Country: UZBEKISTANuzbekistan               

Capital: Tashkent    

Geographic Coordinates:  41 00 N,  64 00 E   

Population: 27,865,738 (July 2010 est.)                                           

Main Religion: Islam, Eastern Orthodox 

Language:  Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%

Government Type: Republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside executive branch

Head of State: President Islom KARIMOV (since 24 March 1990, when he was elected president by the then Supreme Soviet); Prime Minister Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV

Main Industries: textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, gold, petroleum, natural gas, chemicals       

GDP in US Dollars (per capita): $2,800 (2009 est.)     

Currency Code: Uzbek som (UZS) 

Life Expectancy: 64 years (men), 70 years (women) (UN)

Environment - current issues:  deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution from raw sewage and petroleum refining wastes; inadequate potable water

Issues facing Women and Children: Shrinkage of the Aral Sea is resulting in growing concentrations of chemical pesticides and natural salts, and these substances are then blown from the increasingly exposed lake bed and contribute to desertification; Water pollution from industrial wastes and the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides is the cause of many human health disorders; increasing soil salination; Soil contamination from buried nuclear processing and agricultural chemicals, including DDT           

Issues facing Women and Children:

  • Government spending for public health is only $8 per capita per year.   
  • Infant mortality rates are high, although under-reporting and varying standards for live birth definition make it difficult to pinpoint the severity of this issue.
  • More than half of Uzbek women of childbearing age are anaemic, a major factor in worsening maternal mortality rates.
  • Almost a quarter of children under age 3 experience stunted growth. Vitamin-A deficiency is common, and more than half the population suffers from iodine-deficiency disorders.
  • Children with disabilities are educated separately, and there are serious concerns regarding the quality of education and opportunities for mainstreaming of children with disabilities.

Land Mine Ban Signatory: N

Local Media: Press: Khalq Sozi, Narodnoye Slovo, Pravda Vostoka; Radio and TV:  National Television and Radio Company

Interesting Fact: Uzbekistan is the most populous Central Asian country and has the largest armed forces. There is no real internal opposition and the media is tightly controlled by the state. A UN report has described the use of torture as "systematic".             

Famous for: embroidery (in Nuratin), miniature painting, calligraphy, Bukhara - the Holy City