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Afghan people

This article is about the "citizens of Afghanistan". For ethnic Afghans, see Pashtun people.
Demographics of Afghanistan
multi-ethnic.
Population 31,108,077 (2013 est.)[1]
Growth rate 2.22% (2012 est.)
Birth rate 39.3 births/1,000 population
Death rate 14.59 deaths/1,000 population
Life expectancy c. 60 years (2011) [2]
 • male 59 years
 • female 61 years
Fertility rate 5.10 children born/woman (2010)[3]
Infant mortality rate 121.63 deaths/1,000 live births
Age structure
0-14 years 42.3% (male 6,464,070/female 6,149,468)
15-64 years 55.3% (male 8,460,486/female 8,031,968)
65-over 2.4% (male 349,349/female 380,051)
Sex ratio
At birth 1.05 male/female
Under 15 1.03 male/female
15-64 years 1.04 male/female
65-over 0.87 male/female
Nationality
Nationality noun: Afghan(s)
Major ethnic Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, and others
Language
Official Pashto and Dari [4]
Spoken Pashto, Dari, Uzbeki, Turkmeni, and other

The population of Afghanistan is around 31 million as of the year 2013,[1] which includes the 2.7 million Afghan refugees that are residing temporarily in Pakistan and Iran.[5] The nation is composed of a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society, reflecting its location astride historic trade and invasion routes between Central Asia, Southern Asia, and Western Asia. The majority of Afghanistan's population consist of the Iranian peoples, notably the Pashtuns and Tajiks. The Pashtun is the largest group followed by Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Aimak, Turkmen, Baloch and others.[6]

Pashto and Dari are both the official languages of the country,[4] Dari (Afghan Persian) is spoken by the Tajiks and Hazara people living in Afghanistan while Pashto is spoken widely all over the country as well as in neighboring northernwestern Pakistan. Uzbek language and Turkmen language are spoken in parts of the north. Smaller groups in various parts of the country speak about 30 other languages.[7]

Islam is the religion of more than 99% of Afghanistan. An estimated 80-89% of the population practice Sunni Islam and belong to the Hanafi Islamic law school while 10-19% are Shi'a,[8][9][10][11] majority of the Shia follow the Twelver branch with smaller numbers of Ismailis. The remaining 1% or less practice other religions such as Sikhism and Hinduism. Excluding urban populations in the principal cities, most Afghans are organized into tribal and other kinship-based groups, who follow their own traditional customs: for instance Pashtunwali. Majority of the Afghans live in rural areas and are involved in agricultural activities.

Population statistics

Further information: Afghan diaspora

As of 2013, the total population of Afghanistan is around 31,108,077,[1] which includes the 2.7 million Afghan refugees that are living in Pakistan and Iran.[5] In 2009, a nationwide survey conducted by the Afghan Central Statistics Organization (CSO) estimated that the total number of Afghans living inside Afghanistan was about 24.5 million and by 2011 it reached 26 million. Of this, 5.7 million people were reported to be living in urban areas and the rest in rural or countryside.[5]

A partial census conducted in 1979 showed roughly 15.5 million people living in the country.[12] The Statistical Yearbook published in 1983 by the Babrak Karmal government claimed a total population of 15.96 million for 1981–82.[13] Between 600,000 to 2 million Afghans were killed during the various 1979–2001 wars, majority of them during the Soviet war in the 1980s.[14] At least 5 million more fled the country to neighboring countries. According to the Population Reference Bureau, the Afghan population is estimated to increase to 82 million by 2050.[15]

Urban areas are experiencing rapid population growth since the Karzai administration began in late 2001, which is mainly due to the return of over 5 million expats. The only city in Afghanistan with over a million residents is its capital, Kabul. The other largest cities in the country are shown in the chart below. Template:Largest cities of Afghanistan

Age structure


0–14 years: 42.3% (male 6,464,070/female 6,149,468)
15–64 years: 55.3% (male 8,460,486/female 8,031,968)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 349,349/female 380,051) (2011 est.)

Population growth rate

2.22% (2012 est.)[5]
country comparison to the world: 39

Urbanization

urbanization population: 24% of the total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 5.4% annual rate of change (2005–10 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

Vital statistics

UN estimates[16]

Period Live births per year Deaths per year Natural change per year CBR1 CDR1 NC1 TFR1 IMR1
1950–1955 450 000 313 000 136 000 52.9 36.9 16.0 7.70 275.0
1955–1960 489 000 322 000 168 000 52.9 34.8 18.1 7.70 260.6
1960–1965 538 000 333 000 205 000 52.8 32.7 20.2 7.70 245.4
1965–1970 596 000 343 000 253 000 52.6 30.3 22.4 7.70 228.1
1970–1975 664 000 356 000 308 000 52.1 27.9 24.2 7.70 211.4
1975–1980 713 000 354 000 360 000 51.5 25.6 26.0 7.70 194.5
1980–1985 694 000 323 000 372 000 51.8 24.1 27.7 7.80 182.8
1985–1990 669 000 291 000 378 000 52.2 22.7 29.5 7.90 171.9
1990–1995 863 000 352 000 512 000 52.6 21.4 31.2 8.00 161.8
1995–2000 1 118 000 429 000 688 000 52.4 20.1 32.3 8.00 152.3
2000–2005 1 221 000 463 000 759 000 48.4 18.3 30.1 7.35 143.7
2005–2010 1 332 000 496 000 836 000 45.1 16.8 28.3 6.62 136.0
1 CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 60+ years (2013)[2][17]


country comparison to the world: 214
male: 59 years (2013)[17]
female: 61 years (2013)[17]

Development and health indicators


Literacy

Definition: Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 31% (2005 est.)[17]
Male: 43% (2005)
Female: 20% (2005)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 8 years
male: 11 years
female: 4 years (2004)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate

About 0% (2011 est.)

In 2008, health officials in Afghanistan reported 504[18] cases of people living with HIV but by the end of 2012 the numbers reached 1,327. The nation's healthy ministry stated that most of the HIV patients were among intravenous drug users and that 70% of them were men, 25% women, and the remaining 5% children. They belonged to Kabul, Kandahar and Herat, the provinces from where people make the most trips to neighboring or other foreign countries.[19] Regarding Kandahar, 22 cases were reported in 2012. "AIDS Prevention department head Dr Hamayoun Rehman said 1,320 blood samples were examined and 21 were positive. Among the 21 patients, 18 were males and three were females who contracted the deadly virus from their husbands. He said four people had reached a critical stage while three had died. The main source of the disease was the use of syringes used by drug addicts."[20] There are approximately 23,000 addicts in the country who inject drugs into their bodies using syringes. It is estimated that between 2,000 to 3,000 people maybe living with the deadly virus in Afghanistan.[21]


country comparison to the world: 168

HIV/AIDS – deaths

About 11 people, most of them drug addicts.[21]

Major infectious diseases

Degree of risk: high

  • Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
  • Vector-borne diseases: malaria
  • Animal contact diseases: rabies

Note: WH5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk as of 2009.

Ethnic groups


In 2013, the total population of Afghanistan was 27.5 million.[22] An additional 3 million or so Afghans are temporarily living in neighboring Pakistan and Iran. This makes the estimated total Afghan population around 31,108,077.[1] Because a systematic census has not been held in decades, exact figures about the size and composition of the various ethnic groups are unvailable. The government recently began issuing computerized ID cards in which the ethnicity of each citizen is to be provided in the application.[23] This process is expected to reveal the exact figures about the size and composition of the various ethnic groups living in the country.[24]

An approximate distribution of the ethnic groups found today in Afghanistan is shown in the chart below:

Ethnic groups in Afghanistan
Ethnic group Image World Factbook / Library of Congress Country Studies estimate (2004–present)[6][10] World Factbook / Library of Congress Country Studies estimates (pre-2004)[25][26][27]
Pashtun 42% 38–50 percent
Tajik 27% 25–26.3% (of this 1% are Qizilbash)
Hazara 9% 10–19 percent
Uzbek 9% 6–8% percent
Aimak 4% 500,000 to 800,000
Turkmen 3% 2.5 percent
Baloch 2% 100,000
Others (Pashai, Nuristani, Arab, Brahui, Pamiri, Gujjar, etc.)
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4% 6.9 percent


The 2004–present suggested figures in the above chart are supported by recent national opinion polls, which were aimed at knowing how a group of about 804 to 7,760 local residents in Afghanistan felt about the current war, political situation, as well as the economic and social issues affecting their daily lives. Seven of the surveys were conducted between 2004 to 2012 by the Asia Foundation and one between 2004 to 2009 by a combined effort of the broadcasting companies NBC News, BBC, and ARD.[28][29]

Answers regarding ethnicity provided by 804 to 7,760 Afghans in national opinion polls
Ethnic group "Afghanistan: Where Things Stand" (2004–2009)[29] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2006)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2007)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2008)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2009)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2010)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2011)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2012)[28]
Pashtun 38-46% 40.9% 40% Not reported Not reported 42% 41% 40%
Tajik 37-39% 37.1% 35% " " 31% 31% 33%
Hazara 6-13% 9.2% 10% " " 10% 11% 11%
Uzbek 5-7% 9.2% 8% " " 9% 9% 9%
Aimak 0-0% 0.1% 1% " " 2% 1% 1%
Turkmen 1-2% 1.7% 3% " " 2% 2% 2%
Baloch 1-3% 0.5% 1% " " 1% 1% 1%
Others (Pashayi, Nuristani, Arab, etc.) 0-4% 1.4% 2% " " 3% 3% 5%
No opinion 0-2% 0% 0% " " 0% 0% 0%


Languages

Pashto and Dari are both designated as the official languages of Afghanistan.[4] Dari (Afghan Persian) serves as the lingua franca in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif and other cities in northern and north-western Afghanistan. It is the language resorted to when people of different ethnic groups need to conduct business or otherwise communicate. Pashto is widely used in southern and eastern areas of the country where ethnic Pashtuns are the majority. The Afghan National Anthem is recited in Pashto.

Sources before 1996 stated that Pashto is the native tongue of 50-55% of the population and Dari being of 25-50%.[30] Uzbeki and Turkmeni are spoken in certain northern provinces, but mainly among the Uzbek and Turkmen tribes. Smaller number of Afghans are also fluent in Urdu, Balochi, Arabic and other languages. After the US-led invasion in late 2001, English language began to take hold in the country. Many Afghans are learning English in schools.

An approximate distribution of languages spoken in the country is shown in the line chart below:

Languages of Afghanistan
Language World Factbook / Library of Congress Country Studies (1992-present estimate)[7][10] Ethnologue / World Factbook / Iranica (pre-1992 estimates)[25][30][31]
Dari (Persian dialect) 50% 25-50%
Pashto 35% 50-55%
Uzbek 8.5% 9%
Turkmen 2.5% 500,000 speakers
30 others (Balochi, Nuristani, Pashayi, Brahui, Hindko, Pamiri, Kyrgyz, Gujari, etc.) 4% 4%


Based on information from the latest national opinion polls, up to 49% stated that Pashto is their first language or mother tongue and Dari being the mother tongue of about 25%. Uzbeki was spoken or understood by up to 11% and Turkmen by up to 3%. Other languages that can be spoken are English (up to 5%), Urdu (3%), Arabic (1%) and Balochi (2%). Almost 76% of the people can speak Dari.[28][29]

Religions

Almost the entire Afghan population is Muslim, with less than 1% being non-Muslim. Despite attempts to secularize Afghan society, Islamic practices pervade all aspects of life. Likewise, Islamic religious tradition and codes, together with traditional practices, provide the principal means of controlling personal conduct and settling legal disputes. Islam was used as the main basis for expressing opposition to the modernization of Afghanistan by King Amanullah in the 1920s. It was also used by the mujahideen during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and by the Taliban insurgents today.

National opinion polls (religion)
Religion "A survey of the Afghan people" (2004)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2006)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2007)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2008)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2009)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2010)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2011)[28] "A survey of the Afghan people" (2012)[28]
Sunni Islam 92% 87.9% 87% " " " " "
Shi'a Islam 7% 10.4% 12% " " " " "
Ismailism 1% 1.2% 0% " " " " "
Hinduism 0% 0.1% 0% " " " " "
Buddhism 0% 0.1% 0% " " " " "
Sikhism 0% 0.1% 0% " " " " "


See also

References

Further reading

  • Banting, Erinn. ISBN 0-7787-9336-2.
  • ISBN 0-19-577221-0.
  • Dupree, Nancy Hatch. An Historical Guide to Afghanistan. 2nd Edition. Revised and Enlarged. Afghan Air Authority, Afghan Tourist Organization, 1977.
  • An account of the kingdom of Caubul, and its dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India: Comprising a view of the Afghaun nation, and a history of the Dooraunee monarchy. Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, and J. Murry, 1819.
  • Habibi, Abdul Hai. 2003. "Afghanistan: An Abridged History." Fenestra Books. ISBN 1-58736-169-8.
  • Hopkins, B. D. 2008. ISBN 0-230-55421-0.
  • Reddy, L. R. ISBN 81-7648-319-2.
  • Amy Romano. ISBN 0-8239-3863-8.
  • Vogelsang, Willem. ISBN 0-631-19841-5.

External links

  • USAID/Afghanistan Strategy
  • Afghanistan Information Management Services
  • Central Statistics Organization of Afghanistan
  • Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation & Development of Afghanistan
  • Naval Postgraduate School
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