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The Pathfinder
By Details > Visit Detail > Country Facts for Kyrgyzstan
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Map of Kyrgyzstan
IntroductionTop
Background: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. Nation-wide demonstrations in the spring of 2005 resulted in the ouster of President Askar AKAYEV, who had run the country since 1990. Subsequent presidential elections in July of 2005 were won overwhelmingly by former prime minister Kurmanbek BAKIYEV. Current concerns include: privatization of state-owned enterprises, expansion of democracy and political freedoms, interethnic relations, and combating terrorism.
GeographyTop
Location:Central Asia, west of China
Geographic coordinates:41 00 N, 75 00 E
Map references:Asia
Area:total: 198,500 sq km
land: 191,300 sq km
water: 7,200 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: 7.3%
permanent crops: 0.35%
other: 92.35%
note: Kyrgyzstan has the world's largest natural growth walnut forest (2001)

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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, 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
PeopleTop
Population:5,146,281 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 31.6% (male 827,751/female 796,029)
15-64 years: 62.3% (male 1,571,476/female 1,632,506)
65 years and over: 6.2% (male 123,992/female 194,527) (2005 est.)

Median age:total: 23.39 years
male: 22.52 years
female: 24.27 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:1.29% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:22.48 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:7.13 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:-2.47 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:total: 35.64 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 40.97 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 30.03 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:total population: 68.16 years
male: 64.16 years
female: 72.38 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:2.7 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:3,900 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:noun: Kyrgyzstani(s)
adjective: Kyrgyzstani

Ethnic groups:Kyrgyz 64.9%, Uzbek 13.8%, Russian 12.5%, Dungan 1.1%, Ukrainian 1%, Uygur 1%, other 5.7% (1999 census)
Religions:Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%
Languages:Kyrgyz (official), Russian (official)
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 99%
female: 96% (1989 est.)

GovernmentTop
Country name:conventional long form: Kyrgyz Republic
conventional short form: Kyrgyzstan
local long form: Kyrgyz Respublikasy
local short form: none
former: Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic

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 2 February 2003 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 Kurmanbek BAKIYEV (since 14 August 2005); note - former President Askar AKAYEV resigned effective 11 April 2005 following widespread protests that forced him to flee the country on 24 March 2005
head of government: Prime Minister Feliks KULOV (since 15 August 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: Kurmanbek BAKIYEV elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 10 July 2005 (next scheduled for NA 2010); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Kurmanbek BAKIYEV elected president; percent of vote - Kurmanbek BAKIYEV 88.6%, Tursunbai BAKIR-UULU 3.9%, other candidates 7.5%

Legislative branch:bicameral Supreme Council or Jorgorku 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); note - in accordance with a 2003 referendum, the Parliament is slated to become unicameral with 75 deputies after the 27 February 2005 elections
elections: Assembly of People's Representatives - last held 20 February and 12 March 2000; Legislative Assembly - last held 20 February and 12 March 2000; elections for the new unicameral body or Jorgorku Kenesh were held 27 February 2005, but the vast majority of positions remained undecided and were to be contested in a runoff election scheduled for 13 March 2005; election irregularities caused widespread protests that resulted in the president being forced to flee the country; new legislative elections have not yet been rescheduled
election results: Assembly of People's Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats 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

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:Adilet (Justice) Party [Toychubek KASYMOV]; Agrarian Labor Party of Kyrgyzstan [Uson SYDYKOV]; Agrarian Party of Kyrgyzstan [Erkin ALIYEV]; Alga, Kyrgyzstan (Forward, Kyrgyzstan) [Bolot BEGALIYEV]; Ar-Namys (Dignity) Party [Emil ALIYEV]; Asaba (Banner National Revival Party) [Azimbek BEKNAZAROV]; Ata-Meken (Fatherland) [Omurbek TEKEBAYEV]; Communist Party of Kyrgyzstan [Klara ADZHIBEKOVA]; Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan or DDK [Jypar JEKSHEYEV]; Erkin Kyrgyzstan Progressive and Democratic Party [Bektur ASANOV]; Erkindik (Freedom) Party [Topchubek TURGUNALIYEV]; Future of Kyrgyzstan [Balbak TULEBAYEV]; Jany Kyrgyzstan (New Kyrgyzstan) [Dosbol NUR UULU]; Kairan El [Dooronbek SADYKOV]; Kyrgyz National Party [Bakyt BESHIMOV]; Kyrgyzstan Kelechegi [Ruslan CHYNYBAYEV]; Manas El (Party of Spiritual Restoration) [Chingiz AITMATOV]; Moya Strana (My Country Party of Action) [Joomart OTORBAYEV]; Party of Communists of Kyrgyzstan or KCP [Bakytbek BEKBOYEV]; Party of Justice and Progress [Muratbek IMANALIEV]; Party of Peasants [Esengul ISAKOV]
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, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SCO, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNMIL, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
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
EconomyTop
Economy - overview:Kyrgyzstan is a poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only tobacco and cotton are exported in any quantity. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, and natural gas and electricity. Kyrgyzstan has been fairly progressive in carrying out market reforms, such as an improved regulatory system and land reform. Kyrgyzstan was the first CIS country to be accepted into the World Trade Organization. With fits and starts, inflation has been lowered to an estimated 7% in 2001, 2.1% in 2002, 4% in 2003, and 3.2% in 2004. Much of the government's stock in enterprises has been sold. Drops in production had been severe after the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, but by mid-1995 production began to recover and exports began to increase. Kyrgyzstan has distinguished itself by adopting relatively liberal economic policies. The drop in output at the Kumtor gold mine sparked a 0.5% decline in GDP in 2002, but GDP growth bounced back to 6% in 2003 and 2004. The government has made steady strides in controlling its substantial fiscal deficit and aims to reduce the deficit to 3% of GDP in 2004. The government and the international financial institutions have been engaged in a comprehensive medium-term poverty reduction and economic growth strategy. Further restructuring of domestic industry and success in attracting foreign investment are keys to future growth.
GDP:purchasing power parity - $8.495 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:6% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 38.5%
industry: 22.8%
services: 38.7% (2004 est.)

Labor force:2.7 million (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture 55%, industry 15%, services 30% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:18% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:40% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 3.9%
highest 10%: 23.3% (2001)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:29 (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):3.2% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):17% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:revenues: $431.3 million
expenditures: $445.4 million, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)

Agriculture - products:tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool
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:11.72 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 7.6%
hydro: 92.4%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:10.21 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:1.062 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:375 million kWh (2002)
Oil - production:2,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:20,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:NA
Oil - imports:NA
Natural gas - production:16 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:2.016 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:2 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Current account balance:$-87.92 million (2004 est.)
Exports:$646.7 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, hydropower; machinery; shoes
Exports - partners:UAE 23.8%, Switzerland 16.9%, Russia 16.9%, Kazakhstan 10.1%, China 9.8% (2004)
Imports:$775.1 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:oil and gas, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:Russia 23.1%, China 22.9%, Kazakhstan 19.3%, Turkey 7.2%, Germany 4.5%, Uzbekistan 4.4%, US 4.2% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$498.7 million (2004 est.)
Debt - external:$1.97 billion (2004 est.)
Currency code:KGS
Exchange rates:soms per US dollar - 42.65 (2004), 43.648 (2003), 46.937 (2002), 48.378 (2001), 47.704 (2000)
Fiscal year:calendar year
CommunicationsTop
Telephones - main lines in use:394,800 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:53,100 (2002)
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: country code - 996; 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 hosts:12,299 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):NA
Internet users:152,000 (2002)
TransportationTop
Railways:total: 470 km
broad gauge: 470 km 1.520-m gauge (2004)

Highways:total: 18,500 km
paved: 16,854 km (including 140 km of expressways)
unpaved: 1,646 km (1999 est.)

Waterways:600 km (2004)
Pipelines:gas 367 km; oil 13 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:Balykchy (Ysyk-Kol or Rybach'ye)
Airports:52 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:total: 16
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 36
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 31 (2004 est.)

MilitaryTop
Military branches:Army, Air Force, National Guard (2004)
Military manpower - military age and obligation:18 years of age for compulsory military service (2001)
Military manpower - availability:males age 18-49: 1,193,529 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:males age 18-49: 871,493 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:males: 61,091 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:$19.2 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:1.4% (FY01)
Transnational IssuesTop
Disputes - international:delimitation with Kazakhstan is complete; disputes in Isfara Valley delay completion of delimitation with Tajikistan; delimitation is underway with Uzbekistan but serious disputes around enclaves and elsewhere continue to mar progress for some 130 km of border
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



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