Statistical information Afghanistan 1996Afghanistan

Map of Afghanistan | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Afghanistan in the World
Afghanistan in the World


Afghanistan - Introduction 1996
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Background: Afghanistan was invaded and occupied by the Soviet Union in 1979. The USSR was forced to withdraw 10 years later by anti-communist mujahidin forces supplied and trained by the US Saudi Arabia Pakistan and others. Fighting subsequently continued among the various mujahidin factions but the fundamentalist Islamic Taliban movement has been able to seize most of the country. In addition to the continuing civil strife the country suffers from enormous poverty a crumbling infrastructure and widespread live mines.

Afghanistan - Geography 1996
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Location: Southern Asia, north of Pakistan

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceAsia

Total area total: 647,500 km²
Land: 647,500 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries: total 5,529 km, 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


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

Land use
Arable land: 12%
Permanent crops: 0%
Meadows and pastures: 46%
Forest and woodland: 3%
Other: 39%

Irrigated land: 26,600 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: landlocked

Afghanistan - People 1996
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Population: 21,251,821 (July 1995 est.)
Growth rate: 14.47% (1995 est.)

Noun: Afghan(s)
Adjective: Afghan

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

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

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

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 42% (female 4,342,218; male 4,507,141)
15-64 years: 56% (female 5,406,675; male 6,443,734)
65 years and over: 2% (female 256,443; male 295,610) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 14.47% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 42.69 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 18.53 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 120.5 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification
Current issues natural hazards: damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding
Current issues international agreements: party to - 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

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 152.8 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 45.37 years
Male: 45.98 years
Female: 44.72 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.21 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
Total population: 29%
Male: 44%
Female: 14%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Afghanistan - Government 1996
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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

Government type: transitional government

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

Dependent areas

Independence: 19 August 1919 (from UK)

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 the transitional government has declared it will follow Islamic law (Shari'a)

International law organization participation


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

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Burhanuddin RABBANI (Interim President July-December 1992; President since 2 January 1993); Vice President Mohammad NABI MOHAMMADI (since NA); election last held 31 December 1992 (next to be held NA); results - Burhanuddin RABBANI was elected to a two-year term by a national shura, later amended by multi-party agreement to 18 months; note - in June 1994 failure to agree on a transfer mechanism resulted in RABBANI's extending the term to 28 December 1994; following the expiration of the term and while negotiations on the formation of a new government go on, RABBANI continues in office
Head of government: Prime Minister Gulbuddin HIKMATYAR (since 17 March 1993); note - Prime Minister HIKMATYAR is the nominal head of government and does not have any real authority; First Deputy Prime Minister Qutbuddin HELAL (since 17 March 1993); Deputy Prime Minister Arsala RAHMANI (since 17 March 1993)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers
Note: term of present government expired 28 December 1994; factional fighting since 1 January 1994 has kept government officers from actually occupying ministries and discharging government responsibilities; the government's authority to remove cabinet members, including the Prime Minister, following the expiration of their term is questionable

Legislative branch: a unicameral parliament consisting of 205 members was chosen by the shura in January 1993; non-functioning as of June 1993

Judicial branch: an interim Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has been appointed, but a new court system has not yet been organized

Political parties and leaders


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Abdul RAHIM
In the us chancery: 2,341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 234-3,770, 3,771
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 328-3,516
In the us consulates general: New York
In the us consulates: Washington, DC
From the us: none; embassy was closed in January 1989

Flag descriptionflag of Afghanistan: NA; note - the flag has changed at least twice since 1992

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Afghanistan - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: Afghanistan is an extremely poor, landlocked country, highly dependent on farming (wheat especially) and livestock raising (sheep and goats). Economic considerations have played second fiddle to political and military upheavals during more than 15 years of war, including the nearly 10-year Soviet military occupation (which ended 15 February 1989). Over the past decade, one-third of the population fled the country, with Pakistan sheltering more than 3 million refugees and Iran about 3 million. About 1.4 million Afghan refugees remain in Pakistan and about 2 million in Iran. Another 1 million probably moved into and around urban areas within Afghanistan. Although reliable data are unavailable, gross domestic product is lower than 13 years ago because of the loss of labor and capital and the disruption of trade and transport.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: NA%

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: largely subsistence farming and nomadic animal husbandry; cash products - wheat, fruits, nuts, karakul pelts, wool, mutton

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

Industrial production growth rate: 2.3% (FY90/91 est.; accounts for about 25% of GDP

Labor force: 4.98 million
By occupation: agriculture and animal husbandry 67.8%, industry 10.2%, construction 6.3%, commerce 5.0%, services and other 10.7% (1980 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $N/A
Expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 21 March - 20 March

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $188.2 million (f.o.b., 1991)
Commodoties: fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
Partners: FSU countries, Pakistan, Iran, Germany, India, UK, Belgium, Luxembourg, Czechoslovakia

Imports: $616.4 million (c.i.f., 1991)
Commodoties: food and petroleum products; most consumer goods
Partners: FSU countries, Pakistan, Iran, Japan, Singapore, India, South Korea, Germany

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $2.3 billion (March 1991 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: afghanis (Af) per US$1 - 1,900 (January 1994), 1,019 (March 1993), 850 (1991), 700 (1989-90), 220 (1988-89; note - these rates reflect the free market exchange rates rather than the official exchange rates

Afghanistan - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 550 million kWh
Consumption per capita: 39 kWh (1993)

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Afghanistan - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 31,200 telephones; limited telephone, telegraph, and radiobroadcast services; 1 public telephone in Kabul
Local: NA
Intercity: NA
International: one link between western Afghanistan and Iran (via satellite)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Afghanistan - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $450 million, 15% of GDP (1990 est.; the new government has not yet adopted a defense budget

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Afghanistan - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 48
With paved runways over 3047 m: 3
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 5
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2
With paved runways under 914 m: 15
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 3
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2438 m: 14
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 6

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 3
2438 to 3047 m: 5
15-24 to 2437 m: 2
Under 914 m: 15

Airports with unpaved runways
2438 to 3047 m: 3
15-24 to 2438 m: 14
914 to 1523 m: 6


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



Waterways: total navigability 1,200 km; chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to about 500 metric tons

Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Afghanistan - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international: periodic disputes with Iran over Helmand water rights; Iran supports clients in country, private Pakistani and Saudi sources also are active; power struggles among various groups for control of Kabul, regional rivalries among emerging warlords, traditional tribal disputes continue; support to Islamic fighters in Tajikistan's civil war; border dispute with Pakistan (Durand Line; support to Islamic militants worldwide by some factions

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: an illicit cultivator of opium poppy and cannabis for the international drug trade; world's second-largest opium producer after Burma (950 metric tons in 1994) and a major source of hashish


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