Afghanistan

Facts & Figures

Map of Afghanistan
  • President: Ashraf Ghani (2014)

    Chief Executive: Abdullah Abdullah (2014)

    Total area: 250,000 sq mi (647,500 sq km)

    Population (2014 est.): 31,822,848 (growth rate: 2.3%); birth rate: 38.8/1000; infant mortality rate: 117.23/1000; life expectancy: 50.49; density per sq mi: 123.7

    Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Kabul, 3,097,300

    Other large cities: Kandahar, 349,300; Mazar-i-Sharif, 246,900; Charikar, 202,600; Herat, 171,500

    Monetary unit: Afghani

    National name: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Afghanestan

    Current government officials

    Languages: Dari Persian, Pashtu (both official), other Turkic and minor languages

    Ethnicity/race: Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%

    Religion: Sunni Muslim 80%, Shia Muslim 19%, other 1%

    National Holiday: Independence Day, August 19

    Literacy rate: 28.1% (2000 est.)

    Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $45.3 billion; per capita $1,100. Real growth rate: 3.1% (2013 est.). Inflation: 6.8% (2013 est.). Unemployment: 35% (2008 est.). Arable land: 11.95%. Agriculture: opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins. Labor force: 15 million; agriculture 80%, industry 10%, services 10%. Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones. Industries: small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper. Exports: $376 million; note - not including illicit exports or reexports (2012): opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semiprecious gems. Imports: $6.39 billion (2012): capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products. Major trading partners: Pakistan, India, U.S., Germany, Russia, China, Tajikistan.

    Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 13,500 (2012); mobile cellular: 18 million (2012). Radio broadcast stations: AM 21, FM 5, shortwave 1 (broadcasts in Pashtu, Afghan Persian (Dari), Urdu, and English) (2007). Television broadcast stations: at least 7 (1 government-run central television station in Kabul and regional stations in 6 of the 34 provinces) (2007). Internet users: 1,000,000 (2012).

    Transportation: Highways: total: 42,150 km; (2012). Waterways: 1,200 km; chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to about 500 DWT. Ports and harbors: Kheyrabad, Shir Khan. Airports: 52 (2012).

    International disputes: World's largest producer of opium; poppy cultivation increased 57%, from 115,000 hectares in 2011 to 180,000 hectares in 2012. The Taliban and other antigovernment groups participate in and profit from the opiate trade, which is a key source of revenue for the Taliban inside Afghanistan; widespread corruption and instability impede counterdrug efforts; most of the heroin consumed in Europe and Eurasia is derived from Afghan opium; Afghanistan is also struggling to respond to a burgeoning domestic opiate addiction problem; vulnerable to drug money laundering through informal financial networks; regional source of hashish (2013).

    Major sources and definitions

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