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Afghanistan Facts

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 AFGHAN POLITICAL
  Afghanistan Facts |  Islamic State of Afghanistan Information | Afghanistan Statistics  
Background: Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 Communist counter-coup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime, but withdrew 10 years later under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-Communist mujahedin rebels. A civil war between mujahedin factions erupted following the 1992 fall of the Communist regime. The Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy, seized Kabul in 1996 and most of the country outside of opposition Northern Alliance strongholds by 1998. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama BIN LADIN. In late 2001, a conference in Bonn, Germany, established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution and a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. On 7 December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan. The National Assembly was inaugurated on 19 December 2005.
 
 
Common Name: Afghanistan Local Official Name: Afghanestan
Abbreviated Name: Islamic State of Afghanistan Official Name: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Afghanestan
Official Script Name: Afghanistan Local Common Name: Afghanistan
Former Name: Republic of Afghanistan Territory of: NA
 
Head of State: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI
 
Government Type: Islamic republic
 
Independence: 1919 August 19 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
 
Constitution: New constitution drafted 14 December 2003-4 January 2004; signed 16 January 2004.
 
National Holiday: Independence Day, 19 August
 
International Organization Participation: AsDB, CP, ECO, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)
 
Administrative Divisions: 34 provinces (velayat, singular - velayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamian, Daykondi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghowr, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabol, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khowst, Konar, Kondoz, Laghman, Lowgar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Nurestan, Oruzgan, Paktia, Paktika, Panjshir, Parvan, Samangan, Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Vardak, Zabol
 
Dependent Areas: NA
 
Legal System: According to the new constitution, no law should be "contrary to Islam"; the state is obliged to create a prosperous and progressive society based on social justice, protection of human dignity, protection of human rights, realization of democracy, and to
 
Suffrage: 18 years
 
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: Executive Branch: Chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); Vice Presidents Ahmad Zia MASOOD and Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; former King ZAHIR Shah holds the honorific, "Father of the Country," and presides symbolically over certain occasions, but lacks any governing authority; the honorific is not hereditary head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); Vice Presidents Ahmad Zia MASOOD and Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government cabinet: 27 ministers; note - under the new constitution, ministers are appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly elections: the president and two vice presidents are elected by direct vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); if no candidate receives 50% or more of the vote in the first round of voting, the two candidates with the most votes will participate in a second round; a president can only be elected for two terms; election last held 9 October 2004 (next to be held in 2009) election results: Hamid KARZAI elected president; percent of vote - Hamid KARZAI 55.4%, Yunus QANOONI 16.3%, Ustad Mohammad MOHAQQEQ 11.6%, Abdul Rashid DOSTAM 10.0%, Abdul Latif PEDRAM 1.4%, Masooda JALAL 1.2%. Legislative Branch: The bicameral National Assembly consists of the Wolesi Jirga or House of People (no more than 249 seats), directly elected for five-year terms, and the Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats, one-third elected from provincial councils for four-year terms, one-third elected from local district councils for three-year terms - provincial councils elected temporary members to fill these seats until district councils are formed, and one-third presidential appointees for five-year terms; the presidential appointees will include 2 representatives of Kuchis and 2 representatives of the disabled; half of the presidential appointees will be women) note: on rare occasions the government may convene a Loya Jirga (Grand Council) on issues of independence, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity; it can amend the provisions of the constitution and prosecute the president; it is made up of members of the National Assembly and chairpersons of the provincial and district councils elections: last held 18 September 2005 (next to be held for the Wolesi Jirga by September 2009; next to be held for the provincial councils to the Meshrano Jirga by September 2008) election results: the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) system used in the election did not make use of political party slates; most candidates ran as independents. Judicial Branches: The constitution establishes a nine-member Stera Mahkama or Supreme Court (its nine justices are appointed for 10-year terms by the president with approval of the Wolesi Jirga) and subordinate High Courts and Appeals Courts (note - nine supreme court justices were appointed in the interim in January 2005 pending National Assembly selection of the constitutionally mandated justices); there is also a minister of justice; a separate Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission established by the Bonn Agreement is charged with investigating human rights abuses and war crimes.
 
Party Leaders: Note - Includes only political parties approved by the Ministry of Justice: Afghan Millat [Anwarul Haq AHADI]; De Afghanistan De Solay Ghorzang Gond [Shahnawaz TANAI]; De Afghanistan De Solay Mili Islami Gond [Shah Mahmood Polal ZAI]; Harakat-e-Islami Afghanistan [Mohammad Asif MOHSINEE]; Hezb-e-Aarman-e-Mardum-e-Afghanistan [Iihaj Saraj-u-din ZAFAREE]; Hezb-e-Aazadee Afghanistan [Abdul MALIK]; Hezb-e-Adalat-e-Islami Afghanistan [Mohammad Kabeer MARZBAN]; Hezb-e-Afghanistan-e-Wahid [Mohammad Wasil RAHEEMEE]; Hezb-e-Afghan Watan Islami Gond; Hezb-e-Congra-e-Mili Afghanistan [Latif PEDRAM]; Hezb-e-Falah-e-Mardum-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad ZAREEF]; Hezb-e-Hambastagee Mili Jawanan-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad Jamil KARZAI]; Hezb-e-Hamnbatagee-e-Afghanistan [Abdul Khaleq NEMAT]; Hezb-e-Harakat-e-Mili Wahdat-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad Nadir AATASH]; Hezb-e-Harak-e-Islami Mardum-e-Afghanistan [Ilhaj Said Hssain ANWARY]; Hezb-e-Ifazat Az Uqoq-e-Bashar Wa Inkishaf-e-Afghanistan [Baryalai NASRATEE]; Hezb-e-Istiqlal-e-Afghanistan [Dr. Gh. Farooq NIJZRABEE]; Hezb-e-Jamhoree Khwahan [Sibghatullah SANJAR]; Hezb-e-Kar Wa Tawsiha-e-Afghanistan [Zulfiar OMID]; Hezb-e-Libral-e-Aazadee Khwa-e-Mardum-e-Afghanistan [Ajmal SOHAIL]; Hezb-e-Mili Afghanistan [Abdul Rasheed AARYAN]; Hezb-e-Mili Wahdat-e-Aqwam-e-Islami Afghanistan [Mohammad Shah KHOGYANEE]; Hezb-e-Nuhzhat-e-Mili Afghanistan [Ahmad Wali MASOUD]; Hezb-e-Paiwand-e-Mili Afghanistan [Said Mansoor NADIRI]; Hezb-e-Rastakhaiz-e-Islami Mardum-e-Afghanistan [Said ZAHIR]; Hezb-e-Refah-e-Mardum-e-Afghanistan [Mia Gul WASEEQ]; Hezb-e-Risalat-e-Mardum-e-Afghanistan [Noor Aqa ROEEN]; Hezb-e-Sahadat-e-Mardum-e-Afghanistan [Mohammad Zubair PAIROZ]; Hezb-e-Sahadat-e-Mili Wa Islami Afghanistan [Mohammad Usman SALIGZADA]; Hezb-e-Sulh-e-Mili Islami Aqwam-e-Afghanistan [Abdul Qahir SHARYATEE]; Hezb-e-Sulh Wa Wahdat-e-Mili Afghanistan [Abdul Qadir IMAMEE]; Hezb-e-Tafahum-e-Wa Democracy Afghanistan [Ahamad SHAHEEN]; Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Afghanistan [Mohammad Karim KHALILI]; Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Mardum-e-Afghanistan [Ustad Mohammad MOHAQQEQ]; Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Mili Afghanistan [Abdul Rasheed JALILI]; Jamahat-ul-Dahwat ilal Qurhan-wa-Sunat-ul-Afghanistan [Mawlawee Samiullah NAJEEBEE]; Jombesh-e Milli [Abdul Rashid DOSTAM]; Mahaz-e-Mili Islami Afghanistan [Said Ahmad GAILANEE]; Majmah-e-Mili Fahaleen-e-Sulh-e-Afghanistan [Shams ul Haq Noor SHAMS]; Nuhzat-e-Aazadee Wa Democracy Afghanistan [Abdul Raqeeb Jawid KUHISTANEE]; Nuhzat-e-Hambastagee Mili Afghanistan [Peer Said Ishaq GAILANEE]; Sazman-e-Islami Afghanistan-e-Jawan [Siad Jawad HUSSAINEE]; Tahreek Wahdat-e-Mili [Sultan Mahmood DHAZI] (30 Sep 2004)
 
International Disputes: Most Afghan refugees in Pakistan have been repatriated, but thousands still remain in Iran, many at their own choosing; Coalition and Pakistani forces continue to patrol remote tribal areas to control the borders and stem organized terrorist and other illegal cross-border activities; regular meetings between Pakistani and Coalition allies aim to resolve periodic claims of boundary encroachments; regional conflicts over water-sharing arrangements with Amu Darya and Helmand River states.
 
Illicit Drugs: World's largest producer of opium; cultivation dropped 48% to 107,400 hectares in 2005; better weather and lack of widespread disease returned opium yields to normal levels, meaning potential opium production declined by only 10% to 4,475 metric tons; if the entire poppy crop were processed, it is estimated that 526 metric tons of heroin could be processed; source of hashish; many narcotics-processing labs throughout the country; drug trade source of instability and some antigovernment groups profit from the trade; 80-90% of the heroin consumed in Europe comes from Afghan opium; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through informal financial networks. 
 
 
 AFGHAN GEOGRAPHY
  Afghanistan Facts |  Islamic State of Afghanistan Information | Afghanistan Statistics  
 
Location of Afghanistan: Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran
 
Continent: Asia Land Area Total: 647,500 sq km 
Region: Central Asia Land Area Land: 647,500 sq km
Capitol City: Kabul Land Area Water: 0 sq km
      
Latitude: 033 00 N Border Boundary Land: 5,529 km
Longitude: 065 00 E Border Boundary Coastline: 0 km 
  
Arable Land: 12.13 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 0.00 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
  
Highest Elevation: 7,485 m Location: Nowshak
Lowest Elevation: 258 m Location: Amu Darya
  
Largest City in Afghanistan: Kabul Kabul Largest City Population: 2,454,000
  
Threatened Species: 28
 
Environmental Issues: Limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification; air and water pollution.
 
Environmental Agreements: Party to: Desertification, 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.
 
Irrigated Land: 27,200
 
Bordering Countries: China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km, Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km
 
Natural Resources: natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones
 
Geographical Terrain: mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest
 
Comparative Area of Afghanistan: slightly smaller than Texas
 
Afghanistan's Geography: Landlocked; The Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country; the highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor)
 

 AFGHAN CLIMATE
  Afghanistan Facts |  Islamic State of Afghanistan Information | Afghanistan Statistics  
 
General Climate: arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
 
Natural Hazards: damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts
 
 
 AFGHAN ECONOMY
  Afghanistan Facts |  Islamic State of Afghanistan Information | Afghanistan Statistics  
 
Economic Overview: Afghanistan's economic outlook has improved significantly since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 because of the infusion of over $8 billion in international assistance, recovery of the agricultural sector and growth of the service sector, and the reestablishment of market institutions. Real GDP growth is estimated to have slowed in the last fiscal year primarily because adverse weather conditions cut agricultural production, but is expected to rebound over 2005-06 because of foreign donor reconstruction and service sector growth. Despite the progress of the past few years, Afghanistan remains extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid, farming, and trade with neighboring countries. It will probably take the remainder of the decade and continuing donor aid and attention to significantly raise Afghanistan's living standards from its current status, among the lowest in the world. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs, but the Afghan government and international donors remain committed to improving access to these basic necessities by prioritizing infrastructure development, education, housing development, jobs programs, and economic reform over the next year. Growing political stability and continued international commitment to Afghan reconstruction create an optimistic outlook for continuing improvements in the Afghan economy in 2006. Expanding poppy cultivation and a growing opium trade may account for one-third of GDP and looms as one of Kabul's most serious policy challenges. Other long-term challenges include: boosting the supply of skilled labor, reducing vulnerability to severe natural disasters, expanding health services, and rebuilding a war torn infrastructure.
 
 
GDP: $21,500,000,000 USD Currency: afghani
GDP per Capita: $800 USD Currency Code: AFA
GDP Growth Rate: 8.00 %
  
Currency Exchange Rate History: afghanis per US dollar - 541 (2005), 48 (2004), 49 (2003), 41 (2002), 66 (2001) Note: in 2002, the afghani was revalued and the currency stabilized at about 50 afghanis to the dollar; before 2002, the market rate varied widely from the official rate
  
  
GDP of Agriculture: 38.00 % GDP of Industry: 24.00 %
GDP of Services: 38.00 %  
   
Inflation Rate: 16.30 % Population in Poverty: 53.00 %
Unemployment Rate: 40.00 % Tourism: 4,000.00 visitors each year
   
Consumption by lowest 10%: 0.00 % Budget Revenue in USD: $269,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 0.00 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $561,000,000 USD
   
Electricity Production: 905,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 0 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 1,042,000,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 200,000,000 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
 
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 36.00% Nuclear Electricity Production: 0.00%
Hydro Electricity Production: 64.00% Other Electricity Production: 0.00%
   
Oil Production: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 50,000,000 cu m
Oil Consumption: 5,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 50,000,000 cu m
Oil Exports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m
Oil Imports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 0 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 0 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 99,960,000,000 cu m
   
External Debt: $8,000,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $8,900,000,000 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $0 USD
   
Agricultural Products: opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins
 
Primary Industries: small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, and cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper
 
Industrial Growth Rate: 0.00 %
  
  
Import Amount in USD: $3,870,000,000 USD - capital goods, food and petroleum products
 
Import Partners: Pakistan 23.7%, US 11.7%, India 7.9%, Germany 6.8%, Turkmenistan 4.9%, Russia 4.7%, Kenya 4.4%, Turkey 4.3%
 
Export Amount in USD: $471,000,000 USD - opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
 
Export Partners: US 26%, Pakistan 21.5%, India 19%, Finland 4.1%
 
    
GINI Index: 0.00%
 
Labor Force Number of People: 15,000,000
 
Labor Force by Occupations: agriculture 80%, industry 10%, services 10%
 
  
 AFGHAN COMMUNICATIONS
  Afghanistan Facts |  Islamic State of Afghanistan Information | Afghanistan Statistics  
 
Radio Broadcast Stations: 44 Number of People with Radios: 167,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 10 Number of People with Televisions: 100,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 100,000 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 600,000
 
Internet Service Providers: 1 Internet Users: 0
 
Internet Country Code: .af Newspapers: 6
Two Letter Country Code: AF Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: 93 Electricity Voltage: Volts
  
Telephone Systems: General assessment: very limited telephone and telegraph service Domestic: telephone service is improving with the licensing of four wireless telephone service providers by 2005; approximately 3 in 10 Afghans own a wireless telephone; telephone main lines remain limited with only 0.1 line per 10 people International: country code - 93; five VSAT's installed in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar, and Jalalabad provide international and domestic voice and data connectivity.
 
  
 AFGHAN TRANSPORTATION
  Afghanistan Facts |  Islamic State of Afghanistan Information | Afghanistan Statistics  

   

Highways: 34,789 km Railways: 24 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 387 km Waterways: 1,200 km
Airports: 11 Heliports: 2
 
Motor Vehicles: 1 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 1,096,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 0.39 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  
Merchant Marines: NA
 
Ports and Harbors: Kheyrabad, Shir Khan
 
  
 AFGHAN PEOPLE
  Afghanistan Facts |  Islamic State of Afghanistan Information | Afghanistan Statistics  
 
Population: 31,056,997 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 46.60 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 37.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 20.34 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 3.43% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 6.69 babies born per woman
 
Population Male 0-14: 7,095,117 Population Female 0-14: 6,763,759
Population Male 15-64: 8,436,716 Population Female 15-64: 8,008,463
Population Male 65+: 366,642 Population Female 65+: 386,300
 
Population 0-14: 44.60% Literacy Rate: 36.00%
Population 15-64: 53.00% Literacy rate of Males: 51.00%
Population 65+: 2.40% Literacy rate of Females: 21.00%
 
Population that is Male: 52.50 % Population that is Female: 47.50%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 46.60 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 160.23 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 43.16 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 43.53 years
 
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 0.01% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 0
Number of people who died of AIDS: 0
   
Disease Risk: High
 
Diseases: Food or waterborne Diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever Vectorborne Disease: malaria is a high risk countrywide below 2,000 meters from March through November Animal contact Disease: rabies
 
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: 0.42
 
Nationality: AFGHAN
 
Ethnic Groups: Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4% 
 
  
Primary Language: Afghan Persian or Dari
 
Other Languages: Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism
 
 
Primary Religion: Sunni Muslim
 
Other Religions: Shi'a Muslim 15%, other 1%
 
  
 AFGHAN MILITARY
  Afghanistan Facts |  Islamic State of Afghanistan Information | Afghanistan Statistics  
  
Branches: Afghan National Army (includes Afghan Air Force)
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 22 years
 
Manpower Available: 9,616,775 People
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 5,171,520 People
 
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 535,297 People per year
 
Expenditures: $122,400,000 USD per year
 
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 1.70
 
 
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
 AFGHAN RESOURCES
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Afghanistan Spa and Resort Directory
 
Afghanistan Home Exchanges and Home Swaps
 
Afghanistan Vacation Rentals And Holiday Villas
 

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