Form of Government: Islamic republic (de jure); Islamic emirate (de facto)
Area: 652 864 sq km
Population: 32 890 171 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 50.38 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 39° - 29° N; long. 61° - 75° E
Capital: Kābul 4 434 550 inhab. (2020), urban agglomeration
Currency: new afghani (100 puls)
Human development index: 0.511 (rank: 169)
President: until 15 August 2021: Ashraf Ghani (independent), elected 14 August 2014, in office since 29 September 2014, re-elected 28 September 2019
Internet: //nsia.gov.af (National Statistics and Information Authority)
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

On 12 September 2020, peace talks began between the Taliban and the Afghan government, as set out in the agreement signed in Doha on 29 February 2020 between the Taliban and the United States, but they proceeded with difficulty before running aground completely. The participants have very different stances and the Taliban refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the Afghan government. The offensive launched by the Taliban took advantage of the gradual withdrawal of the US troops, which was determined by the agreement made on 29 February 2020, quickly resulting in taking control of the country from the poorly armed and trained Afghan forces that lacked air coverage. In August, Kunduz, Ghaznī, Kandahār, Herāt and other provincial capitals were conquered in rapid succession. Kābul was taken on 15 August. The government dissolved and President ’Ashraf Ghanī fled overseas.

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. 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, and by the activity of the fundamentalist group “Islamic State” responsible for serious attacks.
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 434 550inhab.2020
Herāt574 276inhab.2020
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Kābul4 434 550inhab.2020
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2020)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

The number of refugees remains high, fleeing the provinces at war, increasing further after the takeover by the Taliban in August 2021.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate31.8022019
Death rate6.2852019
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 years40.4%2020
15-29 years30$%2020


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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. 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. Exports are mainly directed to India, Pakistan and China.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)125.39index2016
Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)111.15index2019
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population10 657 679units2020
Active population, Females21.4%2019
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate11.7%2020
Unemployment rate, Females27$%2019
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses423 980M LCU2019
Revenues396 455M LCU2019
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture45.983%2020
industry18.481%2020
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture26.852%2019
industry12.769%2019
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation293.341BN LCU2020
International reserves9 694.989M US$2020
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Agriculture

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land12.13%2018
forests1.851%2018
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley123.5761000 t2019
cereals, total5 583.4611000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes921.1221000 t2019
roots and tubers, total921.1221000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
muskmelons464.231000 t2019
onions, dry352.7251000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes1 112.9271000 t2019
raisins33.71000 t2005
Agriculture - products - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olives8.4381000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sesame seed33.1391000 t2019
sunflower seed0.8821000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet9.2841000 t2019
sugar cane36.5381000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton73.121000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed55$1000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples250.3241000 t2019
apricots129.3631000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds38.2051000 t2019
pistachios2.7551000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits43.5151000 t2019
citrus fruits, nes38.6851000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
opium4.81000 t2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley84.071000 ha2019
maize94.911000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes57.0661000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
muskmelons37.1361000 ha2019
onions, dry18.3431000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape89.5931000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Olive
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
olive2.1481000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sesame seed15.3561000 ha2019
sunflower seed0.9811000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet0.6161000 ha2019
sugar cane1.6531000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton49.3711000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
linseed38.3231000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples27.5591000 ha2019
apricots17.7191000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds29.2031000 ha2019
pistachios2.1711000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits4.3641000 ha2019
citrus fruits, nes3.3911000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
opium2011000 ha2016
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber3 684 2922019
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle5 651.7171000 heads2019
cattle and buffaloes5 651.7171000 heads2019
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep10 616.811000 heads2019
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats7 985.3141000 heads2019
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses1 562.2391000 heads2019
asses and mules1 586.4171000 heads2019
Livestock - Camelids
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
camels170.3681000 heads2019
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds13 8871000 heads2019
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey1.2391000 t2019
Livestock - Silk farming
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
silk, raw0.051000 t2018
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter41.2841000 t2018
cheese22.9661000 t2018
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
freshwater fishes10 050t2019
total catch10 100t2019
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Minerals

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal2 139.21000 t2019
coal, total2 139.21000 t2019
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chromite4.51000 t2019
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barite2$1000 t2014
fluorspar4$1000 t2018
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
marble - t42$1000 t2020
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold40$kg2016
precious stones - kg35 000kg2018
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro840M kWh2019
- thermal150M kWh2018
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro3301000 kW2019
- thermal2841000 kW2018
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation1 115M kWh2018
total installed capacity636.41000 kW2018
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
aluminium9.11000 t2020
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mopeds465no.2019
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia48$1000 t2019
fertilizers6.91000 t2019
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
carpets136.21000 m²2020
cotton fabrics - m0.003M m2020
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear1 140 513pairs2020
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cottonseed oil4.4331000 t2018
linseed oil20.5391000 t2018
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
tobacco7.5t2020
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement148.51000 t2020
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufacturing production1 180.673M US$2020
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Trade

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
food products65.897% of goods exports2018
agricultural raw materials16.695% of goods exports2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Pakistan191M US$2009
India76$M US$2009
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Uzbekistan876M US$2009
China360M US$2009
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2020783M US$ -
2019864M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
20206 475M US$ -
20196 777M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures168M US$2019
Receipts85$M US$2019
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Communications

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown12 450 000km flown2020
Civil aviation, passengers carried1 1601000 units2020
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers0.517per 1000 pop.2019
Computers4$per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling10.198years2018
Gradautes, percentage3$%1979
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Students, primary level6 544 906units2018
Students, secondary level3 063 889units2018
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending4.107% of total expenses2017
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds0.4per 1000 pop.2020
Physicians0.3per 1000 pop.2020
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV-0.1% of adults2019
Malaria174 894cases2019
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Museums5$units2020
Museums, visitors20 989units2019
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking36$%2019
Access to electricity97.7%2019
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