Kyrgyzstan Population 2020
Kyrgyzstan, officially the Kyrgyz Republic and formerly Kirghizia, is a landlocked country located in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and China. In 2020, the estimated population of Kyrgyzstan is 6.52 million, which ranks 111th in the world.
Kyrgyzstan Area and Population Density
Landlocked in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan has 77,182 square miles (199,900 square kilometers of land), which ranks 88th in the world in terms of sheer size, yet its population is the 111th highest in the world with a population of 6.2 million. The country shares its borders with Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and it is further from the sea than any other country in the world. The land itself is largely made up of mountains, valleys, and basins. Much of the mountainous region is uninhabitable and Kyrgyzstan has an overall population density of just 80 people per square mile (31 people per square kilometer), which ranks 147th in the world in terms of population density.
Largest Cities in Kyrgyzstan
Much of the population in Kyrgyzstan lives in rural areas, and only 35.6% of people live in major cities or their surrounding metropolitan areas. By far the largest city and as well as the capital of Kyrgyzstan is Bishkek, with a population estimated at 875,000. Famous for its architecture and the gorgeous backdrop of the Tian Shan mountains, Bishkek is definitely the biggest tourist attraction in Kyrgyzstan. The second-largest city is Osh, in the southern portion of the country, has a population estimated at 246,000 and is estimated to be over 3,000 years old. Those are the only two cities in Kyrgyzstan with populations over 100,000.
A full third of Kyrgyzstan's population is under the age of 15 and one-third of the population lives in urban areas with the majority living in rural areas. The largest ethnic group are the Kyrgyz, a Turkish people, who account for 72% of the population. Other ethnic groups in Kyrgyzstan include Russians (9.0%), Uzbeks (14.5%), Dungans (1.9%), Uyghurs (1.1%), Tajiks (1.1%), Kazakhs (0.7%), and Ukrainians (0.5%). There are more than 80 different ethnic groups in total in Kyrgyzstan.
Since 1979, the percentage of ethnic Kyrgyz has risen from 50% to more than 70% today, while the percentage of European ethnic groups like Germans and Russians, as well as Tatars, has dropped from 35% to 10%. In 1989, there were about 101,000 Germans in Kyrgyzstan, most of whom have since emigrated to Germany.
Kyrgyzstan Religion, Economy and Politics
The most widely practiced religion is Islam (Sunni, Shia, and Ahmadiyya), accounting for 88% of the population, but the constitution does allow for freedom of religion. The remaining population is multi-ethnic and multi-religious and follow Buddhism, Baha'i, Judaism, and several denominations of Christianity. The most followed of the Christian sects is Russian Orthodoxy with 9.4%. Only 0.3% of people in Kyrgyzstan are unaffiliated with any religion.
Agriculture is the most important industry in Kyrgyzstan, the main crops being cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat. They also rely heavily on the exports of natural resources like gold, mercury, uranium, and natural gas. Although these industries do well on their own, the economic state of the country as a whole has been kept from flourishing by government corruption and low foreign investment. Other major industries in Kyrgyzstan include forestry, fishing, industry and manufacturing, and services such as banking and tourism.
As a parliamentary representative democratic republic, the political system of Kyrgyzstan has both a president that is the head of state as well as a prime minister in charge of the government that has executive power. Legislative power is shared by both the state and the government. The president is elected by popular vote for a six-year term for which that cannot be reelected. The prime minister is chosen by the parliament. The judicial system is set is organized like most other developed countries, but is thought to be heavily influenced by corruption.
Kyrgyzstan Population History
Arabs came to conquer the land that is now Kyrgyzstan and brought Islam to the region sometime during the 8th century. The people that currently inhabit the area were in Siberia and the Tian-Shan region until they eventually settled the area in the late 1600s.
Russia conquered the area in 1876 and much of the next century was spent in civil war as the native people fought against the Russians. Historically the Kyrgyz have been nomadic people and Russians began reforming the land as state-owned land in the early 1900s, further disturbing the traditional way of life for the people of Kyrgyzstan and many people ended up leaving the area as a result. Kyrgyzstan finally gained its independence from Russia in 1991.
Kyrgyzstan Population Growth
As a country without a long history, it is difficult to speculate about the causes of any growth that has happened in the recent past. Between its independence and 2019, the annual growth rate has been consistently above 1% annually, which is stable and fairly close to the worldwide growth trends, however, it seems a little low considering the birth rate in the country is above average with 3.1 children being born to the average Kyrgyz woman. Fairly substantial emigration from the area has balanced this out to create the moderate growth rate of today. As of 2019, the population of Kyrgyzstan was growing 1.4% annually.
Kyrgyzstan Population Projections
There hasn't been much change in the rate of growth in the recent past, but things are expected to slow somewhat in the years to come. Current projections believe that the annual growth rate will peak in 2020 at 1.45% before slowly declining. In 2050, it is expected that the population will be growing around 0.6% annually. These calculations state that the population in Kyrgyzstan will be roughly 6,301,718 in 2020, 6,997,284 in 2030, 7,596,178 in 2040, and 8,112,653 by 2050.
Components of Population Change
|One birth every 3 minutes|
|One death every 14 minutes|
|One net migrant every 80 minutes|
|Net gain of one person every 5 minutes|
Source: By Vmenkov (photograph), Khan Tengri (color correction) (File:E7904-Bishkek-Ala-Too-Square.jpg) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons