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Uzbekistan - Country facts

Map

Small map of Uzbekistan
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Flag

Country flag: Uzbekistan

Capital

Tashkent (Toshkent)

Currency

Uzbekistani sum (UZS)

Internet Code

.uz

Location

Central Asia, north of Afghanistan

Background

Russia conquered Uzbekistan in the late 19th century. Stiff resistance to the Red Army after World War I was eventually suppressed and a socialist republic set up 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 poisoned and the Aral Sea and certain rivers half dry. Independent since 1991, the country seeks to gradually lessen its dependence on agriculture while developing its mineral and petroleum reserves. Current concerns include terrorism by Islamic militants, economic stagnation, and the curtailment of human rights and democratization.

Climate

mostly midlatitude 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

Population

26,851,195 (July 2005 est.)

Ethnic Groups

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

Religions

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

Languages

Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%

Map of Uzbekistan

Large map of Uzbekistan
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