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CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Kyrgyzstan
Flag of Kyrgyzstan
Map of Kyrgyzstan
Introduction Kyrgyzstan
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 Kyrgyzstan
Central Asia, west of China
Geographic coordinates:
41 00 N, 75 00 E
Map references:
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
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone
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:
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 Kyrgyzstan
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.)
noun: Kyrgyzstani(s)
adjective: Kyrgyzstani
Ethnic groups:
Kyrgyz 52.4%, Russian 18%, Uzbek 12.9%, Ukrainian 2.5%, German 2.4%, other 11.8%
Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%
Kyrgyz - official language, Russian - official language
note: in December 2001, the Kyrgyzstani legislature made Russian an official language, equal in status to Kyrgyz
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 99%
female: 96% (1989 est.)
Government Kyrgyzstan
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:
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)
31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 31 August (1991)
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
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:
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 John M. O'KEEFE
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 Kyrgyzstan
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.
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.)
revenues: $207.4 million
expenditures: $238.7 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.) (1999 est.)
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
$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)
$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)
Kyrgyzstani som (KGS)
Currency code:
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 Kyrgyzstan
Telephones - main lines in use:
351,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
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)
520,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
NA (repeater stations throughout the country relay programs from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkey) (1997)
210,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Internet users:
51,600 (2001)
Transportation Kyrgyzstan
total: 370 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
broad gauge: 370 km 1.520-m gauge (1990)
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)
600 km (1990)
natural gas 200 km
Ports and harbors:
Balykchy (Ysyk-Kol or Rybach'ye)
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 Kyrgyzstan
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 Kyrgyzstan
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

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003