Statistical information Afghanistan 2001Afghanistan

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 2001
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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 land mines.

Afghanistan - Geography 2001
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Location: Southern Asia north and west of Pakistan east of Iran

Geographic coordinates: 33 00 N 65 00 E

Map referenceAsia

Total: 647,500 km²
Land: 647,500 km²
Water: 0 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries
Total: 5,529 km
Border countries: (6) 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

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

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

Land use
Arable land: 12%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 46%
Forests and woodland: 3%
Other: 39% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 30,000 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

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

Note: landlocked

Afghanistan - People 2001
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Population: 26,813,057 (July 2001 est.)
Growth rate note: this rate reflects the continued return of refugees from Iran
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: Afghan
Adjective: Afghan

Ethnic groups: Pashtun 38% Tajik 25% Hazara 19% minor ethnic groups (Aimaks Turkmen Baloch and others) 12% Uzbek 6%

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: 42.2% (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) (2001 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate
Note: this rate reflects the continued return of refugees from Iran

Birth rate: 41.42 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 17.72 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 11.11 migrant(s)/1000 population (2001 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
International agreements party to: Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban
International agreements signed but not ratified: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male/female
15-64 years: 1.08 male/female
65 years and over: 1.12 male/female
Total population: 1.06 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 147.02 deaths/1000 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.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: less than 0.01% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: NA
Deaths: NA

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 31.5%
Male: 47.2%
Female: 15% (1999 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Afghanistan - Government 2001
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Country name
Conventional long form: Islamic State of Afghanistan; note - the self-proclaimed Taliban government refers to the country as Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Conventional short form: Afghanistan
Local long form: Dowlat-e Eslami-ye Afghanestan
Local short form: Afghanestan
Former: Republic of Afghanistan

Government type: no functioning central government administered by factions

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 control over Afghan foreign affairs)

National holiday: Independence Day 19 August (1919)

Constitution: none

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

International law organization participation


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

Executive branch
Note: the Taliban have declared themselves the legitimate government of Afghanistan; however, the UN still recognizes the government of Burhanuddin RABBANI; 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 stronghold in the ethnically diverse north

Legislative branch: non-functioning as of June 1993

Judicial branch: upper courts were non-functioning as of March 1995 (local Shari'a or Islamic law courts are functioning throughout the country)

Political parties and leaders: Taliban (Religious Students Movement) [Mullah Mohammad OMAR]; United National Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan or UNIFSA [Burhanuddin RABBANI chairman; Gen. Abdul Rashid DOSTAM vice chairman; Ahmad Shah MASOOD military commander; Mohammed Yunis QANUNI spokesman]; note - made up of 13 parties opposed to the Taliban including Harakat-i-Islami Afghanistan (Islamic Movement of Afghanistan) Hizb-i-Islami (Islamic Party) Hizb-i-Wahdat-i-Islami (Islamic Unity Party) Jumaat-i-Islami Afghanistan (Islamic Afghan Society) Jumbish-i-Milli (National Front) Mahaz-i-Milli-i-Islami (National Islamic Front)


Diplomatic representation
In the us consulates general: New York
From the us: the US embassy in Kabul has been closed since January 1989 due to security concerns

Flag descriptionflag of Afghanistan
Note: the Taliban uses a plain white flag

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Afghanistan - Economy 2001
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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 two decades of war including the nearly 10-year Soviet military occupation (which ended 15 February 1989). During that conflict one-third of the population fled the country with Pakistan and Iran sheltering a combined peak of more than 6 million refugees. In early 2000 2 million Afghan refugees remained in Pakistan and about 1.4 million in Iran. Gross domestic product has fallen substantially over the past 20 years because of the loss of labor and capital and the disruption of trade and transport; severe drought added to the nation's difficulties in 1998-2000. The majority of the population continues to suffer from insufficient food clothing housing and medical care. Inflation remains a serious problem throughout the country. International aid can deal with only a fraction of the humanitarian problem let alone promote economic development. In 1999-2000 internal civil strife continued hampering both domestic economic policies and international aid efforts. Numerical data are likely to be either unavailable or unreliable. Afghanistan was by far the largest producer of opium poppies in 2000 and narcotics trafficking is a major source of revenue.

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: opium poppies wheat fruits nuts; wool mutton karakul pelts

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

Industrial production growth rate

Labor force: 10 million (2000 est.)
By occupation: agriculture 70% industry 15% services 15% (1990 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $NA
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: NA%

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: $80 million (does not include opium) (1996 est.)
Commodities: opium fruits and nuts handwoven carpets wool cotton hides and pelts precious and semi-precious gems
Partners: FSU Pakistan Iran Germany India UK Belgium Luxembourg Czech Republic

Imports: $150 million (1996 est.)
Commodities: capital goods food and petroleum products; most consumer goods
Partners: FSU Pakistan Iran Japan Singapore India South Korea Germany

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $5.5 billion (1996 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: afghanis per US dollar - 4,700 (January 2000) 4,750 (February 1999) 17,000 (December 1996) 7,000 (January 1995) 1900 (January 1994) 1019 (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 2,263 per dollar and finally became fixed again at 3,000 per dollar in April 1996

Afghanistan - Energy 2001
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 420 million kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 35.71%
By source hydro: 64.29%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 480.6 million kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 90 million kWh (1999)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Afghanistan - Communication 2001
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system
General assessment: very limited telephone and telegraph service
Domestic: in 1997, telecommunications links were established between Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad, and Kabul through satellite and microwave systems
International: satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) linked only to Iran and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region); commercial satellite telephone center in Ghazni

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .af

Internet users: NA

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Afghanistan - Military 2001
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Afghanistan - Transportation 2001
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 45 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 10
With paved runways over 3047 m: 3
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 4
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2
With paved runways under 914 m: 1 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 35
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 4
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 15
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 4
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 12 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 10
Over 3047 m: 3
2438 to 3047 m: 4
15-24 to 2437 m: 2
Under 914 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 35
2438 to 3047 m: 4
15-24 to 2437 m: 15
914 to 1523 m: 4
Under 914 m: 12 (2000 est.)

Heliports: 3 (2000 est.)

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

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


Note: chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels with DWT up to about 500 (2001)

Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Afghanistan - Transnational issues 2001
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Disputes international: support to Islamic militants worldwide by some factions; question over which group should hold Afghanistan's seat at the UN

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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