Kyrgyzstan (capital Bishkek) and neighboring states
Country Comparisons: chart
World Factbook: "Kyrgyzstan is a poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only tobacco and cotton are exported in any quantity."
Kyrgystan has an import-export problem. In 2009 it imported $2.379 billion worth of goods and exported only $1.334 billion worth. But Kyrgyz working in Russia and Kazakhstan have helped mitigate the trade imbalance by sending money home. These remittances are described as having kept the Kyrgyz economy afloat in recent years. And remittances are described as perhaps as much as 15% of the Kyrgyz GDP.
Economic growth rate
2010: minus 0.4%
Labor force in agriculture
gold, cotton, wool, garments, meat, tobacco; mercury, uranium, hydropower; machinery; shoes
2009: Russia 35.7%, Uzbekistan 21.9%, Kazakhstan 17.3%, China 5.4%, UAE 4.6%, Afghanistan 4.3%
2011: exports $2.372 billion, imports $3.71 billion
Income Distribution – gini index
Ranks 96th among 140 countries (higher rank number is more equal, lower rank number is less equal). More equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and the US, which ranks 45th.
2009: 4.1% of GDP
Living in an urban area:
1999 census: Kyrgyz 64.9%, Uzbek 13.8%, Russian 12.5%, Dungan 1.1%, Ukrainian 1%, Uighur 1%, other 5.7%
Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%
Net migration rate
2012: Net loss of 8.1 persons per 1,000 population
Central Asia, between China and Uzbekistan. Slightly smaller than South Dakota, equivalent to 445 by 445 kilometers. Mountainous. Described by the World Factbook as "a country of incredible beauty." Capital: Bishkek.
Chief of state: Almazbek Atambayev (president) since 1 December 2011, Sunni Muslim, Social Democratic Party. Head of government: Zhantoro Satybaldiyev (prime minister) since 5 September 2012, Independent. The prime minister, described as a technocrat, was elected by an overwhelming vote in parliament and promised to fight corruption and restore economic growth.
Kyrgyzstan's borders were created by Soviet planners in the 1920s, with the borders of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan. The line between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan left the cities of Jalalabad and Osh, with large Uzbek populations, on the Kyrgyz side of the border.
Independence began in 1990 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Kyrgyzstan became a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, former republics within the Soviet Union that today are closely associated with Russia economically, in defense and foreign policy.
With the end of the Soviet Union came a rise in national identities in the region. The Kyrgyz had their mythical figure from around a thousand years before: Manas, believed to be the author of an epic poem. The Uzbek minority focused on a national myth around the 14th century conqueror "Timur the Great."
Historically the Uzbeks were traders and farmers and the Kyrgyz were pastoralists. A few Uzbeks had acquired wealth. Some could be seen in southern Krygyzstan driving German cars. Fewer Kyrgyz had such wealth. Kyrgyz could be seen cleaning streets and doing janitorial work in Moscow.
Nationwide demonstrations in the spring of 2005 resulted in the ouster of President Askar Akayev, who had run the country since 1990. Subsequent presidential elections in July 2005 were won overwhelmingly by former prime minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
In January 2009, President Bakiyev announced the closure of the US air base at Manas, after Russia offered Kyrgyzstan more than $2 billion in loans and other aid. Bakiyev was re-elected in July 2009.
In April 2010, protests sweep President Bakiyev from power. In June more than 200 people are killed in clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. In July, Roza Otunbayeva sworn in as caretaker president to prepare for new elections in October 2011.
Copyright © 2009-2011 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.