates 12%; note - election marred by serious irregularities
elections: president reelected by popular vote for a five-year term; elections last held 29 October 2000 (next to be held November or December 2005); prime minister appointed by the president
Legislative branch 
bicameral Supreme Council or Zhogorku Kenesh consists of the Assembly of People's Representatives (70 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Legislative Assembly (35 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
election results: Assembly of People's Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; percent of vote by party - NA; and Legislative Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; note - total seats by party in the Supreme Council were as follows: Union of Democratic Forces 12, Communists 6, My Country Party of Action 4, independents 73, other 10
note: the legislature became bicameral for the 5 February 1995 elections; the 2000 election results include both the Assembly of People's Representatives and the Legislative Assembly
elections: Assembly of People's Representatives - last held 20 February and 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA February 2005); Legislative Assembly - last held 20 February and 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA February 2005)
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 
Agrarian Labor Party of Kyrgyzstan [Uson S. SYDYKOV]; Agrarian Party of Kyrgyzstan [Arkin ALIYEV]; Ata-Meken or Fatherland [Omurbek TEKEBAYEV]; Banner National Revival Party or ASABA [Chaprashty BAZARBAY]; Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan or DDK [Jypar JEKSHEYEV]; Democratic Women's Party of Kyrgyzstan [T. A. SHAILIYEVA]; Dignity Party [Feliks KULOV]; Erkin Kyrgyzstan Progressive and Democratic Party [Tursunbay Bakir UULU]; Justice Party [Chingiz AYTMATOV]; Movement for the People's Salvation [Jumgalbek AMAMBAYEV]; Mutual Help Movement or Ashar [Jumagazy USUPOV]; My Country of Action [Almazbek ISMANKULOV]; National Unity Democratic Movement or DDNE [Yury RAZGULYAYEV]; Party of Communists of Kyrgyzstan or KCP [Absamat M. MASALIYEV]; Party of the Veterans of the War in Afghanistan [leader NA]; Peasant Party [leader NA]; People's Party [Melis ESHIMKANOV]; Republican Popular Party of Kyrgyzstan [J. SHARSHENALIYEV]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [J. IBRAMOV]; Union of Democratic Forces (composed of Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan or PSD [J. IBRAMOV], Economic Revival Party, and Birimdik Party
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, CCC, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM (observer), OIC, OPCW (signatory), OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIK, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Bakyt ABDRISAYEV
FAX: [1] (202) 338-5139
consulate(s): New York
telephone: [1] (202) 338-5141
chancery: 1732 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
Diplomatic representation from the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Stephen YOUNG
embassy: 171 Prospect Mira, 720016 Bishkek
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

Economy

Economy - overview 
Kyrgyzstan is a small, poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Cotton, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products and exports. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, and electricity. Kyrgyzstan has been one of the most progressive countries of the former Soviet Union in carrying out market reforms. With fits and starts, inflation has been lowered to an estimated 7% in 2001. Much of the government's stock in enterprises has been sold. Drops in production had been severe since the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, but by mid-1995 production began to recover and exports began to increase. Growth was held down to 2.1% in 1998 largely because of the spillover from Russia's economic difficulties, but moved ahead to 3.6% in 1999, 5% in 2000, and 5% again in 2001. Despite these gains, poverty indicators are no better in 2001 than in 1996. On the positive side, the government and the international financial institutions have embarked on a comprehensive medium-term poverty reduction and economic growth strategy. In November 2001, with financing assurance from the Paris Club, the IMF Board approved a three-year, $93 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility.
GDP 
purchasing power parity - $13.5 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
5% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $2,800 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 38%
industry: 27%
services: 35% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line 
55% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 32% (1997) (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index 
41 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
7% (2001 est.)
Labor force 
2.7 million (2000)
Labor force - by occupation 
agriculture 55%, industry 15%, services 30% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate 
7.2% (1999 est.)
Budget 
revenues: $207.4 million
expenditures: $238.7 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.) (1999 est.)
Industries 
small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes, sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare earth metals
Industrial production growth rate 
6% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production 
14.677 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 8%
hydro: 92%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption 
9.818 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 
4.153 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 
321 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products 
tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool
Exports 
$475 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities 
cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; gold, mercury, uranium, hydropower; machinery; shoes
Exports - partners 
Germany 28.7%, Uzbekistan 17.7%, Russia 12.9%, China 8.7%, Kazakhstan 6.6% (2000)
Imports 
$420 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities 
oil and gas, machinery and equipment, foodstuffs
Imports - partners 
Russia 23.9%, Uzbekistan 13.5%, Kazakhstan 10.3%, US 9.7%, Turkey 4.8% (2000)
Debt - external 
$1.6 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient 
$50 million from the US (2001)
Currency 
Kyrgyzstani som (KGS)
Currency code 
KGS
Exchange rates 
soms per US dollar - 47.972 (January 2002), 48.378 (2001), 47.704 (2000), 39.008 (1999), 20.838 (1998), 17.362 (1997)
Fiscal year 
calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use 
351,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
NA
Telephone system 
general assessment: poorly developed; about 100,000 unsatisfied applications for household telephones
domestic: principally microwave radio relay; one cellular provider, probably limited to Bishkek region
international: 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)
Radios 
520,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
NA (repeater stations throughout the country relay programs from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkey) (1997)
Televisions 
210,000 (1997)
Internet country code 
.kg
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
NA
Internet users 
51,600 (2001)

Transportation

Railways 
total: 370 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
broad gauge: 370 km 1.520-m gauge (1990)
Highways 
total: 30,300 km (including 140 km of expressways)
paved: 22,600 km (includes some all-weather gravel-surfaced roads)
unpaved: 7,700 km (these roads are made of unstabilized earth and are difficult to negotiate in wet weather) (1990)
Waterways 
600 km (1990)
Pipelines 
natural gas 200 km
Ports and harbors 
Balykchy (Ysyk-Kol or Rybach'ye)
Airports 
50 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 46
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 32 (2002)

Military

Military branches 
Army, Air and Air Defense, Security Forces, Border Troops
Military manpower - military age 
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability 
males age 15-49: 1,234,457 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service 
males age 15-49: 1,001,274 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually 
males: 50,590 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$19.2 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
1.4% (FY01)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
territorial dispute with Tajikistan on southwestern boundary in Isfara Valley area; dispute over access to Sokh and other Uzbek enclaves in Kyrgyzstan mars progress on boundary delimitation; disputes over provision of water and hydroelectric power to Kazakhstan; periodic target of Islamic insurgents from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan
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