Uzbekistan Table of Contents
Population: Approximately 23 million, 1994; growth rate in 1995, 2.5 percent per year; 1993 population density 48.5 persons per square kilometer.
Ethnic Groups: In 1995, Uzbek 71 percent, Russian 8 percent, Tajik 5 percent, Kazak 4 percent, Tatar 2 percent, and Karakalpak 2 percent.
Language: Uzbek designated preferred language, required for citizenship, but Russian in wide official and commercial use, 1995. In 1994, Uzbek first language of 74 percent, Russian of 14 percent, and Tajik of 4 percent.
Religion: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 88 percent, Russian Ortho-dox 9 percent, about 93,000 Jews. Islam practiced in individ-ualized forms; little political Islam although post-Soviet religious practice greatly increased.
Education and Literacy: Literacy 97 percent, 1989. Program to restructure Soviet-era system hampered by low budget, poor condition of infrastructure, and loss of teachers. Attendance compulsory through grade nine. In 1993, 86 percent of population ages six to sixteen in regular or vocational school. Fifty-three institutions of higher learning active, 1993.
Health: Universal free health care; some private practices and health insurance introduced, early 1990s. Shortages of medicine, equipment, and trained personnel. Health crises, epidemics caused by high pollution levels, especially in Aral Sea region. Infant mortality increased very fast beginning in 1970s.
Data as of March 1996