Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the Aral Sea was the world's fourth-largest lake. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union began a massive irrigation project in what are now Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, diverting water from the rivers that feed the Aral Sea to irrigate farmland. As its water levels dropped, the lake began splitting into smaller pieces: the Northern (Small) Aral Sea and the Southern (Large) Aral Sea. The Southern Aral Sea further split into eastern and western lobes. In August 2009 when this photo was taken, the Northern Aral Sea (upper right) still appeared healthy, the Southern Aral Sea consisted of two isolated water bodies: an irregular oval shape directly southwest of the Northern Aral Sea, and the long, thin remainder of the Southern Aral Sea's far western lobe. Much of what finally doomed the Southern Aral Sea was an attempt to save its neighbor to the north. In 2005, Kazakhstan built the Kok-Aral Dam between the lake's northern and southern portions to preserve water levels in the north. The Northern Aral Sea actually exceeded expectations with the speed of its recovery, but the dam ended prospects for a recovery of the Southern Aral Sea, which some authorities already regarded as beyond help. Lake sediments from this depleted water body have provided ample material for frequent dust storms. Image courtesy of NASA.
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Uzbekistan is the geographic and population center of Central Asia. The country has a diverse economy and a relatively young population. Russia conquered and united the disparate territories of present-day Uzbekistan in the late 19th century. Stiff resistance to the Red Army after the Bolshevik Revolution was eventually suppressed and a socialist republic established in 1924. During the Soviet era, intensive production of "white gold" (cotton) and grain led to the overuse of agrochemicals and the depletion of water supplies, leaving the land degraded and the Aral Sea and certain rivers half-dry. Independent since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the country has diversified agricultural production while developing its mineral and petroleum export capacity and increasing its manufacturing base, although cotton remains a major part of its economy. Uzbekistan’s first president, Islom KARIMOV, led Uzbekistan for 25 years until his death in September 2016. His successor, former Prime Minister Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV, has improved relations with Uzbekistan’s neighbors and introduced wide-ranging economic, judicial, and social reforms. MIRZIYOYEV was reelected in October 2021 with 80% of the vote.

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Central Asia, north of Turkmenistan, south of Kazakhstan

Geographic coordinates

41 00 N, 64 00 E


total: 447,400 sq km

land: 425,400 sq km

water: 22,000 sq km

country comparison to the world: 59

Area - comparative

about four times the size of Virginia; slightly larger than California

<p>about four times the size of Virginia; slightly larger than California</p>

Land boundaries

total: 6,893 km

border countries (5): Afghanistan 144 km, Kazakhstan 2330 km, Kyrgyzstan 1314 km, Tajikistan 1312 km, Turkmenistan 1793 km


0 km (doubly landlocked); note - Uzbekistan includes the southern portion of the Aral Sea with a 420 km shoreline

Maritime claims

none (doubly landlocked)


mostly mid-latitude desert, long, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid grassland in east


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 west


highest point: Adelunga Toghi 4,301 m

lowest point: Sariqamish Kuli -12 m

Natural resources

natural gas, petroleum, coal, gold, uranium, silver, copper, lead and zinc, tungsten, molybdenum

Land use

agricultural land: 62.6% (2018 est.)

arable land: 10.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.8% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 51.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 7.7% (2018 est.)

other: 29.7% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

42,150 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Aral Sea (shared with Kazakhstan) - largely dried up

Major rivers (by length in km)

Syr Darya (shared with Kyrgyzstan [s], Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan [m]) - 3,078 km; Amu Darya river mouth (shared with Tajikistan [s], Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan) - 2,620 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: (Aral Sea basin) Amu Darya (534,739 sq km), Syr Darya (782,617 sq km)

Population distribution

most of the population is concentrated in the fertile Fergana Valley in the easternmost arm of the country; the south has significant clusters of people, while the central and western deserts are sparsely populated

Natural hazards

earthquakes; floods; landslides or mudslides; avalanches; droughts

Geography - note

along with Liechtenstein, one of the only two doubly landlocked countries in the world

People and Society


noun: Uzbekistani

adjective: Uzbekistani

Ethnic groups

Uzbek 83.8%, Tajik 4.8%, Kazakh 2.5%, Russian 2.3%, Karakalpak 2.2%, Tatar 1.5%, other 4.4% (2017 est.)


Uzbek (official) 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%

major-language sample(s):
Jahon faktlari kitobi, asosiy ma'lumotlar uchun zaruriy manba. (Uzbek)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

note: in the autonomous Karakalpakstan Republic, both the Karakalpak language and Uzbek have official status


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

Age structure

0-14 years: 23.19% (male 3,631,693/female 3,456,750)

15-24 years: 16.63% (male 2,601,803/female 2,481,826)

25-54 years: 45.68% (male 6,955,260/female 7,006,172)

55-64 years: 8.63% (male 1,245,035/female 1,392,263)

65 years and over: 5.87% (male 768,769/female 1,025,840) (2020 est.)

This is the population pyramid for Uzbekistan. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 50.6

youth dependency ratio: 43.4

elderly dependency ratio: 7.2

potential support ratio: 13.9 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 30.1 years

male: 29.4 years

female: 30.7 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 123

Birth rate

15.85 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 109

Death rate

5.4 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 184

Net migration rate

-1.86 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 168

Population distribution

most of the population is concentrated in the fertile Fergana Valley in the easternmost arm of the country; the south has significant clusters of people, while the central and western deserts are sparsely populated


urban population: 50.4% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.25% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

2.545 million TASHKENT (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

23.7 years (2019 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

29 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 114

Infant mortality rate

total: 19.42 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 23.13 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 15.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 90

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 75.03 years

male: 71.98 years

female: 78.25 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 128

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 96.1% of population

total: 97.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 3.9% of population

total: 2.2% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

2.37 physicians/1,000 population (2014)

Hospital bed density

4 beds/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

<1,000 (2020 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 100%

male: 100%

female: 100% (2019)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 13 years

female: 12 years (2019)


Environment - current issues

shrinkage of the Aral Sea has resulted in growing concentrations of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then blown from the increasingly exposed lake bed and contribute to desertification and respiratory health problems; water pollution from industrial wastes and the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides is the cause of many human health disorders; increasing soil salination; soil contamination from buried nuclear processing and agricultural chemicals, including DDT

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 25.29 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 91.81 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 96.16 megatons (2020 est.)


mostly mid-latitude desert, long, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid grassland in east

Land use

agricultural land: 62.6% (2018 est.)

arable land: 10.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.8% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 51.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 7.7% (2018 est.)

other: 29.7% (2018 est.)


urban population: 50.4% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.25% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0.06% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 4 million tons (2016 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Aral Sea (shared with Kazakhstan) - largely dried up

Major rivers (by length in km)

Syr Darya (shared with Kyrgyzstan [s], Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan [m]) - 3,078 km; Amu Darya river mouth (shared with Tajikistan [s], Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan) - 2,620 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: (Aral Sea basin) Amu Darya (534,739 sq km), Syr Darya (782,617 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 2.41 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 2.13 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 54.36 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

48.87 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Uzbekistan

conventional short form: Uzbekistan

local long form: O'zbekiston Respublikasi

local short form: O'zbekiston

former: Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic

etymology: a combination of the Turkic words "uz" (self) and "bek" (master) with the Persian suffix "-stan" (country) to give the meaning "Land of the Free"

Government type

presidential republic; highly authoritarian


name: Tashkent (Toshkent)

geographic coordinates: 41 19 N, 69 15 E

time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: "tash" means "stone" and "kent" means "city" in Turkic languages, so the name simply denotes "stone city"

Administrative divisions

12 provinces (viloyatlar, singular - viloyat), 1 autonomous republic* (avtonom respublikasi), and 1 city** (shahar); Andijon Viloyati, Buxoro Viloyati [Bukhara Province], Farg'ona Viloyati [Fergana Province], Jizzax Viloyati, Namangan Viloyati, Navoiy Viloyati, Qashqadaryo Viloyati (Qarshi), Qoraqalpog'iston Respublikasi [Karakalpakstan Republic]* (Nukus), Samarqand Viloyati [Samarkand Province], Sirdaryo Viloyati (Guliston), Surxondaryo Viloyati (Termiz), Toshkent Shahri [Tashkent City]**, Toshkent Viloyati [Tashkent Province], Xorazm Viloyati (Urganch)

note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)


1 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday

Independence Day, 1 September (1991)


history: several previous; latest adopted 8 December 1992

amendments: proposed by the Supreme Assembly or by referendum; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of both houses of the Assembly or passage in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2017

Legal system

civil law system; note - in early 2020, the president signed an amendment to the criminal code, criminal procedure code, and code of administrative responsibility

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Uzbekistan

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV (interim president from 8 September 2016; formally elected president on 4 December 2016 to succeed longtime President Islom KARIMOV, who died on 2 September 2016; reelected president on 24 October 2021)

head of government: Prime Minister Abdulla ARIPOV (since 14 December 2016)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president with most requiring approval of the Senate chamber of the Supreme Assembly (Oliy Majlis)

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term; previously a 5-year term, extended by a 2002 constitutional amendment to 7 years, and reverted to 5 years in 2011); election last held on 24 October 2021 (next to be held in 2026); prime minister nominated by majority party in legislature since 2011, but appointed along with the ministers and deputy ministers by the president

election results:
: Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV reelected president in first round; percent of vote - Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV (LDPU) 80.1%, Maqsuda VORISOVA (PDP) 6.7%, Alisher QODIROV (National Revival Democratic Party) 5.5%, Narzullo OBLOMURODOV (Ecological Party) 4.1%, Bahrom ABDUHALIMOV (Adolat) 3.4%

2016: Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV elected president in first round; percent of vote - Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV (LDPU) 88.6%, Hotamjon KETMONOV (PDP) 3.7%, Narimon UMAROV (Adolat) 3.5%, Sarvar OTAMURODOV (National Revival Democratic Party) 2.4%, other 1.8%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Supreme Assembly or Oliy Majlis consists of:
Senate or Senat (100 seats; 84 members indirectly elected by regional governing councils and 16 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)
Legislative Chamber or Qonunchilik Palatasi (150 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote with a second round if needed; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 16-17 January 2020 (next to be held in 2025)
Legislative Chamber - last held on 22 December 2019 and 5 January 2020 (next to be held in December 2024)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 77, women 23, percent of women 23%
Legislative Chamber - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDPU 53, National Revival Democratic Party 36, Adolat 24, PDP 22, Ecological Movement 15; composition - men 83, women, 17, percent of women 17%

note: all parties in the Supreme Assembly support President Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of 67 judges organized into administrative, civil, criminal, and economic sections); Constitutional Court (consists of 7 judges)

judge selection and term of office: judges of the highest courts nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate of the Oliy Majlis; judges appointed for initial 5-year term and can be reappointed for subsequent 10-year and lifetime terms

subordinate courts: regional, district, city, and town courts

Political parties and leaders

Ecological Party of Uzbekistan (O'zbekiston Ekologik Partivasi) [Narzullo OBLOMURODOV]
Justice (Adolat) Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan [Bahrom ABDUHALIMOV]
Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (O'zbekiston Liberal-Demokratik Partiyasi) or LDPU [Aktam HAITOV]
National Revival Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (O'zbekiston Milliy Tiklanish Demokratik Partiyasi) [Alisher QODIROV]
People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (Xalq Demokratik Partiyas) or PDP [Ulugbek Ilyosovich INOYATOV] (formerly Communist Party)

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Javlon VAHOBOV (since 29 November 2017)

chancery: 1746 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 887-5300

FAX: [1] (202) 293-6804

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel ROSENBLUM (since 24 May 2019)

embassy: 3 Moyqorghon, 5th Block, Yunusobod District, 100093 Tashkent

mailing address: 7110 Tashkent Place, Washington DC  20521-7110

telephone: [998] 78-120-5450

FAX: [998] 78-120-6335

email address and website:

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and green separated by red fimbriations with a vertical, white crescent moon (closed side to the hoist) and 12 white, five-pointed stars shifted to the hoist on the top band; blue is the color of the Turkic peoples and of the sky, white signifies peace and the striving for purity in thoughts and deeds, while green represents nature and is the color of Islam; the red stripes are the vital force of all living organisms that links good and pure ideas with the eternal sky and with deeds on earth; the crescent represents Islam and the 12 stars the months and constellations of the Uzbek calendar

National symbol(s)

khumo (mythical bird); national colors: blue, white, red, green

National anthem

name: "O'zbekiston Respublikasining Davlat Madhiyasi" (National Anthem of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

lyrics/music: Abdulla ARIPOV/Mutal BURHANOV

note: adopted 1992; after the fall of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan kept the music of the anthem from its time as a Soviet Republic but adopted new lyrics


Economic overview

Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in which 51% of the population lives in urban settlements; the agriculture-rich Fergana Valley, in which Uzbekistan’s eastern borders are situated, has been counted among the most densely populated parts of Central Asia. Since its independence in September 1991, the government has largely maintained its Soviet-style command economy with subsidies and tight controls on production, prices, and access to foreign currency. Despite ongoing efforts to diversify crops, Uzbek agriculture remains largely centered on cotton; Uzbekistan is the world's fifth-largest cotton exporter and seventh-largest producer. Uzbekistan's growth has been driven primarily by state-led investments, and export of natural gas, gold, and cotton provides a significant share of foreign exchange earnings.

Recently, lower global commodity prices and economic slowdowns in neighboring Russia and China have hurt Uzbekistan's trade and investment and worsened its foreign currency shortage. Aware of the need to improve the investment climate, the government is taking incremental steps to reform the business sector and address impediments to foreign investment in the country. Since the death of first President Islam KARIMOV and election of President Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV, emphasis on such initiatives and government efforts to improve the private sector have increased. In the past, Uzbek authorities accused US and other foreign companies operating in Uzbekistan of violating Uzbek laws and have frozen and seized their assets.

As a part of its economic reform efforts, the Uzbek Government is looking to expand opportunities for small and medium enterprises and prioritizes increasing foreign direct investment. In September 2017, the government devalued the official currency rate by almost 50% and announced the loosening of currency restrictions to eliminate the currency black market, increase access to hard currency, and boost investment.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$239.42 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$235.54 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$222.63 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 63

Real GDP growth rate

5.3% (2017 est.)

7.8% (2016 est.)

7.9% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 41

Real GDP per capita

$7,000 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$7,000 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$6,800 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 156

GDP (official exchange rate)

$57.789 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

12.5% (2017 est.)

8% (2016 est.)

note: official data; based on independent analysis of consumer prices, inflation reached 22% in 2012

country comparison to the world: 213

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB- (2018)

Moody's rating: B1 (2019)

Standard & Poors rating: BB- (2018)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 17.9% (2017 est.)

industry: 33.7% (2017 est.)

services: 48.5% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 59.5% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 16.3% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 25.3% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 3% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 19% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -20% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, wheat, potatoes, carrots/turnips, cotton, tomatoes, vegetables, grapes, onions, watermelons


textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, mining, hydrocarbon extraction, chemicals

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 25.9%

industry: 13.2%

services: 60.9% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate

5% (2017 est.)

5.1% (2016 est.)

note: official data; another 20% are underemployed

country comparison to the world: 80

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 29.6% (2003)


revenues: 15.22 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 15.08 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

24.3% of GDP (2017 est.)

10.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 178

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$1.713 billion (2017 est.)

$384 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 43


$14.52 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2020 est.)

$16.99 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)

$14.14 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 92

Exports - partners

Switzerland 19%, United Kingdom 17%, Russia 15%, China 14%, Kazakhstan 9%, Turkey 8%, Kyrgyzstan 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, natural gas, cotton fibers, copper, ethylene polymers (2019)


$22.56 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2020 est.)

$26.55 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)

$23.44 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 78

Imports - partners

China 23%, Russia 18%, South Korea 11%, Kazakhstan 9%, Turkey 6%, Germany 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars and vehicle parts, packaged medicines, refined petroleum, aircraft, construction vehicles (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$16 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$14 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 65

Debt - external

$16.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$16.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 101

Exchange rates

Uzbekistani soum (UZS) per US dollar -

3,906.1 (2017 est.)

2,966.6 (2016 est.)

2,966.6 (2015 est.)

2,569.6 (2014 est.)

2,311.4 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 3,550,069 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 10.61 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 38

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 33.387 million (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 99.75 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: land-locked, authoritarian state with government grip on ICT technology and no integrated plan; government plans to develop infrastructure to improve geographical disparities in service; increased investment in infrastructure, with aims of expanding subscriber base and rising revenue; some villages have no connectivity, and 70% have 2G with development of 3G and 4G; free WiFi spots across country to boost tourism; Russian operator invested in joint venture on mobile services; government in discussion with Huawei on additional ventures; digital exchanges in large cities and some rural areas; fixed-line is underdeveloped due to preeminence of mobile market; introduction of prepaid Internet has contributed to home Internet usage; consumers largely reliant on terrestrial links and VSAT networks; media controlled by state; importer of broadcasting equipment from China (2020)

domestic: fixed-line 11 per 100 person and mobile-cellular 101 per 100; the state-owned telecommunications company, Uzbek Telecom, owner of the fixed-line telecommunications system, has used loans from the Japanese government and the China Development Bank to upgrade fixed-line services including conversion to digital exchanges; mobile-cellular services are provided by 2 private and 3 state-owned operators with a total subscriber base of 22.8 million as of January 2018 (2019)

international: country code - 998; linked by fiber-optic cable or microwave radio relay with CIS member states and to other countries by leased connection via the Moscow international gateway switch; the country also has a link to the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic cable; Uzbekistan has supported the national fiber-optic backbone project of Afghanistan since 2008

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

the government controls media; 17 state-owned broadcasters - 13 TV and 4 radio - provide service to virtually the entire country; about 20 privately owned TV stations, overseen by local officials, broadcast to local markets; privately owned TV stations are required to lease transmitters from the government-owned Republic TV and Radio Industry Corporation; in 2019, the Uzbek Agency for Press and Information was reorganized into the Agency of Information and Mass Communications and became part of the Uzbek Presidential Administration with recent appointment of the Uzbek President's elder daughter as it deputy director (2019)

Internet users

total: 18.6 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 52.31% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 43

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 4,820,009 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 14.4 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 34

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 3,056,558 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 89.43 million mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 33

over 3,047 m: 6

2,438 to 3,047 m: 13

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 4 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 20

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

under 914 m: 18 (2013)


13,700 km gas, 944 km oil (2016)


total: 4,642 km (2018)

broad gauge: 4,642 km 1.520-m gauge (1,684 km electrified) (2018)

country comparison to the world: 42


total: 86,496 km (2000)

paved: 75,511 km (2000)

unpaved: 10,985 km (2000)

country comparison to the world: 58

Ports and terminals

river port(s): Termiz (Amu Darya)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Armed Forces of Uzbekistan: Army, Air and Air Defense Forces; National Guard; Ministry of Interior: Internal Security Troops, Border Guards, Security Service (2021)

note - the National Guard, also under the Ministry of Defense, ensures public order and security of diplomatic missions, radio and television broadcasting, and other state entities

Military expenditures

1.2% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.2% of GDP (2019 est.)

4% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 115

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 50-60,000 total active troops (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Uzbek Armed Forces use mainly Soviet-era equipment, although since 2010 they have received weapons and aircraft from a variety of sources, including China, France, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the US (2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 years of age for compulsory military service; 1-year conscript service obligation for males (conscripts have the option of paying for a shorter service of one month while remaining in the reserves until the age of 27); Uzbek citizens who have completed their service terms in the armed forces have privileges in employment and admission to higher educational institutions (2021)

Military - note

the Uzbek armed forces were established in January 1992, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, when the newly-established Ministry for Defense Affairs assumed jurisdiction over all former Soviet ground, air, and air defense units, formations, and installations then deployed on its soil; the building hosting the headquarters for the ex-Soviet Turkestan Military District became the headquarters for the Uzbek armed forces; all former Soviet troops departed Uzbekistan by 1995; as of 2021, Uzbekistan continued to maintain bilateral defense ties with Russia based on a 2005 mutual security agreement

as of 2021, Uzbekistan was not part of the Russian-sponsored Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) that is comprised of former Soviet Republics; Uzbekistan joined in the 1990s but withdrew in 1999; it returned in 2006 but left again in 2012


Terrorist group(s)

Islamic Jihad Union; Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

prolonged drought and cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan created water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2004; border delimitation of 130 km of border with Kyrgyzstan is hampered by serious disputes around enclaves and other areas

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 69,791 (2020)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: Uzbekistan is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking; adults are victims of government-organized forced labor during Uzbekistan’s annual cotton harvest; local officials in some instances force teachers, students (including children), private businesses employees, and others to work in construction and other forms of non-cotton agriculture and to clean parks, streets, and buildings; traffickers exploit Uzbek women and children in sex trafficking in the Middle East, Eurasia, and Asia, and internally in brothels, clubs, and private residences; traffickers subject Uzbek men, and to a lesser extent women, to forced labor in Kazakhstan, Russia, Moldova, Turkey, and in other Asian, Middle Eastern, and European countries in the construction, oil and gas, agricultural, retail, and food sectors

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Uzbekistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; government efforts included addressing the use of forced adult labor during the cotton harvest by increasing pay to laborers and improving working conditions for voluntary workers and ceasing the forced use of students, teachers, and health care workers; third-party monitors were allowed access to the harvest to view changes; the government created a National Commission on Trafficking chaired by the regional governor in every area of the country; however, reports continued of corrupt officials requiring public sector employees to pick cotton or pay for a replacement worker with extorted penalties paid to them; fewer cases of traffickers were investigated and prosecuted, fewer victims of trafficking were identified, and fewer convictions carried a prison sentence; authorities conducted no investigations against corrupt officials extorting money during the cotton harvest (2020)

Illicit drugs

transit country for Afghan opium and heroin destined for Russia and the European Union; also transit country for hashish, cannabis products, New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), and synthetic drugs; cannabis and poppy are cultivated in small amounts for personal use and local sale