Afghanistan Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Afghanistan Country Overview

Where is Afghanistan located? Afghanistan, which is officially also called ”Islamic Republic of Afghanistan”, is located in South Asia and therefore in a different time zone than Germany. The world clock shows that Afghanistan is always 3.5 hours ahead of German time, and thus 4.5 hours ahead of world time. In addition, there is no time change in summer in the part of the time zone map where Afghanistan can be found.

Afghanistan National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Afghanistan is 39,510,885, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 39,510,885
Population growth rate 2.38%
Birth rate 37.90 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 50.11 years
Men life expectancy 48.81 years
Women life expectancy 51.47 years
Age structure
0-14 years 40.92%
15-64 years 56.48%
65 years and above 2.61%
Median age 18.40 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 1.03
Population density 56.18 residents per km²
Urbanization 23.30%
42% Pashtuns, 27% Tajiks, 9% Hazara, 9% Uzbeks; also Aimak, Nuristani, Balutschen, Turkmen, Kyrgyz and others
Muslims (Sunnis 80%, Shiites 19%), members of other religious communities 1%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.496
HDI ranking 170th out of 194

People in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic state, as the residents are made up of different ethnic groups and languages. Afghanistan has always been a transit country for many people: Warriors, traders and later also missionaries came. The Pashtuns make up the largest proportion in Afghanistan, they are the largest population group in the country. This is followed by the Tajiks. At least 25 out of 100 residents are among them, they speak Persian. Hesors and Uzbeks as well as other minorities also live in Afghanistan. The Hesors also speak Persian, but are largely Shiitesand are often persecuted in Afghanistan. Different languages ​​and cultures were able to survive for a long time in the inaccessible mountain regions of Afghanistan. There are many other smaller groups that also live in Afghanistan.

Where do the people live in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan means something like “Land of Afghans”. The country has about 38 million residents. Most of the people live in the river oases on the edges of the central mountain region, in cities called Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-e Sharif or Kunduz. Many residents also live in the basin landscape in the east of the country, in the capital Kabul. This is where the population density is highest. That means that most people live there per square kilometer. People mainly go to these places because there are areas for agriculture. Many live from this agriculture. There are far fewer people in the central highlands. In Afghanistan, most of the people live in rural areas and only a small proportion live in cities.

Languages in Afghanistan

Not only do many people of different origins live together in Afghanistan, they also speak many languages. A distinction is made between almost 50 languages ​​and more than 200 dialects. Persian and Pashto are the official languages. Pashto is the language of the Pashtuns and is spoken by many people in addition to Persian. You can see the exact distribution on the map above.

Religions in Afghanistan

Most of the people in Afghanistan are Muslim, most of them Sunnis and only a small number of them Shiites.