262S11+_22Land+and+People+of+Afghanistan_22+-+Mitchell

262S11+_22Land+and+People+of+Afghanistan_22+-+Mitchell - A...

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Afghanistan 1 Land/Geography: Afghanistan has a total area of 647,500 sq km. The country is slightly smaller than the state of Texas. The north and southwest is made up of mostly plains, with the rest of the country being made up of rugged mountains. It is a landlocked country that borders China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The Hindu Kush Mountains run northeast to southwest, and divide the Northern provinces from the rest of the country. The highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor). Note the existence of interior drainage basins (e,g, NE to SW-flowing Helmand River has no outlet to the ocean). www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/af.html 1 Adapted from a variety of sources.
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Demographics: As of July 2004, the population of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was 28,513,677. The population growth rate is +4.92%. Age structure stands 0-14 years 44.7%; 15-64 years 52.9%; 65+years 2.4% (2004 est.) The birth rate stands at 44.27 births per 1000 population and the death rate 21.12 deaths per 1000 population. Infant mortality rate is 165.96 deaths per 1000 live births. Life expectancy is 42.27 years for males and 42.66 years for females. Less than 0.01% of the adult population is infected with HIV/ AIDS. The urban/rural division stands at 22.18 urban with a 4.88% urban growth rate. The largest cities are Kabul (2,716,000), Kandahar (419,654), Herat (329,954), Baghlan (264,359), Tagab (254,590). Encarta Encyclopedia: Johnstone and Mandryk www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/af.html This map uses 1960 data; it is assumed that the spatial distribution of today’s population is similar but refugee movements associated with wars (civil wars; war against the USSR; recent conflicts with the Taliban) may have brought substantial changes.
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The official language of Afghanistan is Pashtu . However, only 35% of the population claims this as their primary language. About 50% of the people speak Dari . The Turkic languages of Uzbek and Turkmen are spoken by about 11% of the people. About 4% speak one of 30 minor languages such as Balochi and Pashai . There is a lot of bilingualism. Society/ Culture: 82 people groups make up Afghanistan, however the Pashtun and Tajik make up the majority. Tajiks and Uzbeks typically live in the northern plains and valleys. The Pashtuns live mostly in the southern plateaus. The Hazara live in the central highlands. The primary people divisions are: Pashtun (42%) Tajik (27%) Hazara (9%) Uzbek (9%) Aimak (4%) Turkmen (3%) Baloch (2%) Other (4%) Afghanistan is made up of many different ethnic, linguistic, and tribal groups. Relations among Afghan ethnic groups that live in close proximity often have complex and hostile relationships. This complexity is made worse when several ethnic groups reside in the same region. Throughout history, stronger groups have attempted to dominate the weaker groups, often leaving the weaker groups with a choice of moving to a harsher, more marginal
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This document was uploaded on 10/27/2011 for the course GEO 262 at Rutgers.

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262S11+_22Land+and+People+of+Afghanistan_22+-+Mitchell - A...

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