Tajikistan: General Information
Republic of Tajikistan is a state located in Central Asia; it borders on Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Afghanistan. The total area is 143.1 thousand square kilometers. The length of the state border of the Republic of Tajikistan with Uzbekistan in the western and northern directions is 1161 kilometers; with Kyrgyz Republic – 987 kilometers; with Afghanistan in the south – 1332 kilometers; and with China in the east – 495 kilometers.
Population: More than 8 million people belonging to over 80 nationalities and ethnic groups reside in Tajikistan. Tajiks (one of the most ancient peoples in the world, belonging to the Iranian group of the Indo-European family) make up 80 percent; Uzbeks – 15.3 percent; Russians – about 1.1 percent; there are also Tatars, Kyrgyz and other ethnic groups. The density of population is 48 persons per square kilometer.
Mountainous landscape prevails in Tajikistan. Fergana valley is located in the northern part of the country; in the north-west and in the central regions, there are the Turkestan, Zeravshan, Gissar and Alai mountain ranges; in the south-east – the Pamir mountain system (the highest peak reaches the altitude of 7,495 meters above the sea level). The south-west of the country is relatively flat (the Vakhsh and Gissar valleys). Rivers and lakes of Tajikistan are fed by glaciers. The total length of Tajikistan’s 947 rivers is 28,500 kilometers. They constitute nearly 60 percent of hydro resources in Central Asia.
Tajikistan is a preferred destination for international highland tourism and alpinism. The mountains of Tajikistan are spectacular; the landscape is a combination of the highest ranges of Eurasia, grassy alpine meadows and cleanest rivers. The mountainous and meadow-land soils are gray and brown. The vegetation is eremic, steppe and highland-meadow.
At present, there are four nature reserves (Tigrovaya Balka, Romit, Dashti Jum, and Zorkul), 13 wildlife sanctuaries and one national park in Tajikistan. The total protected area occupies 21 percent of Tajikistan’s territory. The main rivers are: Syr-Darya, Amu-Darya, Vakhsh, Pyanj, and Zeravshan. The big irrigation canals are: the Gissar, the Dalverzin, the Tajik segments of the Big Fergana and the Northern Fergana canals. Tajikistan has many lakes – more than 1,300 with the total area of 705 square kilometers. The biggest lakes are Karakul, Sarez, and Yashikul. Most of the lakes are located at the altitude of 3,500 meters above the sea level. Enormous deposits of snow and ice are concentrated in the highland areas of Tajikistan. The boundary of perpetual snow in the west lies at the altitude of 3,500-3,600 meters above sea level, and in the east it elevates up to 5,800 meters above sea level. The total area of glaciers in Tajikistan is 8,476 square kilometers. More than one thousand Tajikistan’s glaciers exceed 1.5 kilometers in length. Sixteen of them exceed 16 kilometers in length, including the Fedchenko and Grumm-Grzhimailo glaciers.
Tajikistan’s natural resources are very diverse. Many deposits of complex ores, rare and precious metals are discovered in Tajikistan including: zinc, lead, molybdenum, wolfram, copper, gold, silver, antimony, mercury, fluor spar, black tin, uranium, bismuth, iron, manganese, sodium chloride, magnesium and other metals with export value. Among Tajikistan’s famous deposits are the following: gold mines of Penjikent and Shugnan; silver mines of KonimansuriKalon (Big Kanimansur); the antimony mine of Anzob; marble mines in Vanch, Penjikent, Darvaz, Shakhristan; and other fields. There are deposits of coal, gas, oil, marble and other raw materials that can be used in construction industry. Tajikistan is the leader in Asia in coal reserves. The total geological stock of coal is estimated to be 4 billion tons. Eighty percent of this coal is of coking type.
Tajikistan has plenty of unique healing springs and sources of mineral water.
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