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Countries > Afghanistan Afghanistan Flag
Products   2 products specific to Afghanistan are available in 2 categories.


Languages   6 languages are spoken in Afghanistan. We have 221 products available for those languages.


Capital: Kabul
Population: 1,923,805
Description: Persian, with 5 million speakers, and Pashto, with 10 million, are the two official languages, the former generally used in government circles. There are also about one million speakers of Uzbek and 400,000 speakers of Turkmen.
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Afghanistan Map

Geography

Location: Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran

Geographic coordinates: 33 00 N, 65 00 E

Map references: Asia

Area:
total: 647,500 sq km
land: 647,500 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries:
total: 5,529 km
border countries: China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km, Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers

Terrain: mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
highest point: Nowshak 7,485 m

Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones

Land use:
arable land: 12%
permanent crops : 0%
permanent pastures: 46%
forests and woodland: 3%
other: 39% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 30,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding

Environment - current issues: soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification

Environment - international agreements:
party to : Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note: landlocked

People

Population:26,813,057 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 42.2% (male 5,775,921; female 5,538,836)
15-64 years: 55.01% (male 7,644,242; female 7,106,568)
65 years and over : 2.79% (male 394,444; female 353,046) (July (2001 est.)

Population growth rate:3.48% (2001 est.)
note: this rate reflects the continued return of refugees from Iran

Birth rate: 42.72 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 17.72 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate:11.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years : 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.12 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 147.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population : 46.24 years
male: 46.97 years
female: 45.47 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.79 children born/woman (2001 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan

Ethnic groups: Pashtun 38%, Tajik 25%, Uzbek 6%, Hazara 19%, minor ethnic groups (Aimaks, Turkmen, Baloch, and others)

Religions: Sunni Muslim 84%, Shi'a Muslim 15%, other 1%

Languages: Pashtu 35%, Afghan Persian (Dari) 50%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 31.5%
male : 47.2%
female: 15% (1999 est.)

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Islamic State of Afghanistan
conventional short form: Afghanistan
local long form : Dowlat-e Eslami-ye Afghanestan
local short form: Afghanestan
former: Republic of Afghanistan

Data code: AF

Government type: transitional government

National capital: Kabul

Administrative divisions: 30 provinces (velayat, singular - velayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamian, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghowr, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabol, Kandahar, Kapisa, Konar, Kondoz, Laghman, Lowgar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Oruzgan, Paktia, Paktika, Parvan, Samangan, Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Vardak, Zabol
note : there may be two new provinces of Nurestan (Nuristan) and Khowst

Independence: 19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)

National holiday: Victory of the Muslim Nation, 28 April; Remembrance Day for Martyrs and Disabled, 4 May; Independence Day, 19 August

Constitution: none

Legal system: a new legal system has not been adopted but all factions tacitly agree they will follow Islamic law (Shari'a)

Suffrage: undetermined; previously males 15-50 years of age

Executive branch: on 27 September 1996, the ruling members of the Afghan Government were displaced by members of the Islamic Taliban movement; the Islamic State of Afghanistan has no functioning government at this time, and the country remains divided among fighting factions
note: the Taliban have declared themselves the legitimate government of Afghanistan; the UN has deferred a decision on credentials and the Organization of the Islamic Conference has left the Afghan seat vacant until the question of legitimacy can be resolved through negotiations among the warring factions; the country is essentially divided along ethnic lines; the Taliban controls the capital of Kabul and approximately two-thirds of the country including the predominately ethnic Pashtun areas in southern Afghanistan; opposing factions have their stonghold in the ethnically diverse north - General DOSTAM's National Islamic Movement controls several northcentral provinces and Commander MASOOD controls the ethnic Tajik majority areas of the northeast

Legislative branch: non-functioning as of June 1993

Judicial branch: non-functioning as of March 1995, although there are local Shari'a (Islamic law) courts throughout the country

Political parties and leaders: Taliban (Religious Students Movement), Mohammad OMAR; Supreme Defense Council of Afghanistan [comprised of Jumbesh-i-Melli Islami (National Islamic Movement), Abdul Rashid DOSTAM; Jamiat-i-Islami (Islamic Society), Burhanuddin RABBANI and Ahmad Shah MASOOD; and Hizbi Wahdat-Khalili faction (Islamic Unity Party), Abdul Karim KHALILI]; other smaller parties are Hizbi Islami-Gulbuddin (Islamic Party), Gulbuddin HIKMATYAR faction; Hizbi Islami-Khalis (Islamic Party), Yunis KHALIS faction; Ittihad-i-Islami Barai Azadi Afghanistan (Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan), Abdul Rasul SAYYAF; Harakat-Inqilab-i-Islami (Islamic Revolutionary Movement), Mohammad Nabi MOHAMMADI; Jabha-i-Najat-i-Milli Afghanistan (Afghanistan National Liberation Front), Sibghatullah MOJADDEDI; Mahaz-i-Milli-Islami (National Islamic Front), Sayed Ahamad GAILANI; Hizbi Wahdat-Akbari faction (Islamic Unity Party), Mohammad Akbar AKBARI; Harakat-i-Islami (Islamic Movement), Mohammed Asif MOHSENI

Political pressure groups and leaders: tribal elders represent traditional Pashtun leadership; Afghan refugees in Pakistan, Australia, US, and elsewhere have organized politically; Peshawar, Pakistan-based groups such as the Coordination Council for National Unity and Understanding in Afghanistan (CUNUA), Ishaq GAILANI; Writers Union of Free Afghanistan (WUFA), A. Rasul AMIN; Mellat (Social Democratic Party), leader NA

International organization participation: AsDB, CP, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Yar Mohammed MOHABBAT
chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 234-3770, 3771
FAX: [1] (202) 328-3516
consulate(s) general : New York
consulate(s): Washington, DC

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US embassy in Kabul has been closed since January 1989 due to security concerns

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and black with a gold emblem centered on the three bands; the emblem features a temple-like structure with Islamic inscriptions above and below, encircled by a wreath on the left and right and by a bolder Islamic inscription above, all of which are encircled by two crossed scimitars

Economy

Economy - overview: Afghanistan is an extremely poor, landlocked country, highly dependent on farming and livestock raising (sheep and goats). Economic considerations have played second fiddle to political and military upheavals during more than 17 years of war, including the nearly 10-year Soviet military occupation (which ended 15 February 1989). During the war one-third of the population fled the country, with Pakistan and Iran sheltering a combined peak of more than 6 million refugees. Now, only 750,000 registered Afghan refugees remain in Pakistan and about 1.2 million in Iran. Another 1 million have probably moved into and around urban areas within Afghanistan. Gross domestic product has fallen substantially over the past 17 years because of the loss of labor and capital and the disruption of trade and transport. Millions of people continue to suffer from insufficient food, clothing, housing, and medical care. Inflation remains a serious problem throughout the country, with one estimate putting the rate at 240% in Kabul in 1996. Numerical data are likely to be either unavailable or unreliable.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $21 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: NA%

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $800 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 53%
industry: 28.5%
services: 18.5%

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 240% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total:10 million (2000 est.)
by occupation: agriculture and animal husbandry70%, industry 15%, construction 6.3%, commerce 5.0%, services and other 15% (1990 est.)

Unemployment rate: 8% (1995 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, and cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, oil, coal, copper

Electricity - capacity: 371,000 kW (1993)

Electricity - production:420 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 35 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: wheat, fruits, nuts, karakul pelts; wool, mutton

Exports:
total value: $80 million (1996 est.)
commodities: fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
partners : FSU, Pakistan, Iran, Germany, India, UK, Belgium, Luxembourg, Czechoslovakia

Imports:
total value : $150 million (1996 est.)
commodities: food and petroleum products; most consumer goods
partners: FSU, Pakistan, Iran, Japan, Singapore, India, South Korea, Germany

Debt - external: $5.5 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA; about $56 million in UN aid plus additional bilateral aid and aid in kind (1996)
note: US provided $450 million in bilateral assistance (1985-93); US continues to contribute to multilateral assistance through the UN programs of food aid, immunization, land mine removal, and a wide range of aid to refugees and displaced persons

Currency: 1 afghani (AF) = 100 puls

Exchange rates: afghanis per US dollar - 4,700 (January 2000), 4,750 (February 1999), 17,000 (December 1996), 7,000 (January 1995), 1,900 (January 1994), 1,019 (March 1993), 850 (1991); note - these rates reflect the free market exchange rates rather than the official exchange rate, which was fixed at 50.600 afghanis to the dollar until 1996, when it rose to 2,262.65 per dollar, and finally became fixed again at 3,000.00 per dollar in April 1996

Fiscal year: 21 March - 20 March

Communications

Telephones: 31,200 (1983 est.)

Telephone system:
domestic : very limited telephone and telegraph service
international: satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) linked only to Iran and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean Region)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 7 (6 are inactive; the active station is in Kabul), FM 1, shortwave 1 (broadcasts in Pushtu, Dari, Urdu, and English) (1999

Radios: 167,000 (1999)

Television broadcast stations: at least 10 (one government run central television station in Kabul and regional stations in nine of the 30 provinces; the regional stations operate on a reduced schedule; also, in 1997, there was a station in Mazar-e Sharif reaching four northern Afghanistan provinces) (1998)

Televisions: 100,000 (1993 est.)

Transportation

Railways:
total: 24.6 km
broad gauge: 9.6 km 1.524-m gauge from Gushgy (Turkmenistan) to Towraghondi; 15 km 1,524-m gauge from Termiz (Uzbekistan) to Kheyrabad transshipment point on south bank of Amu Darya

Highways:
total: 21,000 km
paved: 2,793 km
unpaved: 18,207 km (1995 est.)

Waterways: 1,200 km; chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to about 500 DWT

Pipelines: petroleum products - Uzbekistan to Bagram and Turkmenistan to Shindand; natural gas 180 km

Ports and harbors: Kheyrabad, Shir Khan

Airports: 33 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 16
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m : 2
under 914 m: 7 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 17
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (1996 est.)

Heliports: 3 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: NA; note - the military does not exist on a national basis; some elements of the former Army, Air and Air Defense Forces, National Guard, Border Guard Forces, National Police Force (Sarandoi), and tribal militias still exist but are factionalized among the various groups

Military manpower - military age: 22 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49 : 5,813,298 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males : 3,118,004 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 231,250 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: some support from RABBANI and MASOOD to anti-government Islamic fighters in Tajikistan's civil war; support to Islamic militants worldwide by some factions; question over which group should hold Afghanistan's seat at the UN

Illicit drugs: world's second-largest illicit opium producer after Burma (1,230 metric tons in 1996 - down 2% from 1995) and a major source of hashish