Afghanistan Physical Map

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Physical Map: Defined
In addition to country borders, major cities and significant bodies of water, Physical Maps indicate the location of landforms like deserts, mountains and plains. This type of map also displays major cities and regions. Physical Maps are commonly used to see elevation and land contours as well as major rivers and lakes.
Afghanistan

page last updated on September 26, 2011


Introduction :: Afghanistan
Background:
 
Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 Communist counter-coup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-Communist mujahedin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama BIN LADIN. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. KARZAI was re-elected in August 2009 for a second term. Despite gains toward building a stable central government, a resurgent Taliban and continuing provincial instability - particularly in the south and the east - remain serious challenges for the Afghan Government.
Geography :: Afghanistan
Location:
 
Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran
 
Geographic coordinates:
 
33 00 N, 65 00 E
 
Map references:
 
Asia
 
Area:
 
total: 652,230 sq km
country comparison to the world: 41
land: 652,230 sq km
water: 0 sq km
 
Area - comparative:
 
slightly smaller than Texas
 
Land boundaries:
 
total: 5,529 km
border countries: China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km, Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km
 
Coastline:
 
0 km (landlocked)
 
Maritime claims:
 
none (landlocked)
 
Climate:
 
arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
 
Terrain:
 
mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest
 
Elevation extremes:
 
lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
highest point: Noshak 7,485 m
 
Natural resources:
 
natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones
 
Land use:
 
arable land: 12.13%
permanent crops: 0.21%
other: 87.66% (2005)
 
Irrigated land:
 
31,990 sq km (2008)
 
Total renewable water resources:
 
65 cu km (1997)
 
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
 
total: 23.26 cu km/yr (2%/0%/98%)
per capita: 779 cu m/yr (2000)
 
Natural hazards:
 
damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts
 
Environment - current issues:
 
limited natural freshwater resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification; air and water pollution
 
Environment - international agreements:
 
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
 
Geography - note:
 
landlocked; the Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country; the highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor)
People :: Afghanistan
Population:
 
29,835,392 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
note: this is a significantly revised figure; the previous estimate of 33,609,937 was extrapolated from the last Afghan census held in 1979, which was never completed because of the Soviet invasion
 
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.)
 
Median age:
 
total: 18.2 years
male: 18.2 years
female: 18.2 years (2011 est.)
 
Population growth rate:
 
2.375% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
 
Birth rate:
 
37.83 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
 
Death rate:
 
17.39 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
 
Net migration rate:
 
3.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
 
Urbanization:
 
urban population: 23% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 4.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
Major cities - population:
 
KABUL (capital) 3.573 million (2009)
 
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: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
Infant mortality rate:
 
total: 149.2 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 2
male: 152.75 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 145.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
Life expectancy at birth:
 
total population: 45.02 years
country comparison to the world: 220
male: 44.79 years
female: 45.25 years (2011 est.)
 
Total fertility rate:
 
5.39 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
 
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
 
0.01% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
 
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
 
NA
 
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
 
NA
 
Major infectious diseases:
 
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
 
Drinking water source:
 
Improved:
urban: 78% of population
rural: 39% of population
total: 48% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 22% of population
rural: 61% of population
total: 52% of population (2008)
 
Sanitation facility access:
 
Improved:
urban: 60% of population
rural: 30% of population
total: 37% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 40% of population
rural: 70% of population
total: 63% of population (2008)
 
Nationality:
 
noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan
 
Ethnic groups:
 
Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%
 
Religions:
 
Sunni Muslim 80%, Shia Muslim 19%, other 1%
 
Languages:
 
Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism
 
Literacy:
 
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 28.1%
male: 43.1%
female: 12.6% (2000 est.)
 
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
 
total: 9 years
male: 11 years
female: 7 years (2009)
 
Education expenditures:
 
NA

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