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Travel Info

Quick Facts
Areatotal: 143,100 sq km
water: 400 sq km
land: 142,700 sq km
Population6,719,567 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageTajik Persian (official), Russian is also an official language and most city-dwellers speak it better than they do Tajik.
ReligionSunni Muslim 85%, Shi'a Muslim 5%

Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia that borders Afghanistan to the south, China to the east, Kyrgyzstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and northwest. The ancient Silk Road Passed through it.


Administrative divisions 
2 provinces (viloyatho, singular - viloyat) and 1 autonomous province* (viloyati mukhtor);
  • Viloyati Mukhtori Kuhistoni Badakhshon* (Khorugh)
  • Viloyati Khatlon (Qurghonteppa)
  • Viloyati Sughd (Khujand)


  • Dushanbe - Capital
  • Khorugh
  • Qurghonteppa
  • Khujand

Other destinations

  • Pamir mountains, with passes between 3200 and 4500 meters, and lake Karakol.
  • Penjikent, a town next to the border, 70km from Uzbekistan, with ruins of an ancient city.



Midlatitude continental, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid to polar in Pamir Mountains


Pamir and Alay Mountains dominate landscape; western Fergana Valley in north, Kofarnihon and Vakhsh Valleys in southwest.

lowest point 
Syr Darya (Sirdaryo) 300 m
highest point 
Qullai Ismoili Somoni 7,495 m


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 implemented in 2000. The central government's less than total control over some areas of the country has forced it to compromise and forge alliances among factions. Attention by the international community in the wake of the war in Afghanistan has brought increased economic development assistance, which could create jobs and increase stability in the long term. Tajikistan is in the early stages of seeking World Trade Organization membership and has joined NATO's Partnership for Peace.

Get in

By plane

There are flights from Moscow's Domodedovo airport to Dushanbe on Tajikistan Airlines, Domodedovo Airlines, and Samara Airlines.

By train

By car

Private cars and minivans run between Uzbekistan and Penjikent daily. From Osh in Kyrgyzstan minivans go to Murgab every few days for $15; hitch hiking on Kamaz trucks and ZIL petrol tankers is also possible anywhere enroute for $10.

By bus

By boat

Get around


By Land

Scheduled minivans run between the major cities but otherwise hiring a vehicle or sharing one with other passengers is the only way to travel around the country. Prices are generally per person, not for the vehicle and divided by the number of passengers.

By Air

As the country is broken into many isolated areas by mountain passes that are closed in winter travel during this time is by air only if the planes are flying.


Tajik Persian (official), Russian still widely used in government and business


  • Traditional Tajik padded coats. Comfortable and perfect for the colder weather in the mountains. The ensemble can be completed with a hat and sash.
  • Mercedes Benz (approx. $7000) cars and Land Cruisers from Dushanbe's Sunday Car Market. Also available russian cars, jeeps and minivans and an assortment of other models.
  • Vodka.
  • Rugs and carpets






Stay safe

Some factional fighting spilling over from nearby Afghanistan (as well as local warlordism) still occurs in Tajikistan. Visitors should keep abreast of the security situation and not take any unneccessary risks.

Stay healthy



External links


Geographic coordinates 
39 00 N, 71 00 E
Area : total: 143,100 sq km 
water: 400 sq km
land: 142,700 sq km
Area - comparative 
slightly smaller than Wisconsin
Natural resources 
hydropower, some petroleum, uranium, mercury, brown coal, lead, zinc, antimony, tungsten, silver, gold
Land use 
arable land: 5.41%
permanent crops: 0.92%
other: 93.67% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land 
7,200 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards 
earthquakes and floods
Environment - current issues 
inadequate sanitation facilities; increasing levels of soil salinity; industrial pollution; excessive pesticides
Environment - international agreements 
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
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, Qullai Ismoili Somoni (formerly Communism Peak), was the tallest mountain in the former USSR


6,719,567 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: 40.4% (male 1,370,314; female 1,346,465)
15-64 years: 54.9% (male 1,835,573; female 1,854,677)
65 years and over: 4.7% (male 136,033; female 176,505) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 
2.12% (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
32.99 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate 
8.51 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate 
-3.27 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: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
114.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 64.28 years
female: 67.46 years (2002 est.)
male: 61.24 years
Total fertility rate 
4.23 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.)
noun: Tajikistani(s)
adjective: Tajikistani
Ethnic groups 
Tajik 64.9%, Uzbek 25%, Russian 3.5% (declining because of emigration), other 6.6%
Sunni Muslim 85%, Shi'a Muslim 5%
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 99%
female: 97% (1989 est.)


Country name 
conventional long form: Republic of Tajikistan
conventional short form: Tajikistan
local short form: Tojikiston
former: Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic
local long form: Jumhurii Tojikiston
Government type 
9 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday 
Independence Day (or National Day), 9 September (1991)
6 November 1994
Legal system 
based on civil law system; no judicial review of legislative acts
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch 
chief of state: President Emomali RAHMONOV (since 6 November 1994; head of state and Supreme Assembly chairman since 19 November 1992)
head of government: Prime Minister Oqil OQILOV (since 20 January 1999)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president, approved by the Supreme Assembly
election results: Emomali RAHMONOV elected president; percent of vote - Emomali RAHMONOV 97%, Davlat USMON 2%
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 6 November 1999 (next to be held NA 2006); prime minister appointed by the president
Legislative branch 
bicameral Supreme Assembly or Majlisi Oli consists of the Assembly of Representatives (lower chamber) or Majlisi Namoyandagon (63 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the National Assembly (upper chamber) or Majlisi Milliy (33 seats; members are indirectly elected, 25 selected by local deputies, 8 appointed by the president; all serve five-year terms)
election results: Assembly of Representatives - percent of vote by party - PDPT 65%, Communist Party 20%, Islamic Rebirth Party 7.5%, other 7.5%; seats by party - NA; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA
elections: last held 27 February and 12 March 2000 for the Assembly of Representatives (next to be held NA 2005) and 23 March 2000 for the National Assembly (next to be held NA 2005)
Judicial branch 
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president)
Political parties and leaders 
Democratic Party or DPT [Mahmadruzi ISKANDAROV, chairman]; Islamic Revival Party [Said Abdullo NURI, chairman]; People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan or PDPT [Emomali RAHMONOV]; Social Democratic Party or SDPT [Rahmatullo ZOIROV]; Socialist Party or SPT [Sherali KENJAYEV]; Tajik Communist Party or CPT [Shodi SHABDOLOV]
Political pressure groups and leaders 
there are two unregistered political parties with 1,000 or more members: Progressive Party [Suton QUVVATOV]; Unity Party [Hikmatuko SAIDOV]
International organization participation 
Diplomatic representation in the US 
Tajikistan does not have an embassy in the US, but does have a permanent mission to the UN: address - 136 East 67th Street, New York, NY 10021, telephone - [1] (212) 472-7645, FAX - [1] (212) 628-0252; permanent representative to the UN is Khamrokhon ZARIPOV
Diplomatic representation from the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Franklin P. HUDDLE, Jr.
embassy: 10 Pavlova Street, Dushanbe, Tajikistan 734003; note - the embassy in Dushanbe is not yet fully operational; most business is still handled in Almaty at 531 Sayfullin Street, Almaty, Kazakhstan, telephone 7-3272-58-79-61, FAX 7-3272-58079-68
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [992] (372) 21-03-48, 21-03-50, 21-03-52, 24-15-60
FAX: [992] (372) 51-00-28, 21-03-62
Flag description 
three horizontal stripes of red (top), a wider stripe of white, and green; a gold crown surmounted by seven gold, five-pointed stars is located in the center of the white stripe


Economy - overview 
Tajikistan has the lowest per capita GDP among the 15 former Soviet republics. Cotton is the most important crop. Mineral resources, varied but limited in amount, include silver, gold, uranium, and tungsten. Industry consists only of a large aluminum plant, hydropower facilities, and small obsolete factories mostly in light industry and food processing. The civil war (1992-97) severely damaged the already weak economic infrastructure and caused a sharp decline in industrial and agricultural production. Even though 80% of its people continue to live in abject poverty, Tajikistan has experienced strong economic growth since 1997. Continued privatization of medium and large state-owned enterprises will further increase productivity. Tajikistan's economic situation, however, remains fragile due to uneven implementation of structural reforms, weak governance, and the external debt burden. Servicing of the debt, owed principally to Russia and Uzbekistan, could require as much as 50% of government revenues in 2002, thus limiting the nation's ability to meet pressing development needs.
purchasing power parity - $7.5 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
8.3% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $1,140 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 19%
industry: 25%
services: 56% (2000)
Population below poverty line 
80% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
33% (2001 est.)
Labor force 
3.187 million (2000)
Labor force - by occupation 
agriculture 67%, industry 8%, services 25% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate 
20% (2001 est.)
revenues: $146 million
expenditures: $196 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.) (2000 est.)
aluminum, zinc, lead, chemicals and fertilizers, cement, vegetable oil, metal-cutting machine tools, refrigerators and freezers
Industrial production growth rate 
10.3% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production 
14.245 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 2%
hydro: 98%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption 
12.539 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 
3.909 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 
3.2 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products 
cotton, grain, fruits, grapes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, goats
$640 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities 
aluminum, electricity, cotton, fruits, vegetable oil, textiles
Exports - partners 
Europe 43%, Russia 30%, Uzbekistan 13% (2000)
$700 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities 
electricity, petroleum products, aluminum oxide, machinery and equipment, foodstuffs
Imports - partners 
Uzbekistan 27%, Russia 16%, Europe 12% (2000)
Debt - external 
$1.23 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient 
$60.7 million from US (2001)
Currency code 
Exchange rates 
Tajikistani somoni per US dollar - 2.55 (January 2002), 2.2 (January 2001), 1550 (January 2000), 998 (January 1999), 350 (January 1997), 284 (January 1996)
note: the new unit of exchange was introduced on 30 October 2000, with one somoni equal to 1,000 of the old Tajikistani rubles
Fiscal year 
calendar year


Telephones - main lines in use 
363,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
2,500 (1997)
Telephone system 
general assessment: poorly developed and not well maintained; many towns are not reached by the national network
domestic: cable and microwave radio relay
international: linked by cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; Dushanbe linked by Intelsat to international gateway switch in Ankara (Turkey); satellite earth stations - 1 Orbita and 2 Intelsat
Radio broadcast stations 
AM 8, FM 10, shortwave 2 (2002)
1.291 million (1991)
Television broadcast stations 
13 (2001)
820,000 (1997)
Internet country code 
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
4 (2002)
Internet users 
5,000 (2002)


total: 482 km
broad gauge: 482 km 1.520-m gauge
note: includes only lines in common carrier service; lines dedicated to particular industries are excluded (2001)
total: 29,900 km
paved: 21,400 km (includes some all-weather gravel-surfaced roads)
unpaved: 8,500 km (these roads are made of unstabilized earth and are difficult to negotiate in wet weather) (1990)
natural gas 400 km (1992)
Ports and harbors 
53 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 51
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 36 (2002)


Military branches 
Army, Air Force and Air Defense Force, Presidential National Guard, Security Forces (internal and border troops)
Military manpower - military age 
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability 
males age 15-49: 1,646,278 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service 
males age 15-49: 1,349,505 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually 
males: 72,056 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$35.4 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
3.9% (FY01)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
Uzbekistan has mined much of its undemarcated southern and eastern border with Tajikistan; border demarcation negotiations continuing with Kyrgyzstan in Isfara Valley area; Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan wrestle with sharing water resources and the resulting regional environmental degradation caused by the shrinking of the Aral Sea
Illicit drugs 
major transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and, to a lesser extent, Western European markets; limited illicit cultivation of opium poppy for domestic consumption; Tajikistan seizes roughly 80 percent of all drugs captured in Central Asia and stands third world-wide in seizures of opiates (heroin and raw opium)