The Tajik people came under Russian imperial rule in the 1860s and 1870s, but Russia's hold on Central Asia weakened following the Revolution of 1917. At that time, bands of indigenous guerrillas (called "basmachi") fiercely contested Bolshevik control of the area, which was not fully reestablished until 1925. Tajikistan was first created as an autonomous republic within Uzbekistan in 1924, but in 1929 the USSR designated Tajikistan a separate republic and transferred to it much of present-day Sughd province. Ethnic Uzbeks form a substantial minority in Tajikistan, and ethnic Tajiks an even larger minority in Uzbekistan. Tajikistan became independent in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union, and experienced a civil war between political, regional, and religious factions from 1992 to 1997. Though the country holds general elections for both the presidency (once every seven years) and parliament (once every five years), observers note an electoral system rife with irregularities and abuse, with results that are neither free nor fair. President Emomali RAHMON, who came to power in 1994 during the civil war, used an attack planned by a disaffected deputy defense minister in 2015 to ban the last major opposition political party in Tajikistan. In December 2015, RAHMON further strengthened his position by having himself declared "Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the Nation," with limitless terms and lifelong immunity through constitutional amendments ratified in a referendum. The referendum also lowered the minimum age required to run for president from 35 to 30, which would make RAHMON's son Rustam EMOMALI, the current mayor of the capital city of Dushanbe, eligible to run for president in 2020. The country remains the poorest in the former Soviet sphere. Tajikistan became a member of the WTO in March 2013. However, its economy continues to face major challenges, including dependence on remittances from Tajikistani migrant laborers working in Russia and Kazakhstan, pervasive corruption, and the opiate trade and other destabilizing violence emanating from neighboring Afghanistan. Tajikistan has endured several domestic security incidents since 2010, including armed conflict between government forces and local strongmen in the Rasht Valley and between government forces and criminal groups in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast. Tajikistan suffered its first ISIS-claimed attack in 2018, when assailants attacked a group of Western bicyclists with vehicles and knives, killing four.



39.0° N, 71. 0° E
Central Asia, west of China, south of Kyrgyzstan


144,100 sq km
141,510 sq km
2,590 sq km

land boundaries

4,130 km


0 km


mid-latitude continental, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid to polar in Pamir Mountains


mountainous region dominated by the Trans-Alay Range in the north and the Pamirs in the southeast; western Fergana Valley in north, Kofarnihon and Vakhsh Valleys in southwest


3,186 m
lowest point
Syr Darya (Sirdaryo)
300 m
highest point
Qullai Ismoili Somoni
7,495 m

natural resources

  • hydropower
  • some petroleum
  • uranium
  • mercury
  • brown coal
  • lead
  • zinc
  • antimony
  • tungsten
  • silver
  • gold

land use

arable land
6.1 %
permanent crops
0.9 %
permanent pasture
27.7 %
2.9 %
62.4 %

population distribution

the country's population is concentrated at lower elevations, with perhaps as much as 90% of the people living in valleys; overall density increases from east to west



  • 8,873,669
  • 96
    global rank


  • Tajikistani(s)
  • Tajikistani

ethnic groups

84.3 %
13.8 %
2 %


  • Tajik
  • Uzbek
  • Kyrgyz .8%
  • Russian .5%
  • other


Muslim other
2 %

birth rate

  • 21.8
    per 1,000 population
  • 68
    global rank

death rate

  • 5.8
    per 1,000 population
  • 176
    global rank

urban population

27.5 %

major urban areas

  • Dushanbe
    pop. 916,000

life expectancy

  • 69
    total population
  • 174
    global rank

adult obesity rate

  • 14.2%
    percent of adults
  • 128
    global rank


country name


  • Republic of Tajikistan
    long form
  • Tajikistan
    short form


  • Jumhurii Tojikiston
    long form
  • Tojikiston
    short form

government type

presidential republic


38.33 N, 68.46 E


national holidays

  • Independence Day
    9 September

legal system

civil law system

age of suffrage


flag description

three horizontal stripes of red (top), a wider stripe of white, and green; a gold crown surmounted by seven gold, five-pointed stars is located in the center of the white stripe; red represents the sun, victory, and the unity of the nation, white stands for purity, cotton, and mountain snows, while green is the color of Islam and the bounty of nature; the crown symbolizes the Tajik people; the seven stars signify the Tajik magic number "seven" - a symbol of perfection and the embodiment of happiness

national colors

  • red
  • white
  • green

national anthem

"Surudi milli" (National Anthem)



Tajikistan is a poor, mountainous country with an economy dominated by minerals extraction, metals processing, agriculture, and reliance on remittances from citizens working abroad. Mineral resources include silver, gold, uranium, antimony, tungsten, and coal. Industry consists mainly of small obsolete factories in food processing and light industry, substantial hydropower facilities, and a large aluminum plant - currently operating well below its capacity. The 1992-97 civil war severely damaged an already weak economic infrastructure and caused a sharp decline in industrial and agricultural production. Today, Tajikistan is the poorest among the former Soviet republics. Because less than 7% of the land area is arable and cotton is the predominant crop, Tajikistan imports approximately 70% of its food. Since the end of the civil war, the country has pursued half-hearted reforms and privatizations in the economic sphere, but its poor business climate remains a hindrance to attracting foreign investment. Some experts estimate the value of narcotics transiting Tajikistan is equivalent to 30%-50% of GDP. Because of a lack of employment opportunities in Tajikistan, more than one million Tajik citizens work abroad - roughly 90% in Russia - supporting families back home through remittances that in 2017 were equivalent to nearly 35% of GDP. Tajikistan’s large remittances from migrant workers in Russia exposes it to monetary shocks. Tajikistan often delays devaluation of its currency for fear of inflationary pressures on food and other consumables. Recent slowdowns in the Russian and Chinese economies, low commodity prices, and currency fluctuations have hampered economic growth. The dollar value of remittances from Russia to Tajikistan dropped by almost 65% in 2015, and the government spent almost $500 million in 2016 to bail out the country’s still troubled banking sector. Tajikistan’s growing public debt – currently about 50% of GDP – could result in financial difficulties. Remittances from Russia increased in 2017, however, bolstering the economy somewhat. China owns about 50% of Tajikistan’s outstanding debt. Tajikistan has borrowed heavily to finance investment in the country’s vast hydropower potential. In 2016, Tajikistan contracted with the Italian firm Salini Impregilo to build the Roghun dam over a 13-year period for $3.9 billion. A 2017 Eurobond has largely funded Roghun’s first phase, after which sales from Roghun’s output are expected to fund the rest of its construction. The government has not ruled out issuing another Eurobond to generate auxiliary funding for its second phase.


28,430,000,000 USD

agriculture products

  • cotton
  • grain
  • fruits
  • grapes
  • vegetables
  • cattle
  • sheep
  • goats

poverty level



  • 2,269,000,000
    revenue (USD)
  • 2,374,000,000
    expenditures (USD)



    fixed lines

  • 468,000
    total subscriptions
  • 99
    global rank

    mobile cellular

  • 9,400,000
    total subscriptions
  • 89
    global rank

broadcast media

state-run TV broadcasters transmit nationally on 9 TV and 10 radio stations, and regionally on 4 stations; 31 independent TV and 20 radio stations broadcast locally and regionally; many households are able to receive Russian and other foreign stations via cable and satellite (2016)


country code


  • 1,889,632
  • 21.96
    % of population
  • 123
    global rank


electricity access



air transport

    national system

  • 2
    registered air carriers
  • 802,470
    annual passenger traffic


  • 24
  • 17


680 km
total length


30,000 km
total length


200 km
total length



expenditures here

service age