AFGHANISTAN Geography Afghanistan, the land of Afghans as the name suggests, is a mountainous land surrounded by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north and by China on the extreme northeast, on the east and south by Pakistan, and towards west by Iran. The country is split across from East to the west by the Hindu Kush mountain range, rising in the east at the height of 24,000 ft. (7,315 m). The south-western part of the country is covered by high snow-capped mountains and is bridged by deep valleys. The Largest City is Kabul and the other larger cities are Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif, Charikar and Heart.

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 water: 0 sq. km land:  652,230 sq. km


30,419,928 (July 2012 est.)

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.)

Country name conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

conventional short form: Afghanistan

local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Afghanestan

local short form: Afghanestan

former: Republic of Afghanistan

Government type Islamic republic
Capital Kabul  
Telephones main lines in use 13,500 (2011)
Telephones mobile cellular 17,558,000 (2011)
Telephone system general assessment: limited fixed-line telephone service; an increasing number of Afghans utilize mobile-cellular phone networks

domestic: aided by the presence of multiple providers, mobile-cellular telephone service continues to improve rapidly; 55% of Afghans have access to mobile-cellular telephone service, and 85% live in areas covered by one of Afghanistan’s four largest mobile-cellular telephone service providers

international: country code – 93; multiple VSAT’s provide international and domestic voice and data connectivity (2009)





total: 42,150 km

paved: 12,350 km

unpaved: 29,800 km (2006)


Military branches

Afghan Armed Forces: Afghan National Army (ANA, includes Afghan Air Force (AAF)) (2011)

Military manpower – military age

22 years of age (2005 est.)


Afghanistan’s economy is recovering from decades of conflict. The economy has improved significantly since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 largely because of the infusion of international assistance, the recovery of the agricultural sector, and service sector growth. Despite the progress of the past few years, Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Criminality, insecurity, weak governance, and the Afghan Government’s difficulty in extending rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. Afghanistan’s living standards are among the lowest in the world. While the international community remains committed to Afghanistan’s development, pledging over $67 billion at nine donors’ conferences between 2003-10, the Government of Afghanistan will need to overcome a number of challenges, including low revenue collection, anemic job creation, and high levels of corruption, weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.

Transnational Issues:

Disputes international Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan military meet periodically to clarify the alignment of the boundary on the ground and on maps; Afghan and Iranian commissioners have discussed boundary monument densification and resurvey; Iran protests Afghanistan’s restricting flow of dammed Helmand River tributaries during drought; Pakistan has sent troops across and built fences along some remote tribal areas of its treaty-defined Durand Line border with Afghanistan which serve as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities; Russia remains concerned about the smuggling of poppy derivatives from Afghanistan through Central Asian countries
Refugees and internally displaced persons IDPs: 132,246 (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in south and west due to drought and instability) (2007)
Illicit drugs world’s largest producer of opium; while poppy cultivation was relatively stable at 119,000 hectares in 2010, a poppy blight affecting the high cultivation areas in 2010 reduced potential opium production to 3,200 metric tons, down over 40 percent from 2009; the Taliban and other anti-government groups participate in and profit from the opiate trade, which is a key source of revenue for the Taliban inside Afghanistan; widespread corruption and instability impede counterdrug efforts; most of the heroin consumed in Europe and Eurasia is derived from Afghan opium; vulnerable to drug money laundering through informal financial networks; regional source of hashish (2008)