Uzbekistan Population, Politics and Economy
Population in Uzbekistan
About 33.2 million people live in Uzbekistan (2019). The average population density is 74 residents per km², but the population is concentrated in the fertile Ferghana Basin with more than 570 residents per km², while the settlement density in the desert and steppe areas sinks to less than 10 residents per km². Population growth is just under one percent. With an average age of only 22.9 years, Uzbekistan is a very young country.
According to directoryaah, the population of Uzbekistan consists of over 100 peoples, of which 71% Uzbeks, 5.1% Russians, 5% Tajiks, 4.1% Karakalpaks, 3.2% Kazakhs, 2.7% Tatars, 2.5 according to official figures % Koreans. The smaller minorities include Turkmen, Uyghurs, Volga Germans, Armenians, Meshetes, Azerbaijanis and Kurds. The German minority in Uzbekistan (including predominantly Volga Germans) is estimated at around 8,000 people.
The state language is the Turkic language Uzbek. The Russian language is of great importance as a lingua franca as well as the language of education and business, even after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakistan, the Karakalpak language is also the official language. The Tajik language is widely spoken in the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara. According to a resolution of the Uzbek parliament, the switch from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet has been taking place since the mid-1990s. In fact, both alphabets are now in use in parallel.
About 89% of the population are Sunni Muslims. About 8% belong to the Christian faith of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Politics and economy in Uzbekistan
The Uzbek Constitution is geared towards democracy, the rule of law and a market economy with social guarantees and the protection of fundamental rights. However, the practical implementation of the constitution by politicians is subject to fierce criticism because of the lack of the rule of law and considerable democratic deficits. The head of state in Uzbekistan is the president, who is directly elected for five years. According to the current Uzbek constitution, the president’s term of office can only be extended once. The parliament, called Oliy Majlis, is the highest representative state body that performs the legislative function. Since 2004 there has been a bicameral parliament in Uzbekistan, which is composed of the lower, legislative chamber with 120 members and the upper chamber, the Senate with 100 senators. The members of the parliament are elected for five years. The Council (Kengash) of Oliy Majlis is set up to organize the work of Parliament and to exercise other powers according to the legislation.
Although Uzbekistan was one of the poorer areas in the former Soviet Union, the country is now the third largest cotton exporter in the world, a major producer of natural gas, gold and copper, and a local producer of chemical products and machinery. Uzbekistan is currently the fifth largest producer of the radioactive metal uranium in the world. Many of the raw materials found in Uzbekistan such as silver, lead, zinc, tungsten, molybdenum and kaolin have hardly been mined so far. In addition to agriculture, mining and industrial production, tourism in Uzbekistan is also developing. Currently, most of the tourism can be found along the Silk Road, which runs through the country for almost its entire length.
According to ebizdir, Uzbekistan’s gross domestic product is growing at around 5% per year.
Transport network in Uzbekistan
The length of the Uzbek road network is over 81,600 kilometers, of which more than 71,000 kilometers are paved with pavement (2007). The Tashkent – Samarkand – Bukhara – Urganch-Nukus route along the old Silk Road, which is in very poor condition over long distances, is of outstanding importance for the transport. Some trunk roads lead in sections through Kazakh or Turkmen territory due to the complicated borderline.
The railway is operated by the state-owned Oʻzbekiston Temir Yoʻllari (UTY). The rail network was expanded by around 500 kilometers to a length of around 3950 kilometers between 1991 and 2007 in order to avoid transit journeys through neighboring national areas. Since 2003 the Registon has been running between Tashkent and Samarkand with a journey time of three hours and 40 minutes, since 2005 the Sharq between Tashkent and Kogon near Bukhara, with a journey time of seven hours. The line has meanwhile been developed as a high-speed railway line for the Talgo, which can travel up to 250 km / h and only needs 2 hours to travel from Tashkent to Bukhara; Work is underway to upgrade the route to Urganch. In addition, the train 49/50 runs as a daily border connection between Samarkand – Tashkent – Samarkand, which has western standards. The connection from Tashkent to the Ferghana Valley, opened in 2016, enabled the inner-Uzbek railway connection from the Ferghana Valley to the rest of the country with the 19 km long Kamchiq Tunnel. However, the railway lines in the valley run through neighboring countries and are currently closed.
Around 1,100 kilometers of waterways in Uzbekistan are navigable. However, the large amounts of water withdrawn from the Amu Darya severely limit shipping traffic. The only noteworthy inland port is in Termiz. Tashkent has an international airport. The second international airport is Urganch. Uzbekistan Airways offers flights to Frankfurt, Istanbul, Rome and Mumbai, among others.