Uzbekistan

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
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Location of Uzbekistan
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OF UZBEKISTAN
 

Introduction

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Russia conquered the territory of present-day Uzbekistan in the late 19th century. Stiff resistance to the Red Army after the Bolshevik Revolution was eventually suppressed and a socialist republic established in 1924. During the Soviet era, intensive production of "white gold" (cotton) and grain led to overuse of agrochemicals and the depletion of water supplies, which have left the land poisoned and the Aral Sea and certain rivers half dry. Independent since 1991, the country seeks to gradually lessen its dependence on agriculture while developing its mineral and petroleum reserves. Current concerns include terrorism by Islamic militants, economic stagnation, and the curtailment of human rights and democratization.
 
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Geography

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Central Asia, north of Turkmenistan, south of Kazakhstan
 
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41 00 N, 64 00 E
 
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total: 447,400 sq km
country comparison to the world: 57
land: 425,400 sq km
water: 22,000 sq km
 
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slightly larger than California
 
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total: 6,221 km
border countries: Afghanistan 137 km, Kazakhstan 2,203 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,099 km, Tajikistan 1,161 km, Turkmenistan 1,621 km
 
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0 km (doubly landlocked); note - Uzbekistan includes the southern portion of the Aral Sea with a 420 km shoreline
 
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none (doubly landlocked)
 
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mostly midlatitude desert, long, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid grassland in east
 
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mostly flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes; broad, flat intensely irrigated river valleys along course of Amu Darya, Syr Darya (Sirdaryo), and Zarafshon; Fergana Valley in east surrounded by mountainous Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; shrinking Aral Sea in west
 
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lowest point: Sariqamish Kuli -12 m
highest point: Adelunga Toghi 4,301 m
 
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natural gas, petroleum, coal, gold, uranium, silver, copper, lead and zinc, tungsten, molybdenum
 
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arable land: 10.51%
permanent crops: 0.76%
other: 88.73% (2005)
 
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42,230 sq km (2008)
 
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72.2 cu km (2003)
 
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total: 58.34 cu km/yr (5%/2%/93%)
per capita: 2,194 cu m/yr (2000)
 
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NA
 
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shrinkage of the Aral Sea is resulting in growing concentrations of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then blown from the increasingly exposed lake bed and contribute to desertification; water pollution from industrial wastes and the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides is the cause of many human health disorders; increasing soil salination; soil contamination from buried nuclear processing and agricultural chemicals, including DDT
 
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
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along with Liechtenstein, one of the only two doubly landlocked countries in the world
 
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People and Society

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noun: Uzbekistani
adjective: Uzbekistani
 
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Uzbek 80%, Russian 5.5%, Tajik 5%, Kazakh 3%, Karakalpak 2.5%, Tatar 1.5%, other 2.5% (1996 est.)
 
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Uzbek (official) 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%
 
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Muslim 88% (mostly Sunni), Eastern Orthodox 9%, other 3%
 
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28,128,600 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
 
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0-14 years: 26.5% (male 3,817,755/female 3,635,142)
15-64 years: 68.8% (male 9,620,356/female 9,742,818)
65 years and over: 4.7% (male 560,574/female 751,955) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 25.7 years
male: 25.2 years
female: 26.3 years (2011 est.)
 
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0.94% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
 
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17.43 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
 
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5.29 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177
 
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-2.74 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
 
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urban population: 36% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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TASHKENT (capital) 2.201 million (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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30 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 113
 
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total: 21.92 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 92
male: 25.95 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 72.51 years
country comparison to the world: 126
male: 69.48 years
female: 75.71 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.89 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
 
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5.2% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 134
 
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2.617 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
country comparison to the world: 51
 
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4.83 beds/1,000 population (2007)
country comparison to the world: 42
 
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improved:
urban: 98% of population
rural: 81% of population
total: 87% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2% of population
rural: 19% of population
total: 13% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
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0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
 
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28,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
 
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fewer than 500 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
 
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4.4% (2006)
country comparison to the world: 88
 
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NA
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.3%
male: 99.6%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
 
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total: 11 years
male: 12 years
female: 11 years (2009)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Republic of Uzbekistan
conventional short form: Uzbekistan
local long form: Ozbekiston Respublikasi
local short form: Ozbekiston
former: Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic
 
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republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch
 
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name: Tashkent (Toshkent)
geographic coordinates: 41 20 N, 69 18 E
time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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12 provinces (viloyatlar, singular - viloyat), 1 autonomous republic* (respublika), and 1 city** (shahar); Andijon Viloyati, Buxoro Viloyati, Farg'ona Viloyati, Jizzax Viloyati, Namangan Viloyati, Navoiy Viloyati, Qashqadaryo Viloyati (Qarshi), Qoraqalpog'iston Respublikasi [Karakalpakstan Republic]* (Nukus), Samarqand Viloyati, Sirdaryo Viloyati (Guliston), Surxondaryo Viloyati (Termiz), Toshkent Shahri [Tashkent City]**, Toshkent Viloyati [Tashkent province], Xorazm Viloyati (Urganch)
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
 
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1 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
 
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Independence Day, 1 September (1991)
 
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adopted 8 December 1992
 
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civil law system
 
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has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: President Islom KARIMOV (since 24 March 1990, when he was elected president by the then Supreme Soviet; elected president of independent Uzbekistan in 1991)
head of government: Prime Minister Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV (since 11 December 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam AZIMOV (since 2 January 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president with approval of the Supreme Assembly
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elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term; previously was a five-year term, extended by constitutional amendment in 2002); election last held on 23 December 2007 (next to be held in 2014); prime minister, ministers, and deputy ministers appointed by the president
election results: Islom KARIMOV reelected president; percent of vote - Islom KARIMOV 88.1%, Asliddin RUSTAMOV 3.2%, Dilorom T0SHMUHAMEDOVA 2.9%, Akmal SAIDOV 2.6%, other 3.2%
 
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bicameral Supreme Assembly or Oliy Majlis consists of an upper house or Senate (100 seats; 84 members elected by regional governing councils and 16 appointed by the president; members to serve five-year terms) and a lower house or Legislative Chamber (150 seats; 135 members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms, while 15 spots reserved for the new Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan)
elections: last held on 27 December 2009 and 10 January 2010 (next to be held in December 2014)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Legislative Chamber - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDPU 53, NDP 32, National Rebirth Party 31, Adolat 19
note: all parties in the Supreme Assembly support President KARIMOV
 
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Supreme Court (judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Supreme Assembly)
 
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Adolat (Justice) Social Democratic Party [Ismoil SAIFNAZAROV]; Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan [Boriy ALIXONOV, chairman]; Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan or LDPU [Muhammadjon AHMADJONOV]; National Rebirth Party (Milliy Tiklanish) [Ahtam TURSUNOV]; People's Democratic Party or NDP (formerly Communist Party) [Latif GULOMOV]
 
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there are no significant opposition political parties or pressure groups operating in Uzbekistan
 
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ADB, CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Ilxamdjan NEMATOV
chancery: 1746 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 887-5300
FAX: [1] (202) 293-6804
consulate(s) general: New York
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador George KROL
embassy: 3 Moyqo'rq'on, 5th Block, Yunusobod District, Tashkent 100093
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [998] (71) 120-5450
FAX: [998] (71) 120-6335
 
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three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and green separated by red fimbriations with a white crescent moon (closed side to the hoist) and 12 white stars shifted to the hoist on the top band; blue is the color of the Turkic peoples and of the sky, white signifies peace and the striving for purity in thoughts and deeds, while green represents nature and is the color of Islam; the red stripes are the vital force of all living organisms that links good and pure ideas with the eternal sky and with deeds on earth; the crescent represents Islam and the 12 stars the months and constellations of the Uzbek calendar
 
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khumo (mythical bird)
 
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name: "O'zbekiston Respublikasining Davlat Madhiyasi" (National Anthem of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
lyrics/music: Abdulla ARIPOV/Mutal BURHANOV
note: adopted 1992; after the fall of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan kept the music of the anthem from its time as a Soviet Republic but adopted new lyrics
 
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Economy

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Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country; 11% of the land is intensely cultivated, in irrigated river valleys. More than 60% of the population lives in densely populated rural communities. Export of hydrocarbons, including natural gas and petroleum, provided about 40% of foreign exchange earnings in 2009. Other major export earners include gold and cotton. Uzbekistan is now the world's second-largest cotton exporter and fifth largest producer; it has come under increasing international criticism for the use of child labor in its annual cotton harvest. Nevertheless, Uzbekistan enjoyed a bumper cotton crop in 2010 amidst record high prices. Following independence in September 1991, the government sought to prop up its Soviet-style command economy with subsidies and tight controls on production and prices. While aware of the need to improve the investment climate, the government still sponsors measures that often increase, not decrease, its control over business decisions. A sharp increase in the inequality of income distribution has hurt the lower ranks of society since independence. In 2003, the government accepted Article VIII obligations under the IMF, providing for full currency convertibility. However, strict currency controls and tightening of borders have lessened the effects of convertibility and have also led to some shortages that have further stifled economic activity. The Central Bank often delays or restricts convertibility, especially for consumer goods. Potential investment by Russia and China in Uzbekistan's gas and oil industry, as well as increased cooperation with South Korea in the realm of civil aviation, may boost growth prospects. However, decreased demand for natural gas in Europe and Russia in the wake of the global financial crisis could reduce energy-related revenues in the near term. In November 2005, Russian President Vladimir PUTIN and Uzbekistan President KARIMOV signed an "alliance," which included provisions for economic and business cooperation. Russian businesses have shown increased interest in Uzbekistan, especially in mining, telecom, and oil and gas. In 2006, Uzbekistan took steps to rejoin the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Eurasian Economic Community (EurASEC), which it subsequently left in 2008, both organizations dominated by Russia. In the past Uzbek authorities had accused US and other foreign companies operating in Uzbekistan of violating Uzbek tax laws and have frozen their assets, but no new expropriations occurred in 2008-09. Instead, the Uzbek Government has actively courted several major U.S. and international corporations, offering attractive financing and tax advantages, and has landed a significant US investment in the automotive industry. Although growth slowed in 2009-10, Uzbekistan has seen few other effects from the global economic downturn, primarily due to its relative isolation from the global financial markets.
 
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$85.85 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
$79.12 billion (2009 est.)
$73.19 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$38.99 billion (2010 est.)
 
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8.5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
8.1% (2009 est.)
9% (2008 est.)
 
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$3,100 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
$2,900 (2009 est.)
$2,700 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 22.3%
industry: 38.4%
services: 39.3% (2010 est.)
 
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16 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
 
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agriculture: 44%
industry: 20%
services: 36% (1995)
 
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1.1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
1.1% (2009 est.)
note: officially measured by the Ministry of Labor, plus another 20% underemployed
 
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26% (2008 est.)
 
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lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 29.6% (2003)
 
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36.8 (2003)
country comparison to the world: 82
44.7 (1998)
 
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revenues: $12.7 billion
expenditures: $12.57 billion (2010 est.)
 
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32.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
 
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0.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
 
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8% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
9.7% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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15% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 217
14.1% (2009 est.)
note: official data; based on independent analysis of consumer prices, inflation reached 38% in 2008
 
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$4.448 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
$3.651 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$7.197 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
$5.648 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$5.995 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
$5.256 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$NA (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 107
$715.3 million (#REF!)
 
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cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain; livestock
 
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textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, gold, petroleum, natural gas, chemicals
 
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8% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
 
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47.42 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
 
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40.1 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
 
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11.52 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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11.44 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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58,650 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59
 
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144,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
 
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2,078 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
 
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9,013 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
 
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594 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
 
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61.41 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
 
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46.21 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
 
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15.2 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
 
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1.841 trillion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
 
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$5.843 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
$3.58 billion (2009 est.)
 
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$12.01 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
$10.74 billion (2009 est.)
 
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energy products, cotton, gold, mineral fertilizers, ferrous and nonferrous metals, textiles, food products, machinery, automobiles
 
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China 21.8%, Russia 18.1%, Turkey 14.5%, Kazakhstan 8.5%, Bangladesh 8.5% (2010)
 
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$8.06 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
$9.023 billion (2009 est.)
 
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machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, ferrous and nonferrous metals
 
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Russia 25.4%, South Korea 17.3%, China 13.9%, Germany 8.3%, Kazakhstan 5.3%, Ukraine 4.2% (2010)
 
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$9.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
$9 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$4.221 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
$4.109 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$NA
 
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$NA
 
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Uzbekistani soum (UZS) per US dollar -
1,588.1 (2010)
1,466.7 (2009)
1,317 (2008)
1,263.8 (2007)
1,219.8 (2006)
 
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Communications

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1.864 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 61
 
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20.952 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 42
 
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general assessment: digital exchanges in large cities but still antiquated and inadequate in rural areas
domestic: the state-owned telecommunications company, Uzbektelecom, owner of the fixed line telecommunications system, has used loans from the Japanese government and the China Development Bank to upgrade fixed-line services including conversion to digital exchanges; mobile-cellular services are growing rapidly, with the subscriber base exceeding 16 million in 2009
international: country code - 998; linked by fiber-optic cable or microwave radio relay with CIS member states and to other countries by leased connection via the Moscow international gateway switch; after the completion of the Uzbek link to the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic cable, Uzbekistan plans to establish a fiber-optic connection to Afghanistan (2009)
 
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government controls media; 8 state-owned broadcasters - 4 TV and 4 radio - provide service to virtually the entire country; about 20 privately-owned TV stations, overseen by local officials, broadcast to local markets; privately-owned TV stations are required to lease transmitters from the government-owned Republic TV and Radio Industry Corporation and are prohibited from broadcasting live; about 15 privately-owned radio broadcasters; programming content includes news updates, music, call-in talk shows, and other entertainment in a half-Russian, half-Uzbek format mandated for private radio (2007)
 
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.uz
 
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47,718 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 89
 
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4.689 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 50
 
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Transportation

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54 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 88
 
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total: 33
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 13
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 4 (2010)
 
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total: 21
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
under 914 m: 19 (2010)
 
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gas 10,253 km; oil 868 km (2010)
 
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total: 3,645 km
country comparison to the world: 47
broad gauge: 3,645 km 1.520-m gauge (620 km electrified) (2010)
 
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total: 86,496 km
country comparison to the world: 55
paved: 75,511 km
unpaved: 10,985 km (2000)
 
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1,100 km (2009)
country comparison to the world: 63
 
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Termiz (Amu Darya)
 
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Military

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Army, Air and Air Defense Forces, National Guard
 
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18 years of age for compulsory military service; 1-year conscript service obligation; moving toward a professional military, but conscription will continue; the military cannot accommodate everyone who wishes to enlist, and competition for entrance into the military is similar to the competition for admission to universities (2009)
 
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males age 16-49: 7,887,292
females age 16-49: 7,886,459 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 6,566,118
females age 16-49: 6,745,818 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 306,404
female: 295,456 (2010 est.)
 
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3.5% of GDP (2010)
country comparison to the world: 33
 
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Transnational Issues

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prolonged drought and cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2004; border delimitation of 130 km of border with Kyrgyzstan is hampered by serious disputes around enclaves and other areas
 
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refugees (country of origin): 39,202 (Tajikistan); 1,060 (Afghanistan)
IDPs: 3,400 (forced population transfers by government from villages near Tajikistan border) (2007)
 
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current situation: Uzbekistan is a source country for women and girls trafficked to Kazakhstan, Russia, the Middle East, and Asia for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; men are trafficked to Kazakhstan and Russia for purposes of forced labor in the construction, cotton, and tobacco industries; men and women are also trafficked internally for the purposes of domestic servitude, forced labor in the agricultural and construction industries, and for commercial sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Uzbekistan is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its negligible progress in ending forced labor, including forced child labor, in the annual cotton harvest, and did not make efforts to investigate or prosecute government officials suspected to be complicit in forced labor; the government did not conduct any awareness campaigns regarding forced labor in the annual cotton harvest or other internal trafficking, but did continue its previous awareness campaigns about the dangers of transnational trafficking (2011)
 
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transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and, to a lesser extent, Western European markets; limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and small amounts of opium poppy for domestic consumption; poppy cultivation almost wiped out by government crop eradication program; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan
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