Country Summary

2023 population pyramid



Afghanistan served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won independence from British control in 1919. In August 2021, the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban overran the country; the latest group to rule in this war-torn country since 1979.



total: 652,230 sq km
land: 652,230 sq km
water: 0 sq km


arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers

Natural resources

natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones, arable land

People and Society


total: 40,121,552
male: 20,301,066
female: 19,820,486 (2024 est.)

Ethnic groups

current, reliable statistical data on ethnicity in Afghanistan are not available; Afghanistan's 2004 Constitution cited Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkman, Baluch, Pashaie, Nuristani, Aymaq, Arab, Qirghiz, Qizilbash, Gujur, and Brahwui ethnicities; Afghanistan has dozens of other small ethnic groups


Afghan Persian or Dari (official, lingua franca) 77%, Pashto (official) 48%, Uzbeki 11%, English 6%, Turkmani 3%, Urdu 3%, Pashaie 1%, Nuristani 1%, Arabic 1%, Balochi 1%, other <1% (2020 est.)


Muslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 - 89.7%, Shia 10 - 15%), other <0.3% (2009 est.)

Population growth rate

2.22% (2024 est.)


Government type

theocratic; the United States does not recognize the Taliban Government


name: Kabul

Executive branch

chief of state: Taliban Leader HAYBATULLAH Akhundzada (since 15 August 2021)
head of government: overall Taliban Leader HAYBATULLAH Akhundzada is the [so-called] Amir-ul Momineen of the Taliban and is seen by them as a head of government

Legislative branch

description: before August 2021, Afghanistan had a bicameral National Assembly that consisted of the House of Elders and House of the People; the parliament has been in hiatus since August 2021 and the Taliban have shown no interest in reviving it    


Economic overview

extremely low-income South Asian economy; import drops, currency depreciation, disappearing central bank reserves, and increasing inflation after Taliban takeover; increasing Chinese trade; hit hard by COVID; ongoing sanctions

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$60.802 billion (2021 est.)
$76.711 billion (2020 est.)
$78.558 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$1,500 (2021 est.)
$2,000 (2020 est.)
$2,100 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

wheat, milk, watermelons, grapes, potatoes, cantaloupes/melons, vegetables, rice, onions, apples (2022)


small-scale production of bricks, textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, apparel, food products, non-alcoholic beverages, mineral water, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper


$1.476 billion (2020 est.)
$1.516 billion (2019 est.)
$1.609 billion (2018 est.)

Exports - partners

Pakistan 57%, India 28%, China 3%, UAE 2%, Turkey 2% (2022)

Exports - commodities

coal, cotton, grapes, gum resins, nuts (2022)


$6.983 billion (2020 est.)
$7.371 billion (2019 est.)
$7.988 billion (2018 est.)

Imports - partners

UAE 21%, Kazakhstan 17%, Pakistan 17%, China 9%, Uzbekistan 9% (2022)

Imports - commodities

wheat, tobacco, palm oil, packaged medicine, rice (2022)

Exchange rates

afghanis (AFA) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
76.814 (2020 est.)
77.738 (2019 est.)
72.083 (2018 est.)
68.027 (2017 est.)
67.866 (2016 est.)

Page last updated: Friday, July 12, 2024