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AFGHANISTAN
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Map of Afghanistan
 

Geography

Location: Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran

Geographic coordinates: 33 00 N, 65 00 E

Map references: Asia

Area:
total: 647,500 sq km
land: 647,500 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries:
total: 5,529 km
border countries: 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

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

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

Land use:
arable land: 12%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 46%
forests and woodland: 3%
other: 39% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 30,000 sq km (1993 est.)

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

Environment—current issues: soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification

Environment—international 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

Geography—note: landlocked

 
People

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Population: 24,792,375 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43% (male 5,425,510; female 5,216,954)
15-64 years: 54% (male 6,978,549; female 6,494,253)
65 years and over: 3% (male 357,780; female 319,329) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 4.21% (1998 est.)
note: this rate reflects the continued return of refugees

Birth rate: 42.37 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 17.4 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 17.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.12 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 143.63 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 46.83 years
male: 47.35 years
female: 46.29 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.01 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan

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

Religions: Sunni Muslim 84%, Shi'a Muslim 15%, other 1%

Languages: Pashtu 35%, Afghan Persian (Dari) 50%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 31.5%
male: 47.2%
female: 15% (1995 est.)

 

 

 
Transportation

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Railways:
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

Highways:
total: 21,000 km
paved: 2,793 km
unpaved: 18,207 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 1,200 km; chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to about 500 DWT

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

Ports and harbors: Kheyrabad, Shir Khan

Airports: 44 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 11
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
under 914 m: 2 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 33
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 10 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 3 (1997 est.)

  


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