Tajikistan Country Overview

By | January 17, 2022

Tajikistan – officially the Republic of Tajikistan is a landlocked country located in Central Asia. It borders Afghanistan to the south, the People’s Republic of China to the east, Kyrgyzstan to the north and Uzbekistan to the west. For much of the 20th century, the country was part of the USSR under the name of the Tajikistan Soviet Socialist Republic until its independence on December 25, 1991. Its capital is Dushambé.


More than ten years after the economic downturn due to the 1992-1997 civil war, Tajikistan suffered a severe payments crisis in 2009, which has caused a sharp slowdown in economic activity. Transfers sent by migrant workers (mainly from Russia and Kazakhstan) decreased significantly due to the Russian recession. Furthermore, cotton and aluminum exports (80% of total exports) contracted by more than 7% due to the drop in external demand and weak world prices compared to 2008. The decline in economic activity it was aggravated by domestic problems (energy crisis, frequent power outages in winter, and irrigation problems for agriculture), related to inadequate infrastructure. The current account deficit increased significantly, causing a 30% depreciation of the exchange rate. The intervention of the IMF, contributing 116 million dollars during 3 years, was decisive to avoid defaults on debts, particularly in the energy sector, considering the high level of public debt.

According to naturegnosis, Tajikistan, a landlocked and mountainous country, is well equipped with hydroelectric plants that provide irrigation water for agricultural areas and 76% of the total energy produced in the country. In spring 2009, major floods and landslides damaged some regions in the south of the country: Tajikistan could therefore face a serious humanitarian crisis. However, in 2006 the government had launched a national development strategy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and to use international aid as effectively as possible. This program was aimed in particular at extensive agrarian reform in rural areas, where more than half of the population lives. Farmers suffer from the absence of property rights. The government encourages them to intensify cotton cultivation while this monoculture slows the economic diversification of the country. To this is added the question of the financing of the debt accumulated in recent years by the agricultural sector (500 million dollars). The banking sector was also weakened. The privatizations approved by the IMF were the subject of a new law in February 2009 that already excludes the huge public aluminum company.

The country remains the poorest in Central Asia, with weak governance and unemployment that has increased with the return of migrant workers. Security is also a risk due to its proximity to Afghanistan. Tajikistan is one of the main routes for drugs and traffickers that move through the peripheral areas of the Pamirs. The risk of armed Islamic extremism is of particular concern to Western countries and Russia. In this context, they could offer armed assistance to President Rahmon in the event of major social problems after the February 2010 parliamentary elections.


Tajikistan, the smallest country in the Central Asian region, is located in its southeastern part. In the west and north it borders Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, in the south with Afghanistan, and in the east, in its mountainous part, with China.


It is the country of mountains and rivers. In fact, almost the entire territory of the republic (more than 90%) is occupied by mountains that are part, if the highest ranges with a total height of 300 m of 7,495 m. It is the place where the rough mountain rivers rage on the bottom of ravines and canyons to be born. Rivers that are more than 10 km long. The largest rivers are the Amu Darya, the Syr-Darya (in the north), the Zeravshan (entrance to Amu Darya), as well as the Vakhsh and Panj.

There are lakes in Tajikistan as well. The largest of these is Lake Karakul (in the Eastern Pamir). The area of this salty lake is 380 square kilometers. The deepest lake in Tajikistan is Lake Sarez (in the western Pamir). Its surface is 86.5 square meters, and 490 meters deep. The lake water is cool.


The mountains of Tajikistan are famous for their glaciers, which are the largest in Asia. Fedchenko Glacier (length 77 km, width 1,700 – 3,100 m), the largest glacier and Zeravshan of the Pamir are among them.

The central place in the territory of Tajikistan is occupied by the Hissar-Alay (south of Tien Shan) ridges. A large number of mountains over 5,000 m. The capital of Tajikistan – Dushanbe is located in the Hissar Valley at the foot of the Hissar Mountains.

The Pamir is in the southeast of the country. The lowest pass there is Kamaloyak (4340 м), which is almost as high as Mont Blanc – the highest peak in the Alps. The highest peak of the Pamir – the Peak of Communism – has changed its name into the Usmaili Samani Peak is 7,495 m high. Its several picturesque hanging glaciers form an unforgettable sight.

In northwestern Tajikistan there are even more mountain ridges. The Turkestani (its northern slope has a snow line at the height of 3,500-4,000), Zeravshan and Hissar are among them. In the same area are the picturesque mountains known анские. They are known for their tremendously beautiful help and enormous height (5495).

The north of the Republic is occupied by the hollow of Fergana. It is surrounded by the Kuramin mountain range, Vakhsh and the Hissar Golodnaya plains and steppes (Hungary).

Since the territory of Tajikistan is similar to a pyramid whose top is crowned by the mountain, its natural landscapes vary depending on the height: Below are moors and valleys, above covered with forests are the hills, in the mountains extend Alpine meadows with permafrost further afield.

Flora and fauna

Fact diverse flora and fauna exist. The rare types of animals and birds entered into the Red Book inhabit the territory. There are several nature reserves on the territory of the country – the Tiger Hollow, Ramit, Dashtidzhum and Sarikhosor, in the riparian forests, Asian poplar forests and marmoset thickets live goitered gazelles, Bukhara deer, tigers, pheasants, mountain partridges, the reed cats, wild boars and snow leopards. The flora is represented by various fruit trees and vegetation characteristic of high mountain areas.

Natural resources

More than 200 valuable formulas of mineral water have been found in the territory of the republic – Shaambary, Khodzha-Obi-Garm, Garm-Chashma etc.

And finally, Tajikistan is the richest natural pantry for minerals. The republic is rich in deposits of coal, oil, gas, mercury, molubdenum, tin, antimonic, tin minerals, gold, silver, phosphorites, table salt, marble, gypsum, clay, gravel and sand, materials, precious stones.


The climate of Tajikistan is moderate, acute continental and dry. Winter temperatures in the valleys are from 0 o C to +2 o C, in the mountains – to -27 o C. In summer the temperature in the valleys is from 23 o C to +30, +35 o C, in the mountains – from 4 o C to +15 o C. Most of the precipitations fall in winter and spring, the rains are infrequent in summer and autumn.

Physical geography

Tajikistan is a state in Central Asia, a former Federal Republic of the USSR. It limits: to the North with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan; to the East with China; to the South with Afghanistan, and to the West with Uzbekistan. It has an approximate area of 143,100 km². The capital is Dushanbe.

Its relief is part of the Pamir system, with large plateaus and high peaks, such as Mount Communism (7,495 m.), The Alai and Mount Lenin (7,134 m.). To the north and west are the lowlands, semi-desert, and part of the Ferghana valley, very fertile.

The most important rivers are the Amu Daria, which receives most of the country’s fluvial contributions, and the Sir Daria. The climate is continental, mild in the valleys and extreme in the mountains.

Human and economic geography

The economy is eminently agricultural. with extensive irrigation in the valleys and transhumant livestock. Mining is very important, and to a lesser extent industry.

It has an approximate population of 5,358,300 Tajiks. The population density is about 37.4 residents per km². The birth rate is 38%, and the death rate is 6%. The main cities are Hodzent, Kuljab and Kurgan-Tjube. Ethnic groups are distinguished: Tajiks and Uzbeks. The religion is Islamic. The languages are Tajik and Russian. The ruble currency

The production is eminently agricultural and livestock: vegetables, fruit trees, cotton, cereals, forage plants, rice, sheep. In the extractive sector, uranium, radium, lead, zinc, arsenic, coal and oil predominate. There is industrial food and textile production.

Geographical coordinates

39 00 N, 71 00 E Continent

Asia Area

total: 143,100 sq km land: 141,510 sq km water: 2,590 sq km Maritime Coast

0 km (Mediterranean) Irrigated Area

7,220 sq km (2003)


Tajikistan has 6,440,732 residents. The largest ethnic group is the Tajik, but there is a sizable minority of Uzbeks and a small population of Russians. The Russian population tends to fall due to emigration. Similarly, the official language is Tajik, while Russian is widely spoken in business and government circles.

Despite its poverty, Tajikistan has a high literacy rate: around 98% of the population can read and write. The majority of the population follows Sunni Islam, although there is a sizeable Shiite population. There is also a growing minority of Catholics.

Demographic evolution: based on historical censuses of that territory.

1913: 1 million. 1926: 1 million. 1939: 1.5 million. 1959: 2 million. 1970: 2.9 million. 1979: 3.8 million. 1989: 5.1 million. 2000: 6.4 million.

Tajikistan Country Overview