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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2003
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2003.

This page was last updated on 18 December, 2003

Map of Kyrgyzstan

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Kyrgyzstan
Definition Field Listing
A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, Kyrgyzstan was annexed by Russia in 1864; it achieved independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Current concerns include: privatization of state-owned enterprises, expansion of democracy and political freedoms, interethnic relations, and combating terrorism.
   Geography    Kyrgyzstan
Definition Field Listing
Central Asia, west of China
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
41 00 N, 75 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 198,500 sq km
water: 7,200 sq km
land: 191,300 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than South Dakota
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3,878 km
border countries: China 858 km, Kazakhstan 1,051 km, Tajikistan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,099 km
Definition Field Listing
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
none (landlocked)
Definition Field Listing
dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone
Definition Field Listing
peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basins encompass entire nation
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Kara-Daryya (Karadar'ya) 132 m
highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
abundant hydropower; significant deposits of gold and rare earth metals; locally exploitable coal, oil, and natural gas; other deposits of nepheline, mercury, bismuth, lead, and zinc
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 7.04%
permanent crops: 0.39%
note: Kyrgyzstan has the world's largest natural growth walnut forest (1998 est.)
other: 92.57%
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
10,740 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
water pollution; many people get their water directly from contaminated streams and wells; as a result, water-borne diseases are prevalent; increasing soil salinity from faulty irrigation practices
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
landlocked; entirely mountainous, dominated by the Tien Shan range; many tall peaks, glaciers, and high-altitude lakes
   People    Kyrgyzstan
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4,892,808 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 33.8% (male 836,593; female 819,615)
15-64 years: 59.9% (male 1,436,371; female 1,492,884)
65 years and over: 6.3% (male 117,405; female 189,940) (2003 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 22.7 years
male: 21.8 years
female: 23.6 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.46% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
26.06 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9.1 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-2.37 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 75.34 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 65.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 84.72 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 63.66 years
male: 59.49 years
female: 68.03 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.12 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
over 500 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 100 (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Kyrgyzstani(s)
adjective: Kyrgyzstani
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Kyrgyz 52.4%, Russian 18%, Uzbek 12.9%, Ukrainian 2.5%, German 2.4%, other 11.8%
Definition Field Listing
Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%
Definition Field Listing
Kyrgyz - official language, Russian - official language
note: in December 2001, the Kyrgyzstani legislature made Russian an official language, equal in status to Kyrgyz
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97%
male: 99%
female: 96% (1989 est.)
   Government    Kyrgyzstan
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Kyrgyz Republic
conventional short form: Kyrgyzstan
local short form: none
former: Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic
local long form: Kyrgyz Respublikasy
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
7 provinces (oblastlar, singular - oblasty) and 1 city* (shaar); Batken Oblasty, Bishkek Shaary*, Chuy Oblasty (Bishkek), Jalal-Abad Oblasty, Naryn Oblasty, Osh Oblasty, Talas Oblasty, Ysyk-Kol Oblasty (Karakol)
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
Definition Field Listing
31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 31 August (1991)
Definition Field Listing
adopted 5 May 1993; note - amendment proposed by President AKAYEV and passed in a national referendum on 2 February 2003 significantly expands the powers of the president at the expense of the legislature
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on civil law system
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Askar AKAYEV (since 28 October 1990)
head of government: Prime Minister Nikolay TANAYEV (since 22 May 2002); note - Prime Minister Kurmanbek BAKIYEV resigned on 22 May 2002 when five demonstrators were killed in a clash with police in March of 2002
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
election results: Askar AKAYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Askar AKAYEV 74%, Omurbek TEKEBAYEV 14%, other candidates 12%; note - election marred by serious irregularities
elections: president reelected by popular vote for a five-year term; elections last held 29 October 2000 (next to be held November or December 2005); prime minister appointed by the president
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Supreme Council or Zhogorku Kenesh consists of the Assembly of People's Representatives (70 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Legislative Assembly (35 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
election results: Assembly of People's Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; and Legislative Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; note - total seats by party in the Supreme Council were as follows: Union of Democratic Forces 12, Communists 6, My Country Party of Action 4, independents 73, other 10
note: the legislature became bicameral for the 5 February 1995 elections; the 2000 election results include both the Assembly of People's Representatives and the Legislative Assembly
elections: Assembly of People's Representatives - last held 20 February and 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA February 2005); Legislative Assembly - last held 20 February and 12 March 2000 (next to be held NA February 2005)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (judges are appointed for 10-year terms by the Supreme Council on the recommendation of the president); Constitutional Court; Higher Court of Arbitration
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Agrarian Labor Party of Kyrgyzstan [Uson S. SYDYKOV]; Agrarian Party of Kyrgyzstan [Arkin ALIYEV]; Ata-Meken or Fatherland [Omurbek TEKEBAYEV]; Banner National Revival Party or ASABA [Chaprashty BAZARBAY]; Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan or DDK [Jypar JEKSHEYEV]; Democratic Women's Party of Kyrgyzstan [T. A. SHAILIYEVA]; Dignity Party [Feliks KULOV]; Erkin Kyrgyzstan Progressive and Democratic Party [Tursunbay Bakir UULU]; Justice Party [Chingiz AYTMATOV]; Movement for the People's Salvation [Jumgalbek AMAMBAYEV]; Mutual Help Movement or Ashar [Jumagazy USUPOV]; My Country Party of Action [Almazbek ISMANKULOV]; National Unity Democratic Movement or DDNE [Yury RAZGULYAYEV]; Party of Communists of Kyrgyzstan or KCP [Absamat M. MASALIYEV]; Party of the Veterans of the War in Afghanistan [leader NA]; Peasant Party [leader NA]; People's Party [Melis ESHIMKANOV]; Republican Popular Party of Kyrgyzstan [J. SHARSHENALIYEV]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [J. IBRAMOV]; Union of Democratic Forces (composed of Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan or PSD [J. IBRAMOV], Economic Revival Party, and Birimdik Party)
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Council of Free Trade Unions; Kyrgyz Committee on Human Rights [Ramazan DYRYLDAYEV]; National Unity Democratic Movement; Union of Entrepreneurs
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Bakyt ABDRISAYEV
FAX: [1] (202) 338-5139
consulate(s): New York
telephone: [1] (202) 338-5141
chancery: 1732 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Stephen M. YOUNG
embassy: 171 Prospect Mira, 720016 Bishkek
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [996] (312) 551-241, (517) 777-217
FAX: [996] (312) 551-264
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
red field with a yellow sun in the center having 40 rays representing the 40 Kyrgyz tribes; on the obverse side the rays run counterclockwise, on the reverse, clockwise; in the center of the sun is a red ring crossed by two sets of three lines, a stylized representation of the roof of the traditional Kyrgyz yurt
   Economy    Kyrgyzstan
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Kyrgyzstan is a small, poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only tobacco and cotton are exported in any quantity. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, and natural gas and electricity. Kyrgyzstan has been fairly progressive in carrying out market reforms, such as an improved regulatory system and land reform. Kyrgyzstan was the first CIS country to be accepted into the World Trade Organization. With fits and starts, inflation has been lowered to an estimated 7% in 2001, 2.1% in 2002, and 4.0% in 2003. Much of the government's stock in enterprises has been sold. Drops in production had been severe after the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, but by mid-1995 production began to recover and exports began to increase. Growth was held down to 2.1% in 1998 largely because of the spillover from Russia's economic difficulties, but moved ahead to 3.6% in 1999, 5% in 2000, and 5% again in 2001. The drop in output at the Kumtor gold mine sparked a 0.5% decline in GDP in 2002 and again in 2003. On the positive side, the government and the international financial institutions have been engaged in a comprehensive medium-term poverty reduction and economic growth strategy. Further restructuring of domestic industry and success in attracting foreign investment are keys to future growth.
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $13.88 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.3% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $2,900 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 35%
industry: 25%
services: 40% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
55% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 3.2%
highest 10%: 27.7% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
34.6 (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.1% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.7 million (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 55%, industry 15%, services 30% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.2% (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $207.4 million
expenditures: $238.7 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes, sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare earth metals
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13.45 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 7.6%
hydro: 92.4%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.46 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
2.25 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
200 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing
16 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
2.016 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing
2 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$488 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, hydropower; machinery; shoes
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Switzerland 19.9%, Russia 16.5%, UAE 14.2%, China 8.5%, Kazakhstan 7.6%, US 7.4%, Uzbekistan 5.7% (2002)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$587 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
oil and gas, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Kazakhstan 21.1%, Russia 19.9%, Uzbekistan 10.2%, China 10.1%, US 8.1%, Germany 5.3% (2002)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.5 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$50 million from the US (2001)
Definition Field Listing
Kyrgyzstani som (KGS)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
soms per US dollar - 46.94 (2002), 48.38 (2001), 47.7 (2000), 39.01 (1999), 20.84 (1998)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Kyrgyzstan
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
351,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: poorly developed; about 100,000 unsatisfied applications for household telephones
domestic: principally microwave radio relay; one cellular provider, probably limited to Bishkek region
international: connections with other CIS countries by landline or microwave radio relay and with other countries by leased connections with Moscow international gateway switch and by satellite; satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik and 1 Intelsat; connected internationally by the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 12 (plus 10 repeater stations), FM 14, shortwave 2 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
NA (repeater stations throughout the country relay programs from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkey) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
51,600 (2001)
   Transportation    Kyrgyzstan
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 420 km
broad gauge: 420 km 1.520-m gauge (2002)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 18,500 km
paved: 16,854 km (including 140 km of expressways)
unpaved: 1,646 km (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
600 km (1990)
Definition Field Listing
gas 367 km; oil 13 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Balykchy (Ysyk-Kol or Rybach'ye)
Definition Field Listing
68 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 18
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 3 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 50
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 36 (2002)
   Military    Kyrgyzstan
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Air and Air Defense, Security Forces, Border Troops
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,265,019 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,026,063 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 54,445 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$19.2 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.4% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    Kyrgyzstan
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Kyrgyzstan's constitutional court has ruled that 1,270 sq km ceded to China in a 2000 delimitation agreement were legally transferred; delimitation with Kazakhstan is largely complete with only minor disputed areas; disputes in Isfara Valley delay completion of delimitation with Tajikistan; serious disputes with Uzbekistan around Uzbek enclaves mar progress on delimitation efforts
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy for CIS markets; limited government eradication of illicit crops; transit point for Southwest Asian narcotics bound for Russia and the rest of Europe

This page was last updated on 18 December, 2003

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