Form of Government: Islamic republic
Area: 652 864 sq km
Population: 31 575 018 inhab. (estimate 2018)
Density: 48.36 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 39° - 29° N; long. 61° - 75° E
Capital: Kābul 4 117 414 inhab. (2018), urban agglomeration
Currency: new afghani (100 puls)
Human development index: 0.498 (rank: 168)
President: Ashraf Ghani (independent), elected 14 August 2014, in office since 29 September 2014
Prime Minister: Abdullah Abdullah (National Coalition of Afghanistan), in office since 29 September 2014
Internet: www.cso.gov.af (Central Statistics Organization)
Member of OIC, SAARC, SCO observer, UN, WTO

Afghanistan

Afghānistān, Afghānestān, Afghānistān Islāmī Jumhūrīyat, Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye Afghānestān
Useful information

International license plate code AFG
International dialling code 0093
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission); malaria prophylaxis (recommended for some areas)
Electricity (Voltage) 220
Driving side rigth
Internet code .af

GMT  +4.30
DST  not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Kābul 12
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Kābul -1/23.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Kābul 12/6
Annual average precipitation (mm) Kābul 257
Days of rainfall (annual average) Kābul 32

Politics and current affairs

Throughout 2019, in Doha, delegates from the United States and Taliban made progress during difficult meetings to reach an agreement, even if their positions remain distant. President D. Trump accelerated the diplomatic process to reduce the number of American troops in the country (about 14 000).
The Taliban’s militias and ISIS-linked militias, weakly opposed by the armed Afghan forces, continue the strategy of destabilizing the government, with heightened attacks in urban areas, contributing to an elevated number of civilian deaths (about 3800 in 2018).

Geography.
Afghanistan is bordered by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north, by China to the north-east, by Pakistan to the east and south, and by Iran to the west. It stretches across the arid Iranian steppe plateau and is divided into two parts by the high mountain chains (over 5000 m) of the Paropamisus and the Hindu Kush: one in the north sloping down towards the valley of the River Amu Darya, the other in the south, with vast lakes of varying size. It has a dry climate with extreme ranges of temperature.

Government


A British protectorate from 1879, Afghanistan declared independence in 1919. It achieved a certain amount of political and institutional stability under the constitution issued during the reign of Zahir Shah in 1933. In 1973, the king was deposed and a republic was proclaimed. In 1978, a coup installed a Communist regime, supported by Soviet forces. Guerrilla warfare soon developed against the regime, supported by the USA and Pakistan. In 1989, the Soviet army withdrew and the regime lasted until 1992.
In 1996, the Taliban fundamentalist militia group occupied Kābul and installed Islamic Law (sharia), transforming the republic into an Islamic emirate (26 October 1997). The main opposition forces formed the Northern Alliance, under the command of the Tajik leader Ahmad Shah Massoud (later assassinated on 9 September 2001), gaining control of some areas but without conquering the capital.
The political scenario changed in 2001 following the Taliban government’s refusal to hand over Osama Bin Laden, the Saudi leader of Al Qaeda, accused of having planned the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 in New York and Washington. The armed forces of the USA, together with NATO allies, intervened leading to a rapid fall of the regime and occupying the country through the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), under NATO command since 2003. Although vast areas of the country are under Taliban control, the ISAF mission ended in late 2014, and NATO troops were reduced to about 14 000 in 2019, tasked to train and support. The US continues to lend air support to government forces. The situation has been made more complex by policies, often conflicting, of other countries with interests in the area, particularly Pakistan, Russia and China.
According to the 2004 Constitution, Afghanistan is a presidential Islamic Republic with freedom of worship for all religions. The President, who is elected directly on a five-year mandate, can only be re-elected once. Parliament comprises the House of Elders (102 members, one third of whom are elected by district councils to serve for three years, one third by provincial councils to serve for four years, and one third appointed by the President to serve for five years) and the House of the People (up to 250 members elected by direct suffrage for five-years; two seats in each province are reserved for women). The Supreme Court has nine judges (mostly mullahs) who are appointed by the President; most of the trials are entrusted to the Council of Elders, who decide each case according to tribal traditions.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force4%2015
Army96%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Homicides6.3per 100 000 pop.2012
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Kābul4 117 414inhab.2018
Herāt538 673inhab.2018
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Kābul4 117 414inhab.2018
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2018)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

The number of refugees remains high, fleeing the provinces at war.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate32.52017
Death rate6.62017
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Pashtun40%2014
Tajik36%2014


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Muslim (Sunni)85%2015
Muslim (Shia)14%2015


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Dari (official)
Pashto (official)
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years40.9%2018
15-29 years30.3%2018


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Economy


The war and widespread corruption hinder any economic development, apart from illegal sectors such as the cultivation and smuggling of opium poppies, while the withdrawal of NATO troops in 2014 brought an end to one of its main outlets. The economy remains deeply reliant on international aid. The arable land is cultivated with cereals, fruit (grapes and almonds) and vegetables, but the most profitable crop is opium poppy; cannabis is also relevant. Livestock farming is practised (cattle and Karakul sheep).
There are coal and copper deposits, oil and natural gas reserves; a 120-km gas pipeline runs from Mazar-e Sharif to the Uzbek border. There are emerald mines in the Panjshir valley. The country also possesses impressive reserves of rare earths, which have not been used as of yet. The few industrial areas have been destroyed by the war. A few craft activities (carpets) are still practised.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)125.39index2016
Balance of trade-6 531.4M US$2018
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population13 760 401units2018
Active population, Females35.7%2018
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate1.5%2018
Unemployment rate, Females56%2018
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses349 077M LCU2017
Revenues348 827M LCU2017
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture38.6%2018
industry17.6%2018
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture23.9%2017
industry22%2017
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation228.2BN LCU2018
International reserves8 206.7M US$2018
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Agriculture

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land12.12%2015
forests2.07%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley94.9951000 t2017
cereals, total4 897.1431000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes513.1941000 t2017
roots and tubers, total513.1941000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
muskmelons302.9811000 t2017
onions, dry2121000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes954.8451000 t2017
raisins33.71000 t2005
Agriculture - products - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olives7.8181000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sesame seed321000 t2017
sunflower seed0.7231000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet2.1021000 t2017
sugar cane33.7251000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton54.9491000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed0.6871000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples1751000 t2017
apricots131.8161000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds27.2911000 t2017
pistachios2.7841000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits21.2351000 t2017
citrus fruits, nes17.1911000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
opium4.81000 t2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley68.1791000 ha2017
maize134.2251000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes32.1161000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
muskmelons54.4061000 ha2017
onions, dry17.7211000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape87.1941000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olive2.1711000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sesame seed151000 ha2017
sunflower seed0.4571000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet0.2011000 ha2017
sugar cane1.1451000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton48.6881000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed1.3951000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples26.8471000 ha2017
apricots23.891000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds19.7931000 ha2017
pistachios2.2621000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits2.4411000 ha2017
citrus fruits, nes1.6431000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
opium2011000 ha2016
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber3 616 5592017
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle4 9771000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes4 9771000 heads2017
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep13 8661000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats7 5981000 heads2017
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses1 3171000 heads2017
asses and mules1 3411000 heads2017
Livestock - Camelids
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
camels1721000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds13 5731000 heads2017
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey1.8051000 t2014
Livestock - Silk farming
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
silk, raw0.051000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter34.3431000 t2014
cheese23.1661000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
freshwater fishes8 850t2017
total catch9 000t2017
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Minerals

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal1 6981000 t2016
coal, total1 6981000 t2016
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chromite6.41000 t2016
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barite21000 t2014
fluorspar61000 t2016
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
marble - t6001000 t2016
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold40kg2016
precious stones - kg32 000kg2016
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro1 025M kWh2016
- thermal150M kWh2016
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro3301000 kW2016
- thermal2841000 kW2016
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation1 211M kWh2016
total installed capacity634.11000 kW2016
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Industry

Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia481000 t2016
fertilizers44.61000 t2017
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
carpets771000 m²2016
wool fabrics0.023M m²2016
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear18 000 000pairs2017
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cottonseed oil7.51000 t2014
olive oil0.61000 t2014
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement109.61000 t2017
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufacturing production2 241.8M US$2017
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Trade

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
food products56.918% of goods exports2016
agricultural raw materials16.359% of goods exports2016
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Pakistan191M US$2009
India76M US$2009
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Uzbekistan876M US$2009
China360M US$2009
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2018875M US$ -
2017780M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
20187 407M US$ -
20177 580M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures132M US$2017
Receipts19M US$2017
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Communications

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown13 123 000km flown2017
Civil aviation, passengers carried1 858.61000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers0.473per 1000 pop.2017
Computers4per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling10.3years2014
Gradautes, percentage3%1979
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level144 485units2017
Teachers, secondary level75 200units2017
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending5.5% of total expenses2016
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds0.5per 1000 pop.2017
Physicians0.3per 1000 pop.2017
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV-0.1% of adults2016
Malaria320 045cases2017
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Museums4units2017
Museums, visitors16 061units2017
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking32.44%2016
Access to electricity97.7%2017
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