Kyrgyzstan Country Overview
Where is Kyrgyzstan located? Kyrgyzstan, or the Kyrgyz Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan has been independent from Russia since 1991. On the time zone map, Kyrgyzstan is located in a time zone called “Kyrgyztan Time” (KGT) with a time difference of 6 hours from Coordinated Universal Time. One speaks of a standard difference of UTC+6. There is no daylight saving time changeover in Kyrgyzstan in summer.
As of 2023, the latest population of Kyrgyzstan is 5,964,897, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||0.96%|
|Birth rate||22.10 births per 1,000 people|
|65 years and above||5.43%|
|Median age||26.00 years|
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)||0.96|
|Population density||29.83 residents per km²|
|70% Kyrgyz, 15% Uzbeks, 8% Russians; Minorities of Dungans, Uyghurs, Ukrainians, Tatars, Kazakhs, Tajiks, Germans and others|
|Muslims 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, others 5%|
|Human Development Index (HDI)||0.674|
|HDI ranking||122nd out of 194|
People in Kyrgyzstan
Around 6 million people live in Kyrgyzstan. 37 out of 100 people live in a city. The largest cities are the capital Bishkek in the north and Osh in the west. Between the cities there are 3000 meter high mountains, so that the way from one city to the other is not so easy to master.
Each woman has an average of 2.5 children. The population is very young: 30 percent are younger than 15 years (in Germany it is only 13 percent). 90 percent of the population follow Islam, 7 percent are Russian Orthodox Christians.
73 percent of the population of Kyrgyzstan are Kyrgyz people. The country was named after them. Kyrgyzstan means “home of the Kyrgyz people”.
The largest minorities are Uzbeks (14 percent, especially in the south) and Russians (9 percent, especially in the north). Small minorities are Dungans (of Chinese origin), Uighurs, Tajiks, Kazakhs and Ukrainians.
Languages in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan today has two official languages: Kyrgyz and Russian. Russian was initially no longer an official language after independence, but was then reintroduced in 2001. Many people still speak Russian and it is popular in culture and business.
In addition to the two official languages, other languages are spoken in the country, namely by the minorities living here. Uzbek, in particular, is spoken in the south. The Dungans speak Dunganese, a Chinese dialect. The Kazakhs and Ukrainians also have their own language.
Most people, however, speak Kyrgyz. Kyrgyz is a Turkic language. There are around 40 Turkic languages, the most common being Turkish. However, Kyrgyz is more closely related to Uzbek and Kazakh. Kyrgyz itself has many dialects.
Kyrgyz is written in Cyrillic letters. That was not always so. Until 1926 it was written in Arabic letters, briefly also in Latin, but then in 1940 in Cyrillic. While Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan returned to the Latin alphabet, Kyrgyzstan (and Kazakhstan) did not.