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Total area: 250,000 sq mi (647,500 sq km)

Population (2009 est.): 33,609,937 (growth rate: 2.6%); birth rate: 45.4/1000; infant mortality rate: 151.9/1000; life expectancy: 44.6; density per sq mi: 128


Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Kabul, 2,206,300

Other large cities: Kandahar, 349,300; Mazar-i-Sharif, 246,900; Charikar, 202,600; Herat, 171,500

Monetary unit: Afghani

 National name: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Afghanestan

Current government officials
 
Languages: Dari Persian, Pashtu (both official), other Turkic and minor languages

Ethnicity/race: Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%

Religion: Sunni Muslim 80%, Shi'a Muslim 19%, other 1%

National Holiday: Independence Day, August 19

Literacy rate: 28.1% (2000 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $35 billion; per capita $800. Real growth rate: 7.5% (2007 est.). Inflation: 16.3% (2005 est.). Unemployment: 40% (2005 est.). Arable land: 12.13%. Agriculture: opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins. Labor force: 15 million; agriculture 80%, industry 10%, services 10%. Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones. Industries: small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper. Exports: $274 million; note - not including illicit exports or reexports (2006): opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semiprecious gems. Imports: $3.823 billion (2006): capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products. Major trading partners: Pakistan, India, U.S., Germany (2006).

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 280,000 (2005); mobile cellular: 2.52 million (2006).  

Radio broadcast stations: AM 21, FM 5, shortwave 1 (broadcasts in Pashtu, Afghan Persian (Dari), Urdu, and English) (2006).  

Television broadcast stations: at least 7 (1 government-run central television station in Kabul and regional stations in 6 of the 34 provinces) (2006).
Internet users: 535,000 (2006).

Transportation: Highways: total: 34,782 km; paved: 8,229 km; unpaved: 26,553 km (2004).  

Waterways: 1,200 km; chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to about 500 DWT (2007).  

Ports and harbors: Kheyrabad, Shir Khan. Airports: 46 (2007).

International disputes: Pakistan, with UN and other international assistance, repatriated 2.3 million Afghan refugees with less than a million still remaining, many at their own choosing; Pakistan has proposed and Afghanistan protests construction of a fence and laying of mines along portions of their border; Coalition and Pakistani forces continue to monitor remote tribal areas to control the border with Afghanistan and stem terrorist and other illegal activities.
 

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