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  The World Factbook.  2008.
 
Kyrgyzstan
 
Flag of Kyrgyzstan                                Map of Kyrgyzstan
 
Background:A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, most of Kyrgyzstan was formally annexed to Russia in 1876. The Kyrgyz staged a major revolt against the Tsarist Empire in 1916 in which almost one-sixth of the Kyrgyz population was killed. Kyrgyzstan became a Soviet republic in 1936 and achieved independence in 1991 when the USSR dissolved. Nationwide demonstrations in the spring of 2005 resulted in the ouster of President Askar AKAYEV, who had run the country since 1990. Subsequent presidential elections in July 2005 were won overwhelmingly by former prime minister Kurmanbek BAKIYEV. The political opposition organized demonstrations in Bishkek in April, May, and November 2006 resulting in the adoption of a new constitution that transferred some of the president's powers to parliament and the government. In December 2006, the Kyrgyz parliament voted to adopt new amendments, restoring some of the presidential powers lost in the November 2006 constitutional change. By late-September 2007, both previous versions of the constitution were declared illegal, and the country reverted to the AKAYEV-era 2003 constitution, which was subsequently modified in a flawed referendum initiated by BAKIYEV. The president then dissolved parliament, called for early elections, and gained control of the new parliament through his newly-created political party, Ak Jol, in December 2007 elections. Current concerns include: privatization of state-owned enterprises, negative trends in democracy and political freedoms, reduction of corruption, improving interethnic relations, and combating terrorism.
  
Geography
  
Location:Central Asia, west of China
Geographic coordinates:41 00 N, 75 00 E
Map references:Asia
Area:total: 198,500 sq km
land: 191,300 sq km
water: 7,200 sq km
Area—comparative:slightly smaller than South Dakota
Land boundaries:total: 3,878 km
border countries: China 858 km, Kazakhstan 1,051 km, Tajikistan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,099 km
Coastline:0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:none (landlocked)
Climate:dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone
Terrain:peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basins encompass entire nation
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Kara-Daryya (Karadar'ya) 132 m
highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m
Natural resources: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:arable land: 6.55%
permanent crops: 0.28%
other: 93.17%
note: Kyrgyzstan has the world's largest natural growth walnut forest (2005)
Irrigated land:10,720 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:46.5 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 10.08 cu km/yr (3%/3%/94%)
per capita: 1,916 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:NA
Environment—current issues: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:party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography—note:landlocked; entirely mountainous, dominated by the Tien Shan range; many tall peaks, glaciers, and high-altitude lakes
  
People
  
Population:5,284,149 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 30.3% (male 817,663/female 785,167)
15-64 years: 63.5% (male 1,645,270/female 1,709,522)
65 years and over: 6.2% (male 127,600/female 198,927) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 23.9 years
male: 23.1 years
female: 24.8 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:1.354% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:23.08 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:7.02 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:-2.52 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.041 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.962 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.641 male(s)/female
total population: 0.962 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 33.38 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 38.51 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 27.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 68.81 years
male: 64.8 years
female: 73.02 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:2.68 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate:less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS:3,900 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS—deaths:less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:noun: Kyrgyzstani(s)
adjective: Kyrgyzstani
Ethnic groups:Kyrgyz 64.9%, Uzbek 13.8%, Russian 12.5%, Dungan 1.1%, Ukrainian 1%, Uygur 1%, other 5.7% (1999 census)
Religions:Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%
Languages:Kyrgyz 64.7% (official), Uzbek 13.6%, Russian 12.5% (official), Dungun 1%, other 8.2% (1999 census)
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.7%
male: 99.3%
female: 98.1% (1999 census)
  
Government
  
Country name:conventional long form: Kyrgyz Republic
conventional short form: Kyrgyzstan
local long form: Kyrgyz Respublikasy
local short form: Kyrgyzstan
former: Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic
Government type:republic
Capital:name: Bishkek
geographic coordinates: 42 52 N, 74 36 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: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)
Independence:31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:Independence Day, 31 August (1991)
Constitution:adopted 5 May 1993; note - amendment proposed by President Askar AKAYEV and passed in a national referendum on 2 February 2003 significantly expanded the powers of the president at the expense of the legislature; during large-scale demonstrations in November 2006, President BAKIYEV and the opposition negotiated a new constitution granting greater powers to the parliament and the government; amendments added on 30 December 2006 redistributed some power back to the president, but both November and December 2006 versions were annulled in September 2007, and a new version was approved by referendum on 21 October 2007; the BAKIYEV-initiated referendum was criticized by Western observers for voting irregularities, particularly ballot stuffing
Legal system:based on French and Russian laws; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:chief of state: President Kurmanbek BAKIYEV (since 14 August 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Igor CHUDINOV (since 24 December 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president; ministers in charge of defense and security, appointed solely by the president
elections: Kurmanbek BAKIYEV elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 10 July 2005 (next scheduled for 2010); prime minister nominated by the parliamentary party holding more than 50% of the seats; if no such party exists, the president selects the party that will nominate a prime minister
election results: Kurmanbek BAKIYEV elected president; percent of vote - Kurmanbek BAKIYEV 88.6%, Tursunbai BAKIR-UULU 3.9%, other candidates 7.5%
Legislative branch:unicameral Supreme Council or Jorgorku Kenesh (90 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 16 December 2007 (next to be held 2012)
election results: Supreme Council - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Ak Jol 71, Social Democratic Party 11, KCP 8
Judicial branch:Supreme Court; Constitutional Court (judges of both the Supreme and Constitutional Courts are appointed for 10-year terms by the Jorgorku Kenesh on the recommendation of the president; their age limit is 70 years); Higher Court of Arbitration; Local Courts (judges appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Council on Legal Affairs for a probationary period of five years, then 10 years)
Political parties and leaders:Ak Jol [Avtandil ARABAYEV, Elmira IBRAIMOVA, Vladimir NIFADYEV, co-chairs]; Ar-Namys (Dignity) Party [Emil ALIYEV]; Asaba (Banner National Revival Party) [Azimbek BEKNAZAROV]; Ata-Meken (Fatherland) [Omurbek TEKEBAYEV]; Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan or DDK [Viktor TCHETRNOMORETS]; Erkindik (Freedom) Party [Topchubek TURGUNALIYEV]; Moya Strana (My Country Party of Action) [Medet SADYRKULOV]; Party of Communists of Kyrgyzstan or KCP [Ishak MASALIYEV]; Party of Justice and Progress [Muratbek IMANALIEV]; Party of Peasants [Esengul ISAKOV]; Republican Party of Labor and Unity [Tabaldy OROZALIYEV]; Sanjira (Tree of Life) [Ednan KARABAYEV]; Social Democratic Party [Almaz ATAMBAYEV]; Union of Democratic Forces [Kubatbek BAIBOLOV]
Political pressure groups and leaders:Adilet Legal Clinic [Cholpon JAKUPOVA]; Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society [Dinara OSHURAKHUNOVA]; Interbilim [Asiya SASYKBAYEVA]
International organization participation:ADB, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Zamira SYDYKOVA
chancery: 2360 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 338-5141
FAX: [1] (202) 386-7550
consulate(s): New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Marie L. YOVANOVITCH
embassy: 171 Prospect Mira, Bishkek 720016
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [996] (312) 551-241, (517) 777-217
FAX: [996] (312) 551-264
Flag description: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
  
Economy—overview:Kyrgyzstan is a 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, natural gas, and electricity. Following independence Kyrgyzstan was progressive in carrying out market reforms, such as an improved regulatory system and land reform. Kyrgyzstan was the first Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) country to be accepted into the World Trade Organization. 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. The economy is heavily weighted toward gold export and a drop in output at the main Kumtor gold mine sparked a 0.5% decline in GDP in 2002 and a 0.6% decline in 2005. GDP grew more than 6% in 2007, partly due to higher gold prices internationally. The government made steady strides in controlling its substantial fiscal deficit, nearly closing the gap between revenues and expenditures in 2006, before boosting expenditures more than 20% in 2007. The government and international financial institutions have been engaged in a comprehensive medium-term poverty reduction and economic growth strategy; in 2005, Bishkek agreed to pursue much-needed tax reform and, in 2006, became eligible for the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative. Progress fighting corruption, further restructuring of domestic industry, and success in attracting foreign investment are keys to future growth.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$10.38 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$3.488 billion (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:6.5% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$2,000 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 31.7%
industry: 19.8%
services: 48.4% (2007 est.)
Labor force:2.7 million (2000)
Labor force—by occupation:agriculture: 55%
industry: 15%
services: 30% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:18% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:40% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 24.3% (2003)
Distribution of family income—Gini index:30.3 (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):6.4% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):17.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $684.4 million
expenditures: $764.1 million (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool
Industries:small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes, sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare earth metals
Industrial production growth rate:5% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:15.15 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—consumption:8.206 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—exports:2.684 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—imports:0 kWh (2005)
Oil—production:1,965 bbl/day (2005)
Oil—consumption:12,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—exports:3,221 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—imports:13,770 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—proved reserves:40 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas—production:28.77 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:709.7 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—exports:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—imports:680.9 million cu m (2005)
Natural gas—proved reserves:5.432 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:$-677.3 million (2007 est.)
Exports:$1.04 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, hydropower; machinery; shoes
Exports—partners:Switzerland 26.1%, Kazakhstan 20.4%, Russia 19.3%, Afghanistan 9.4%, China 4.8% (2006)
Imports:$2.509 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:oil and gas, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports—partners:Russia 38.1%, China 14.4%, Kazakhstan 11.7%, US 5.7% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$1.293 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$2.966 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment—at home:$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment—abroad:$NA
Market value of publicly traded shares:$41.99 million (2005)
Economic aid—recipient:$268.5 million from the US (2005)
Currency (code):som (KGS)
Exchange rates:soms per US dollar - 37.746 (2007), 40.149 (2006), 41.012 (2005), 42.65 (2004), 43.648 (2003)
Fiscal year:calendar year
  
Communications
  
Telephones—main lines in use:440,400 (2005)
Telephones—mobile cellular:541,700 (2005)
Telephone system:general assessment: telecommunications infrastructure is growing; fixed line penetration remains low and concentrated in urban areas
domestic: 4 mobile cellular service providers with growing coverage
international: country code - 996; 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, 1 Intelsat; connected internationally by the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line (2006)
Radio broadcast stations:AM 3 (plus 10 repeater stations), FM 20, shortwave NA (2006)
Television broadcast stations:7 (1 countrywide and 6 regional stations) (2006)
Internet country code:.kg
Internet hosts:80,990 (2007)
Internet users:298,100 (2006)
  
Transportation
  
Airports:30 (2007)
Airports—with paved runways:total: 18
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
under 914 m: 3 (2007)
Airports—with unpaved runways:total: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 10 (2007)
Pipelines:gas 254 km; oil 16 km (2007)
Railways:total: 470 km
broad gauge: 470 km 1.520-m gauge (2006)
Roadways:total: 18,500 km
paved: 16,854 km
unpaved: 1,646 km (1999)
Waterways:600 km (2007)
Ports and terminals:Balykchy (Ysyk-Kol or Rybach'ye)
  
Military
  
Military branches:Army, Air Force, National Guard (2005)
Military service age and obligation:18 years of age for compulsory military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:males age 18-49: 1,193,529
females age 18-49: 1,219,080 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:males age 18-49: 871,493
females age 18-49: 1,024,568 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:males age 18-49: 61,091
females age 18-49: 59,784 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures—percent of GDP:1.4% (2005 est.)
  
Transnational Issues
  
Disputes—international:Kyrgyzstan has yet to ratify the 2001 boundary delimitation with Kazakhstan; disputes in Isfara Valley delay completion of delimitation with Tajikistan; delimitation of 130 km of border with Uzbekistan is hampered by serious disputes around enclaves and other areas
Illicit drugs: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; major consumer of opiates

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