Facts about Kyrgyzstan

World Facts Index

KyrgyzstanA Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, most of Kyrgyzstan was formally annexed to Russia in 1876. The Kyrgyz staged a major revolt against the Tsarist Empire in 1916 in which almost one-sixth of the Kyrgyz population was killed. Kyrgyzstan became a Soviet republic in 1936 and achieved independence in 1991 when the USSR dissolved. Nationwide demonstrations in the spring of 2005 resulted in the ouster of President Askar AKAYEV, who had run the country since 1990. Subsequent presidential elections in July 2005 were won overwhelmingly by former prime minister Kurmanbek BAKIEV. The political opposition organized demonstrations in Bishkek in April, May, and November 2006 resulting in the adoption of a new constitution that transferred some of the president's powers to parliament and the government. In December 2006, the Kyrgyz parliament voted to adopt new amendments, restoring some of the presidential powers lost in the November 2006 constitutional change. By late-September 2007, both previous versions of the constitution were declared illegal, and the country reverted to the AKAYEV-era 2003 constitution, which was subsequently modified in a flawed referendum initiated by BAKIEV. The president then dissolved parliament, called for early elections, and gained control of the new parliament through his newly-created political party, Ak Jol, in December 2007 elections. Current concerns include: privatization of state-owned enterprises, negative trends in democracy and political freedoms, reduction of corruption, improving interethnic relations, and combating terrorism.

Geography of Kyrgyzstan

Central Asia, west of China
41 00 N, 75 00 E
total: 198,500 sq km
water: 7,200 sq km
land: 191,300 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly smaller than South Dakota
Land boundaries:
total: 3,878 km
border countries: China 858 km, Kazakhstan 1,051 km, Tajikistan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,099 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone
peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basins encompass entire nation
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Kara-Daryya (Karadar'ya) 132 m
highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m
Natural resources:
abundant hydropower; significant deposits of gold and rare earth metals; locally exploitable coal, oil, and natural gas; other deposits of nepheline, mercury, bismuth, lead, and zinc
Environment current issues:
water pollution; many people get their water directly from contaminated streams and wells; as a result, water-borne diseases are prevalent; increasing soil salinity from faulty irrigation practices
Geography - note:
landlocked; entirely mountainous, dominated by the Tien Shan range; many tall peaks, glaciers, and high-altitude lakes

Population of Kyrgyzstan

5,356,869 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 30.9% (male 821,976/female 789,687)
15-64 years: 62.9% (male 1,607,396/female 1,669,612)
65 years and over: 6.2% (male 126,847/female 198,380)
Median age:
23.6 years
Growth rate:
Infant mortality:
34.49 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.49 years
male: 64.48 years
female: 72.7 years
Fertility rate:
2.69 children born/woman
noun: Kyrgyzstani(s)
adjective: Kyrgyzstani
Ethnic groups:
Kyrgyz 64.9%, Uzbek 13.8%, Russian 12.5%, Dungan 1.1%, Ukrainian 1%, Uygur 1%, other 5.7% (1999 census)
Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%
Kyrgyz (official), Russian (official)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.7%
male: 99.3%
female: 98.1% 


Country name:
conventional long form: Kyrgyz Republic
former: Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic
local long form: Kyrgyz Respublikasy
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
7 provinces (oblastlar, singular - oblasty) and 1 city* (shaar); Batken Oblasty, Bishkek Shaary*, Chuy Oblasty (Bishkek), Jalal-Abad Oblasty, Naryn Oblasty, Osh Oblasty, Talas Oblasty, Ysyk-Kol Oblasty (Karakol)
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 31 August (1991)
adopted 5 May 1993; note - amendment proposed by President AKAYEV and passed in a national referendum on 2 February 2003 significantly expands the powers of the president at the expense of the legislature
Legal system:
based on civil law system
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Kurmanbek BAKIEV (since 14 August 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Igor CHUDINOV (since 24 December 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president; ministers in charge of defense and security, appointed solely by the president
elections: Kurmanbek BAKIEV elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 10 July 2005 (next scheduled for 2010); prime minister nominated by the parliamentary party holding more than 50% of the seats; if no such party exists, the president selects the party that will nominate a prime minister.
Legislative branch:
unicameral Supreme Council or Jorgorku Kenesh (75 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five year terms)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are appointed for 10-year terms by the Supreme Council on the recommendation of the president); Constitutional Court; Higher Court of Arbitration
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Council of Free Trade Unions; Kyrgyz Committee on Human Rights [Ramazan DYRYLDAYEV]; National Unity Democratic Movement; Union of Entrepreneurs


Kyrgyzstan is a poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only tobacco and cotton are exported in any quantity. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, and electricity. Following independence, Kyrgyzstan was progressive in carrying out market reforms such as an improved regulatory system and land reform. Kyrgyzstan was the first Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) country to be accepted into the World Trade Organization. Much of the government's stock in enterprises has been sold. Drops in production had been severe after the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, but by mid-1995, production began to recover and exports began to increase. The economy is heavily weighted toward gold export and a drop in output at the main Kumtor gold mine sparked a 0.5% decline in GDP in 2002 and a 0.6% decline in 2005. GDP grew more than 6% in 2007, partly due to higher gold prices internationally. The government made steady strides in controlling its substantial fiscal deficit, nearly closing the gap between revenues and expenditures in 2006, before boosting expenditures more than 20% in 2007. The government and international financial institutions have been engaged in a comprehensive medium-term poverty reduction and economic growth strategy. In 2005, Bishkek agreed to pursue much-needed tax reform and, in 2006, became eligible for the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative. Progress fighting corruption, further restructuring of domestic industry, and success in attracting foreign investment are keys to future growth.

$10.55 billion (2007 est.)
GDP growth rate:
GDP per capita:
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 35.3%
industry: 20.8%
services: 43.9%
Inflation rate:
Labor force:
2.7 million
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 55%, industry 15%, services 30% 
Electricity production by source:
fossil fuel: 7.6%
hydro: 92.4%
other: 0% 
small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes, sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare earth metals
tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool
cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, hydropower; machinery; shoes
Export partners:
UAE 29.5%, Russia 19%, China 11.8%, Kazakhstan 11.6%, Switzerland 5.9% 
oil and gas, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
Import partners:
China 44.2%, Russia 18.3%, Kazakhstan 12.7%, Turkey 4.4% 
Kyrgyzstani som (KGS)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

Copyright 2004 - 2008 worldfacts.us