Tajikistan Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Tajikistan Country Overview

Where is Tajikistan located? The Cyrillic state of Tajikistan is a state in Central Asia completely surrounded by other states. The population is described as Perso-Arab. The time zone assigned to Tajikistan on the time zone map is called “Tajikistan Time”. There is a time difference of 5 hours (UTC+5) in this world time zone. This means that it is always 5 hours later than the world clock shows. This difference also remains during the summer months, since a time changeover to summer time is not carried out.

Tajikistan National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Tajikistan is 8,873,669, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 8,873,669
Population growth rate 1.52%
Birth rate 23.30 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 66.72 years
Men life expectancy 63.63 years
Women life expectancy 69.97 years
Age structure
0-14 years 32.05%
15-64 years 64.54%
65 years and above 3.41%
Median age 23.90 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.99
Population density 62.01 residents per km²
Urbanization 24.70%
Tajiks – last census 2010: 7,564,502 residents – 2000: 79.9% Tajiks, 15.3% Uzbeks, 1.1% Russians, 0.3% Tatars and others
Muslims (Sunnis) 85%, Muslims (Shiites) 5% (2003)
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.656
HDI ranking 125th out of 194

People in Tajikistan

Around 9 million people live in Tajikistan. Most of them – 85 percent – are Tajiks. Their country is named after them: Tajikistan means “Land of the Tajiks”. Tajiks are among the Iranian peoples. Unlike their Turkish-speaking neighbors in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, they speak an Iranian language. The Jaghnob people who live on the Jaghnob River are also part of the Tajik people.

In addition to Tajiks, there are also minorities living in the country. The largest group are the Uzbeks (14 percent). Small groups form Kyrgyz people (0.8 percent) and Russians (0.5 percent), as well as Tatars, Ukrainians and Germans. These groups, especially those of the Russians, were far larger before the end of the Soviet Union. Many left the country. The Pamiri live in the far east on the border with Afghanistan.

27 out of 100 residents live in a city. So the majority are at home in the country. By far the largest city is Dushanbe, followed by Khujand in the Ferghana Valley and Kulob and Qurghonteppa in the south-west of the country. Most of the people live in the country’s fertile valleys. The birth rate is quite high at 2.5 children per woman.

Languages in Tajikistan

The official language in Tajikistan is Tajik. This is an Iranian (Persian) language. The language distinguishes Tajikistan from the other Central Asian countries, because Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Turkmens are Turkic-speaking peoples.

Some scholars count Tajik as their own language, others see Tajik as a dialect of Persian. In any case, Tajik itself breaks down into numerous dialects.

Unlike in Iran or Afghanistan, Tajik is also not written in the Arabic-Persian alphabet, but with Cyrillic letters. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, efforts were made to write Tajik in Arabic letters again, but this was not successful. In 1998, however, four Cyrillic letters were abolished, namely ц, щ, ы and ь.

An example of a sentence in Tajik: Ман мактуб навишта истода-ам. That is what one speaks: Man maktub navishta istoda-am. And it means: I’m writing a letter.

Russian is still an important colloquial language in Tajikistan that many residents speak as a second language. Due to the high number of Uzbeks in the country, Uzbek is also spoken.

Religions in Tajikistan

Ninety percent of the population of Tajikistan are followers of Islam. 85 percent belong to Sunni Islam, 5 percent are Shiites.

Christians make up about 3 percent. For example, you are Russian Orthodox or Catholic or belong to a Protestant free church or are Jehovah’s Witnesses.