Independence Year : 1991
Population : 24318000
Life Expectancy : 63.7
Capital : 3503
GNP : 14194.00
GNP Old : 21300.00
Local Name : Uzbekiston
Government Form : Republic
Location : Central Asia, landlocked country north of Afghanistan
Terrain : Mostly plains, intensely irrigated river valleys along Amu Darya and Syr Darya; shrinking Aral Sea; In the east and northeast of the country are situated spurs of Tien-Shan and the Pamirs.
Climate : Desert-continental; long, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid grassland in east
Ethnic Group : Uzbek 80%, Russian 5.5%, Tajik 5%, Kazakh 3%, Karakalpak 2.5%, Tatar 1.5%, other 2.5%.
Religions : Muslim 88% (Sunni), Eastern Orthodox 9%, other 3%.
Official Website : www.mfa.uz
Genral Information - Uzbekistan
Russia conquered Uzbekistan in the late 19th century. Stiff resistance to the Red Army after World War I was eventually suppressed and a socialist republic set up in 1925.
During the Soviet era, intensive production of "white gold" (cotton) and grain led to overuse of agrochemicals and the depletion of water supplies, which have left the land poisoned and the Aral Sea and certain rivers half dry.
Independent since 1991, the country seeks to gradually lessen its dependence on agriculture while developing its mineral and petroleum reserves.
Current concerns include insurgency by Islamic militants based in Tajikistan and Afghanistan, a non-convertible currency, and the curtailment of human rights and democratization.
(Source: CIA - The World Factbook)