Country Listing

Turkmenistan Table of Contents



Population: In 1991, population 3,808,900; 1989 annual growth rate 2.5 percent; 1991 population density 7.8 persons per square kilometer.

Ethnic Groups: In 1991, Turkmen 72 percent, Russians nearly 10 percent, Uzbeks 9 percent, and Kazaks 2 percent.

Languages: Turkmen, official national language, spoken by about 75 percent of population; Russian, replaced as official language in 1992 constitution, still much used in official communications despite campaigning to limit its influence; English given status behind Turkmen as second official language, 1993.

Religion: Approximately 87 percent Muslim (mainly Sunni), 11 percent Russian Orthodox; many who profess Islam are not active adherents.

Education and Literacy: In 1991, estimated 98 percent of those above age fifteen literate; education compulsory through eighth grade. Much of Soviet education system still in place; substantial modification in progress to raise quality of work force.

Health: Soviet system of free care for all citizens remains in place, but in early 1990s supply shortages and poor medical staff made care inadequate in many areas; infant mortality highest and life expectancy lowest in Central Asia.

Data as of March 1996