General information: Russia conquered Uzbekistan at the end of the 19th century. Stubborn resistance to the Red Army after the First World War was finally crushed and in 1925 a socialist republic was proclaimed. Under Soviet rule, intensive production of “white gold” (cotton) and grain led to the overuse of agrochemicals and the depletion of water resources, leaving the land poisoned and the Aral Sea and several rivers half dried up. After gaining independence in 1991, the country began to look for ways to reduce its dependence on agriculture. Mineral and oil resources are being developed. Contemporary issues: infiltration of Islamist militants from Tajikistan and Afghanistan, lack of currency convertibility, restrictions on human rights and democracy.
Location: Eastern Europe, Black Sea coast; between Poland and Russia.
Geographic coordinates: 49° 00′ N. latitude, 32° 00′ E
Reference map: Commonwealth of Independent States.
Area: total: 603,700 km2; land surface area: 603,700 square kilometers; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Texas.
Land borders: total: 4,558 km; with neighboring states: with Belarus 891 km, with Hungary 103 km, with Moldova 939 km, with Poland 428 km, with Romania (south) 169 km, with Romania (west) 362 km, with Russia 1,576 km, with Slovakia 90 km.
Coastline: 2,782 km.
Maritime claims: continental shelf: to a depth of 200 m or to the depth of field development; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: temperate continental; Mediterranean only on the southern coast of the Crimean peninsula; precipitation is distributed disproportionately, in large quantities falling in the west and north, in smaller quantities in the east and southeast; winters vary from cool along the Black Sea to cold in the interior of the country, summers are warm in most of the country, hot in the south.
Relief: most of the territory is occupied by fertile plains (steppes) in the south and uplands; mountains only in the west (Carpathians) and in the south of the Crimean peninsula.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Black Sea 0 m; highest point: Mount Hoverla 2,061 m.
Natural resources: iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber, arable land.
Land use: arable land: 58%; cultivated land: 2%; pastures: 13%; forests and plantations: 18%; others: 9% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 26,050 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: no data available.
Actual environmental problems: insufficient supplies of drinking water, air and water pollution, deforestation, radiation pollution in the northeast as a result of the Chernobyl accident in 1986.
International agreements on environmental protection: contributor: Air Pollution, Air Pollution – Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1985, Conservation of Marine Life in Antarctica, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Change, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Ozone Layer Protection, Pollution from ships, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Air Pollution – Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1994, Air Pollution – Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctica – Environmental Protection Protocol, Kyoto Protocol. Note to the section “Geography”: a strategic position on the way between Europe and Asia, the second largest country in Europe.
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 25,155,064 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 36.32% (male 4,646,341; female 4,489,265); 15 to 64 years old: 59.06% (male 7,351,908; female 7,504,626); over 65: 4.62% (male 466,029; female 696,895) (2001 est.)
Population growth: 1.6% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 26.1 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 8 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -2.06 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.03 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.98 male/female; over 65: 0.67 male/female; for the general population: 0.98 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 71.92 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 63.81 years; men: 60.24 years; women: 67.56 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 3.06 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: less than 0.01% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: less than 100 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Uzbek; adjective: Uzbek.
Ethnic groups: Uzbeks 80%, Russians 5.5%, Tajiks 5%, Kazakhs 3%, Karakalpaks 2.5%, Tatars 1.5%, other 2.5% (1996 est.).
Believers: Muslim 88% (mostly Sunni), Orthodox 9%, other 3%.
Language(s): Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 99%; men: 99%; women: 99% (late 1996).
Common long form: Republic of Uzbekistan;
Common short form: Uzbekistan; local long form: Uzbekistan Respublikasi local short form: no; former: Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic Political system: republic, strong authoritarian presidential power, other branches of power are weak.
State structure: See politicsezine.com to know more about Uzbekistan Political System.
Administrative division: 12 vilayets, 1 autonomous republic*, 1 city (shahri)**: Andijan (Andijan), Bukhara (Bukhara), Jizzakh (Jizzakh), Karakalpakia* (Nukus), Kashkadarya (Karshi), Navoi (Navoi), Namangan (Namangan) ), Samarkand (Samarkand), Surkhandarya (Termez), Syrdarya (Gulistan), Tashkent**, Tashkent (Tashkent), Fergana (Fergana), Khorezm (Urgench); note: the names of administrative centers are given in brackets.
Independence: from August 31, 1991 (until 1991 – as part of the USSR).
National holiday: Independence Day, September 1 (1991).
Constitution: new constitution adopted December 8, 1992
Legal system: the evolving Soviet legal system; there is still no independent judiciary.
Suffrage: from the age of 18, universal.
chief of state: President Islam KARIMOV (since March 24, 1990, when he was elected president by the Supreme Council);
head of government: Prime Minister Otkir SULTONOV (since 21 December 1995);
government: the cabinet of ministers is appointed by the president and approved by the Supreme Assembly; elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term, last held on 9 January 2000 (next to be held in January 2005); note – at a general referendum on March 26, 1995, the powers of President Karimov were extended for five years, for which 99.6% of those who took part in the vote voted; the prime minister and his deputies are appointed by the president; election results: Islam Karimov re-elected president; distribution of votes: Islam Karimov 91.9%, Abdulkhafiz DZHALALOV 4.2%.
Legislature: unicameral Supreme Assembly (Oliy Majlis) (250 seats; members are elected by popular vote for five years); elections: last held 5 and 19 December 1999 (next scheduled for December 2004); election results: distribution of votes between parties: no data; distribution of seats among parties: NDP 48, Fidokorlar 34, Fatherland Progress Party 20, Adolat 11, Milli Tiklanish 10, local self-government 110, citizens’ groups 16, vacant 1; note: all parties in the Supreme Assembly support President Karimov.
Judiciary: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the President and approved by Parliament.
Political parties and leaders: Adolat (Justice) – Social Democratic Party (Anwar JURABAYEV, First Secretary); Democratic National Revival Party (Milli Tiklanish) (Aziz KAYUMOV, chairman); Fatherland Progress Party (Anvar YULDASHEV, Chairman); People’s Democratic Party (PDP) (former communist) (Abdulkhafiz DZHALOLOV, First Secretary); Party of Self-Sacrifice (Fidokorlar – National Democratic Party) (Ahtam TURSUNOV, First Secretary).
Political influence groups and their leaders: Birlik (Unity) Movement (Abdurakhim PULATOV, chairman); Erk (Freedom) Democratic Party (Muhammad SOLIH, chairman), banned 9 December 1992; Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (Abdumanob PULATOV, Chairman); Independent Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (Mikhail AROZINOV, Chairman).
Participation in international organizations: AsDB, CCC, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer).
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador Shavkat HAMRAKULOV; office: 1746 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036; phone:  (202) 887-5300; fax: [\] (202) 293-6804; consulates general: New York.
US Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador John Edward HERBST; embassy: 82 Chilanzarskaya, Tashkent 700115; mailing address: embassy address; US Embassy Tashkent, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-7110; phone:  (71) 120-5444; fax:  (71) 120-6335.
Description of the flag: three equal horizontal stripes of blue (top), white and green, separated by thin red stripes, with a white crescent and 12 white stars at the top of the hoist side of the flag.