Afghanistan - population
The population is estimated at 32.4 million. (2015). In the period 1978-2001,
5-6 million fled, mainly to neighboring Iran and Pakistan; more than 30% of the
population became either external or internal refugees, and more than 1
million killed. Since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, more than 5
million external refugees and more than 600,000 internal refugees returned home,
but in 2013 there were still more than 2 million. Afghan refugees abroad.
Do you know how many people there are in Afghanistan? Check this site to see
population pyramid and resident density about this country.
Child mortality is 12%. The number of women dying in connection with
childbirth was previously among the highest in the world, but has fallen sharply
in recent years and in 2013 was 400 women for 100,000 births. Before the war,
population growth was 2.4% per capita. years, less than in most other developing
countries. In 1960, the birth rate was 7.7, and in 2015 it is estimated to be
5.3 with an estimated population growth of 2.8%. Family planning was introduced
in the 1970's, but had a fairly limited prevalence. Today, the prevalence of
contraception is estimated at 2-9%, which is much lower than in neighboring
countries, and about 20% of the population is under school age (7-12 years).
More than 3/4 of the population lives in the
countryside but the cities are growing strongly, particularly Kabul, which has
experienced explosive growth in population since the 1970's.
The population is divided into ethnic groups and tribal awareness is
strong. The Pashtuns (pathans) make up approximately 13 mio. and dominates
political life. The Tajiks of about 9 million. is the second largest group. In
addition, there are the Hazaras (about 3 million) and smaller peoples such as
Baluchs, Turkmens, Uzbeks and Kyrgyz.
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Afghanistan - community life
There is a big difference in the conditions of the urban and rural
population; they are best in the capital Kabul. Of the rural supply of health
clinics and schools, 80% was destroyed during the period 1978-2001. The
country's health system in 2005 covers about 60% of the population, and 95% of
children are vaccinated against polio and measles. Half of all hospitals and
more than half of doctors and midwives are located in Kabul.
About 36% of all adults can read and write (21% of adult women), but after
2001 the number of school-going children rose sharply (to 5 million in 2005), a
third of whom are girls. Over 50% of compulsory school children now go to
school, but the differences between country and city, and between different
regions of the country, remain significant.
The role of women in Afghan society has traditionally been withdrawn, and
under Taliban rule they were denied access to schooling, work outside the home,
and any participation in public life.
In terms of health, education and participation in the labor force and
health, women are particularly disadvantaged. Almost 36% of women are estimated
to participate in the labor force, but more than half of them are economically
active in agriculture or in home industry.
Since 2001, the Afghan government's policy has been to create gender
equality, especially in health and education, and quotas guarantee women at
least 25% of the seats in the National Assembly and the 34 provincial councils.
Afghanistan - business
About 80% of the population lives in rural areas and agriculture employs 67%
of the labor force and contributes 53% of GDP. About 45% of the land is suitable
for grazing, and animal husbandry, especially sheep breeding, is an important
livelihood. Before the war years, a few million lived. of the population as a
nomadic or semi nomadic but the war years hindered access to grazing areas and
during drought 1999-2001 animal population was reduced to 1/3of
the 1995 level. About 12% of the area can be cultivated with irrigation and
fertilization; of which just over half are under plow. The farm is characterized
by small family farms (5-6 ha), and the cultivation methods are simple; oxen are
used as draft animals, but agricultural machinery is gaining ground. Annual
precipitation is low in most places (300-400 mm) and falls mainly in winter and
spring, but varies according to the nature of the terrain (above 1000 mm in the
Hindu Kush and below 100 mm at the border with Iran). The summers are very hot
and dry, and approximately 70% of the cultivated area is irrigated from canal systems
in connection with the rivers. Other areas are irrigated with groundwater, which
is carried along underground canals, karezer.Large country estates
(100-200 ha) are found to a limited extent, north around Mazar-i Sharif and
south at Kandahar. Since the 1980's, opium has become the main crop; even though
it is only cultivated on 7% of the irrigated area, it employs up to 4
million. people, of which 35% of all farmers. Wheat, maize, barley and rice are
important crops, and regionally cotton, sugar beet, vegetables, fruit and nuts
are also important. Before 1978, agricultural products, especially dried fruit
and nuts, accounted for 41% of exports. Both agriculture and cattle farming
suffered greatly during the war years, with a further decline in the drought
years 1999-2001. Since 2002, agricultural production has risen sharply.
The country has large reserves of copper, lead, iron, coal as well as natural
gas and oil, but only gas production is important, and gas exports (to the USSR)
dominated exports before and during the war. The industry is poorly developed
and employs only a few thousand. The few major industries are located around
Kabul and Kunduz. Fruit, furs and leather goods, textiles for export and
fertilizers for the domestic market are processed. A significant home industry,
especially among the ethnic minorities (Turkmens, Uzbeks, Baluchs and Hazaras),
produces hand-knotted rugs, kilim and other handicrafts. It mainly employs women
and contributes approximately 10% of exports. The public sector is limited to the
larger cities and makes up only a fraction of the service sector; this is
dominated by private retail in bazaars.
Afghanistan - economy
Following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, the international community
has contributed to the reconstruction of Afghanistan, and the Afghan economy
grew by almost 50% in 2002-04. However, GDP is a misleading expression of the
country's economy, as both the informal sector (small-scale non-registered
production and trade) and the illegal (especially drugs) make up 80-90% of the
economy. Afghanistan is estimated in 2005 to export opium worth 2.5
billion. dollar, which is 1/3 of GDP and about 87% of
the world market for opium.
The income distribution is very skewed. A large part of the population has
lost its livelihood during the war, and both in urban and rural areas, about 50%
are poor and 20% live in extreme poverty.
Afghanistan - infrastructure
In Afghanistan there are no railways, but the country is roughly equipped
with highways, which were built with American, Soviet and German aid in the
1960's-70's. In 1964, the Salang Tunnel opened in Hindu Kush; it is built at an
altitude of 3360 m and shortens important transport distances in the north by
over 200 km. Electricity supply and telecommunications are poorly developed and
concentrated in the largest cities, with only 13% of the population having
access to clean drinking water, 15% for sanitation and only 6% for
electricity. In the years of conflict 1978-2001, most of the country's
infrastructure was destroyed through a combination of acts of war and lack of
maintenance. There are few airports and only two are
international: Kabul and Kandahar. Since 2002, mobile phones have become very
Afghanistan - nature
Afghanistan is a mountain country with large elevation differences, violent
mountain ranges, glaciers and isolated valleys, plains and deserts. Almost half
of the area is above 1800 masl The dominant mountain range is Hindu Kush, which
is a tributary of the Himalayas. It spreads fan-shaped towards the SW and
passes into the Hazarajat Mountains in the central part of the country.
The mountains are drained by four rivers: Helmand to the southwest, Hari Rud
to the west, Kunduz (tributary of the Amu Darja) to the north and Kabul to the
east (tributary of the Indus). Amu Darja and Darja Panj form the northern
border with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The valleys and plains of the south-east
and north constitute the most important agricultural areas.
Afghanistan has a mainland climate with very large seasonal and daily
temperature fluctuations (differences of 30-70 °C). The summers are hot and dry
and to the west often windy, while the winters are harsh and snowy; Kabul is
covered with snow 3-4 months a year.
The potential hydropower resources are relatively large, but exploitation has
only just begun. The rivers Kunduz-Amu Darja are navigable and are used for
transporting goods north.
Afghanistan - language
The official languages of Afghanistan are Pashto (or Pakhto) and Persian,
which in Afghanistan is called Dari. Pashto became the official language in
1936 and is spoken by approximately 6 mio. in the southern variant and of approximately 1.7
million in the northern variant (2008). Dari is spoken by approximately 7.6
million native speakers (2011), but the language and its various dialects,
which are spoken in Kabul, is also used among other language groups in
Afghanistan. Furthermore, Baluchi, Uzbek, Turkmen, Pasai, Nuristani and
others are spoken.