Uzbekistan

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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 degraded and the Aral Sea and certain rivers half dry. Independent since 1991, the country has lessened its dependence on the cotton monoculture by diversifying agricultural production while developing its mineral and petroleum export capacity and increasing its manufacturing base. However, long-serving septuagenarian President Islom KARIMOV, who rose through the ranks of the Soviet-era State Planning Committee (Gosplan), remains wedded to the concepts of a command economy, creating a challenging environment for foreign investment. Current concerns include post-KARIMOV succession, terrorism by Islamic militants, economic stagnation, and the curtailment of human rights and democratization.

Geography

Location

Central Asia, north of Turkmenistan, south of Kazakhstan

Geographic coordinates

41.00° N, 64.00° E

Area 57/257

total: 447,400 sq km

land: 425,400 sq km

water: 22,000 sq km

Area - comparative

about four times the size of Virginia; slightly larger than California

Land boundaries

total: 6,893 km

border countries (5): Afghanistan 144 km, Kazakhstan 2,330 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,314 km, Tajikistan 1,312 km, Turkmenistan 1,793 km

Coastline

0 km (doubly landlocked); note - Uzbekistan includes the southern portion of the Aral Sea with a 420 km shoreline

Maritime claims

none (doubly landlocked)

Climate

mostly mid-latitude desert, long, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid grassland in east

Terrain

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

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Sariqamish Kuli -12 m

highest point: Adelunga Toghi 4,301 m

Natural resources

natural gas, petroleum, coal, gold, uranium, silver, copper, lead and zinc, tungsten, molybdenum

Land use

agricultural land: 62.6%

arable land 10.1%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 51.7%

forest: 7.7%

other: 29.7% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

41,980 sq km (2005)

Total renewable water resources

48.87 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 56 cu km/yr (7%/3%/90%)

per capita: 2,113 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

NA

Environment - current issues

shrinkage of the Aral Sea has resulted in growing concentrations of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then blown from the increasingly exposed lake bed and contribute to desertification and respiratory health problems; 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

Environment - international agreements

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

Geography - note

along with Liechtenstein, one of the only two doubly landlocked countries in the world

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Uzbekistani

adjective: Uzbekistani

Ethnic groups

Uzbek 80%, Russian 5.5%, Tajik 5%, Kazakh 3%, Karakalpak 2.5%, Tatar 1.5%, other 2.5% (1996 est.)

Languages

Uzbek (official) 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%

note: in the Karakalpakstan Republic, both the Karakalpak language and Uzbek have official status

Religions

Muslim 88% (mostly Sunni), Eastern Orthodox 9%, other 3%

Population 46/238

29,199,942 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 24.56% (male 3,676,029/female 3,496,916)

15-24 years: 19.92% (male 2,945,837/female 2,869,483)

25-54 years: 43.46% (male 6,310,206/female 6,379,037)

55-64 years: 7.17% (male 987,930/female 1,104,347)

65 years and over: 4.9% (male 610,272/female 819,885) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 49.7%

youth dependency ratio: 42.7%

elderly dependency ratio: 7%

potential support ratio: 14.3% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 27.6 years

male: 27.1 years

female: 28.2 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 123/233

0.93% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 108/224

17 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 180/225

5.3 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 173/222

-2.37 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 36.4% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 1.45% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

TASHKENT (capital) 2.251 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

23.8 (2006 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 126/184

36 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 91/224

total: 19.2 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 22.78 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 15.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 128/224

total population: 73.55 years

male: 70.5 years

female: 76.78 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 153/224

1.79 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

64.9% (2006)

Health expenditures 118/191

6.1% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

2.53 physicians/1,000 population (2013)

Hospital bed density

4.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 98.5% of population

rural: 80.9% of population

total: 87.3% of population

unimproved:

urban: 1.5% of population

rural: 19.1% of population

total: 12.7% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.15% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

32,300 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

2,200 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 119/191

14.3% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 97/138

4.4% (2006)

Education expenditures

NA

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 11 years (2011)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Uzbekistan

conventional short form: Uzbekistan

local long form: O'zbekiston Respublikasi

local short form: O'zbekiston

former: Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type

republic; authoritarian presidential rule with little power outside the executive branch

Capital

name: Tashkent (Toshkent)

geographic coordinates: 41.19° N, 69.15° E

time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

12 provinces (viloyatlar, singular - viloyat), 1 autonomous republic* (avtonom respublikasi), 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)

Independence

1 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday

Independence Day, 1 September (1991)

Constitution

several previous; latest adopted 8 December 1992; amended several times, last in 2014 (2015)

Legal system

civil law system

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Uzbekistan

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Islom KARIMOV (since 24 March 1990, when elected president by the former Supreme Soviet; first 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 both chambers of the Supreme Assembly (Oliy Majlis)

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term; previously a 5-year term, extended by a 2002 constitutional amendment to 7 years, and reverted to 5 years in 2011); election last held on 29 March 2015 (next to be held in 2020); prime minister nominated by majority party in legislature since 2011, but appointed along with the ministers and deputy ministers by the president

election results: Islom KARIMOV reelected president; percent of vote - Islom KARIMOV (LDPU) 90.4%, Akmal SAIDOV (Democratic Party of Uzbekistan) 3.1%, Khatamjan KETMANOV (NDP) 2.9%, Nariman UMAROV (Justice Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan) 2.1%, other 1.5%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Supreme Assembly or Oliy Majlis consists of the Senate (100 seats; 84 members indirectly elected by regional governing councils and 16 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms) and the Legislative Chamber or Qonunchilik Palatasi (150 seats; 135 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote with a second round if needed and 15 indirectly elected by the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan; members serve 5-year terms)

note: all parties in the Supreme Assembly support President Islom KARIMOV

elections: last held on 21 December 2014 and 4 January 2015 (next to be held in December 2019)

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 52, National Rebirth Party 36, NDP 27, Adolat 20, Ecological Movement 15

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 34 judges organized in civil, criminal, and military sections); Constitutional Court (consists of 7 judges); Higher Economic Court (consists of 19 judges)

judge selection and term of office: judges of the 3 highest courts nominated by the president and confirmed by the Oliy Majlis; judges appointed for 5-year terms subject to reappointment

subordinate courts: regional, district, city, and town courts

Political parties and leaders

Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan (O'zbekiston Ekologik Harakati) [Boriy ALIKHANOV]

Justice (Adolat) Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan [Narimon UMAROV]

Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (O'zbekiston Liberal-Demokratik Partiyasi) or LDPU [Islam KARIMOV]

National Revival Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (O'zbekiston Milliy Tiklanish Demokratik Partiyasi) [Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV]

People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (Xalq Demokratik Partiyas) or NDP [Hotamjon KETMONOV] (formerly Communist Party)

Political pressure groups and leaders

no significant opposition political parties or pressure groups in Uzbekistan

International organization participation

ADB, CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SCO, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Flag description

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

National symbol(s)

khumo (mythical bird); national colors: blue, white, red, green

National anthem

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

Economy

Economy - overview

Uzbekistan is a landlocked country with more than 60% of the population living in densely populated rural communities. Since its independence in September 1991, the government maintained its Soviet-style command economy with subsidies and tight controls on production and prices. Despite ongoing efforts to diversify crops, Uzbekistani agriculture remains largely centered around cotton; Uzbekistan is the world's fifth largest cotton exporter and sixth largest producer. Uzbekistan's growth has been driven primarily by state-led investments, and export of natural gas, gold, and cotton provides a significant share of foreign exchange earnings. In 2015, Russia’s Gazprom announced it would reduce its natural gas imports from Uzbekistan but Tashkent continues to export natural gas to China and Chinese investments in the country have substantially increased.

While aware of the need to improve the investment climate, the government continues to intervene in the business sector and has not addressed the impediments to foreign investment in the country. In the past Uzbekistani authorities have accused US and other foreign companies operating in Uzbekistan of violating Uzbekistani laws and have frozen and seized their assets. At the same time, the Uzbekistani Government has actively courted several major US and international corporations, offering financing and tax advantages.

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. Recently, lower global commodity prices and economic slowdown in neighboring countries of Russia and China have been hurting Uzbekistan's trade and investment and worsening its problem of currency shortage.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 64/230

$185.8 billion (2015 est.)

$174 billion (2014 est.)

$161 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$65.95 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 20/225

6.8% (2015 est.)

8.1% (2014 est.)

8% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 160/230

$6,100 (2015 est.)

$5,700 (2014 est.)

$5,300 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 16/179

31% of GDP (2015 est.)

32.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

33.7% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 57.8%

government consumption: 17.3%

investment in fixed capital: 25.4%

investment in inventories: -0.1%

exports of goods and services: 31.5%

imports of goods and services: -31.9%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 18.8%

industry: 33.7%

services: 47.5% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain; livestock

Industries

textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, mining, hydrocarbon extraction, chemicals

Industrial production growth rate 59/202

4% (2015 est.)

Labor force 36/233

17.54 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 25.9%

industry: 13.2%

services: 60.9% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate 48/207

4.8% (2015 est.)

4.8% (2014 est.)

note: official data, another 20% are underemployed

Population below poverty line

17% (2011 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 29.6% (2003)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 79/144

36.8 (2003)

44.7 (1998)

Budget

revenues: $18.74 billion

expenditures: $19.69 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 93/219

28.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 58/220

-1.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 169/176

8.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

7.1% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 212/226

11% (2015 est.)

11% (2014 est.)

note: official data; based on independent analysis of consumer prices, inflation reached 22% in 2012

Commercial bank prime lending rate 63/184

12.44% (31 December 2013 est.)

11.2% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money 85/192

$8.504 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$7.606 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 94/193

$16.56 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$15.59 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 95/191

$13.21 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$13.09 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$NA (31 December 2012)

$715.3 million (31 December 2006)

Current account balance 48/197

$134 million (2015 est.)

$1.062 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 78/224

$13.53 billion (2015 est.)

$13.31 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

energy products, cotton, gold, mineral fertilizers, ferrous and nonferrous metals, textiles, foodstuffs, machinery, automobiles

Exports - partners

China 26.8%, Russia 14.7%, Kazakhstan 14.6%, Turkey 13.1%, Bangladesh 10.2% (2014)

Imports 87/223

$13.5 billion (2015 est.)

$12.92 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, ferrous and nonferrous metals

Imports - partners

Russia 22.8%, China 19.6%, South Korea 14.9%, Kazakhstan 10.2%, Germany 4.8%, Turkey 4.4% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 69/170

$15 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$17.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 104/206

$10.19 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$10.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$NA

Exchange rates

Uzbekistani soum (UZS) per US dollar -

2,565.8 (2015 est.)

2,311.4 (2014 est.)

2,311.4 (2013 est.)

1,890.1 (2012 est.)

1,715.8 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 53/220

49.91 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 52/219

45.21 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 16/218

12.27 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 16/219

12.18 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 52/214

12.57 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 85/214

86.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 201/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 105/214

13.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 138/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 52/214

64,810 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 52/214

30,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 80/214

340 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 49/215

594 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 75/214

71,260 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 90/212

69,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 96/214

4,331 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 211/213

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 16/216

59.63 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 21/215

46.13 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 17/215

13.5 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 149/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 19/212

1.841 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 39/212

123.2 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 53/219

total subscriptions: 2.51 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 9 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 56/217

total: 21.6 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 75 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: digital exchanges in large cities and 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 provided by 3 private and 1 state-owned operator with a total subscriber base of 19 million as of January 2014

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; the country also has a link to the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic cable; Uzbekistan has supported the national fiber optic backbone project of Afghanistan since 2008 (2009)

Broadcast media

government controls media; 14 state-owned broadcasters - 10 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; in 2013, the government closed TV and radio broadcasters affiliated with the National Association of Electronic Mass Media of Uzbekistan, a government-sponsored NGO for private broadcast media

Radio broadcast stations

AM 20, FM 24, shortwave 3 (2008)

Television broadcast stations

28 (includes 1 cable rebroadcaster in Tashkent and approximately 20 stations in regional capitals) (2006)

Internet country code

.uz

Internet hosts 94/232

56,075 (2012)

Internet users 41/217

total: 11.8 million

percent of population: 40.6% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 89/236

53 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

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 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 20

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

under 914 m: 18 (2013)

Pipelines

gas 10,401 km; oil 944 km (2013)

Railways 40/136

total: 3,645 km

broad gauge: 3,645 km 1.520-m gauge (620 km electrified) (2014)

Roadways 52/223

total: 86,496 km

paved: 75,511 km

unpaved: 10,985 km (2000)

Waterways 62/107

1,100 km (2012)

Ports and terminals

river port(s): Termiz (Amu Darya)

Military and Security

Military branches

Uzbek Armed Forces: Army, Air and Air Defense Forces (2013)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for compulsory military service; 1-month or 1-year conscript service obligation for males; moving toward a professional military, but conscription in some form 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 (2013)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

prolonged drought and cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan created 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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 86,703 (2014)

Illicit drugs

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