Form of Government: Islamic republic
Area: 652 864 sq km
Population: 29 724 323 inhab. (estimate 2017)
Density: 45.53 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 39° - 29° N; long. 61° - 75° E
Capital: Kābul 3 961 487 inhab. (2017), urban agglomeration
Currency: new afghani (100 puls)
Human development index: 0.479 (rank: 169)
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

The strategies of the Taliban’s militias and ISIS-linked militias are focused on destabilizing the government, with heightened attacks in urban areas, contributing to an elevated number of civilian deaths (more than 15 000 since 2014). Armed Afghan forces, weakened by the lack of solid leadership and widespread corruption, were not able to hinder the militias’ activities, leading to the latter widening their control, driving NATO to increase its contingent to 16 000 in November 2017.

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 United Front (Northern Alliance), under the command of the Tajik leader Ahmad Shah Massoud (later assassinated by suicide bombers on 9 September 2001), who managed to gain control of some areas but was unable to conquer 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 12 000, 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). In 2015, the Parliamentary term was extended while awaiting a deal to set new elections. 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
Homicides6.5per 100 000 pop.2012
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Kābul3 961 487inhab.2017
Herāt506 896inhab.2017
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Kābul3 961 487inhab.2017
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2017)
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 rate33.22016
Death rate6.72016
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Pashtun42%2004
Tajik27%2004


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%2017
15-29 years30.5%2017


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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 920M US$2017
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population10 937 092units2017
Active population, Females17.3%2017
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate8.8%2017
Unemployment rate, Females24.9%2017
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses346 914M LCU2016
Revenues345 795M LCU2016
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture62.2%2017
industry6.7%2017
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture24.1%2016
industry22%2016
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation228.6BN LCU2017
International reserves8 097.3M US$2017
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Agriculture

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land12.12%2015
forests2.07%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley301.8561000 t2016
cereals, total5 535.221000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes427.9171000 t2016
roots and tubers, total427.9171000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
muskmelons506.2661000 t2016
onions, dry141.6491000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes874.5411000 t2016
raisins33.71000 t2005
Agriculture - products - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olives7.6471000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sesame seed321000 t2016
sunflower seed0.7691000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet1.5821000 t2016
sugar cane17.3641000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton58.9961000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed0.2191000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples140.9031000 t2016
apricots17.8941000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds32.8431000 t2016
pistachios2.8141000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits21.8981000 t2016
citrus fruits, nes17.4721000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
opium4.81000 t2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley219.2081000 ha2016
maize151.91000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes35.6991000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
muskmelons79.9511000 ha2016
onions, dry13.3351000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape82.451000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olive2.21000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sesame seed151000 ha2016
sunflower seed0.4931000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet0.2021000 ha2016
sugar cane1.3331000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton51.1021000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed0.5771000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples19.3651000 ha2016
apricots8.5951000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds19.4811000 ha2016
pistachios2.3111000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits2.6321000 ha2016
citrus fruits, nes1.6621000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
opium2011000 ha2016
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber3 583 7972016
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle5 234.41000 heads2016
cattle and buffaloes5 234.41000 heads2016
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep13 265.21000 heads2016
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats7 4481000 heads2016
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses1 472.11000 heads2016
asses and mules1 4971000 heads2016
Livestock - Camelids
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
camels170.51000 heads2016
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds11 8991000 heads2016
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 fishes2 050t2016
total catch2 200t2016
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Minerals

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal1 364.81000 t2015
coal, total1 364.81000 t2015
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chromite6.41000 t2015
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barite21000 t2014
fluorspar201000 t2015
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
marble - t53.71000 t2015
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold40kg2015
semiprecious stones5 000 000kg2015
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro890M kWh2015
- thermal144M kWh2015
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro3301000 kW2015
- thermal2681000 kW2015
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation1 034M kWh2015
total installed capacity599.11000 kW2015
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Industry

Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia441000 t2015
fertilizers34.11000 t2015
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
carpets1411000 m²2014
wool fabrics0.04M m²2014
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear22 900 000pairs2015
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cottonseed oil7.51000 t2014
olive oil0.61000 t2014
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement701000 t2015
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufacturing production2 201.6M US$2016
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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$2009
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2017780M US$ -
2016596.455M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
20177 700M US$ -
20166 534.14M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures88M US$2016
Receipts51M US$2016
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Communications

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown14 855 000km flown2015
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 schooling10.4years2014
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 spending2.6% of total expenses2015
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds0.5per 1000 pop.2015
Physicians0.3per 1000 pop.2016
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV-0.1% of adults2016
Malaria392 551cases2016
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Museums4units2015
Museums, visitors18 965units2015
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking32.44%2016
Access to electricity84.137%2016
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