Turkmenistan Population: 5,113,040

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 History
Present-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. The area was ruled in antiquity by various Persian empires, and was conquered by Alexander the Great, Muslim crusaders, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. In medieval times Merv (today known as Mary) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Russia in the late 1800s, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic; it achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited, have begun to transform the country. Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects. The Government of Turkmenistan is actively working to diversify its gas export routes beyond the still important Russian pipeline network. In 2010, new gas export pipelines that carry Turkmen gas to China and to northern Iran began operating, effectively ending the Russian monopoly on Turkmen gas exports. President for Life Saparmurat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Turkmenistan held its first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy cabinet chairman under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president; he was chosen as president again in February 2012, in an election that the OSCE said lacked the freedoms necessary to create a competitive environment.

 Geography
Landlocked; the western and central low-lying desolate portions of the country make up the great Garagum (Kara-Kum) desert, which occupies over 80% of the country; eastern part is plateau
Location: Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Geographic coordinates: 40 00 N, 60 00 E
Area: total: 488,100 sq km
land: 469,930 sq km
water: 18,170 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than California
Land Boundaries: total: 3,736 km
border countries: Afghanistan 744 km, Iran 992 km, Kazakhstan 379 km, Uzbekistan 1,621 km
Coastline: 0 km; note - Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: subtropical desert
Terrain: flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in west
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Vpadina Akchanaya -81 m note: Sarygamysh Koli is a lake in northern Turkmenistan with a water level that fluctuates above and below the elevation of Vpadina Akchanaya (the lake has dropped as low as -110 m)
highest point: Gora Ayribaba 3,139 m
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
Land use: arable land: 3.89%
permanent crops: 0.12%
other: 95.98% (2011)
Irrigated land: 19,910 sq km (2006)
Current Environment Issues: contamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salination, water logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods; Caspian Sea pollution; diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river's inability to replenish the Aral Sea; desertification
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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 People
Nationality: noun: Turkmen(s)
adjective: Turkmen
Ethnic groups: Turkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6% (2003)
Languages: Turkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
Religions: Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%
Population: 5,113,040 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 26.7% (male 690,673/female 673,271)
15-24 years: 20.8% (male 535,131/female 528,473)
25-54 years: 41.8% (male 1,058,811/female 1,079,697)
55-64 years: 6.5% (male 157,474/female 176,088)
65 years and over: 4.2% (male 92,891/female 120,531) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 48.3 %
youth dependency ratio: 42.2 %
elderly dependency ratio: 6.1 %
potential support ratio: 16.5 (2013)
Median age: total: 26.2 years
male: 25.8 years
female: 26.6 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.15% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 19.53 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 6.18 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 48.7% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.91% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: ASHGABAT (capital) 637,000 (2009)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 24.6 (2006 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 67 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 39.48 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 47.17 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 31.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 69.16 years
male: 66.18 years
female: 72.29 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.12 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 61.8% (2000)
Health expenditures: 2.5% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 2.44 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
Hospital bed density: 4 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 97% of population
rural: 72% of population
total: 83% of population

unimproved:
urban: 3% of population
rural: 28% of population
total: 17% of population (2000 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 97% of population
total: 98% of population

unimproved:
urban: 1% of population
rural: 3% of population
total: 2% of population (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: fewer than 200 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2004 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 13.2% (2008)
Education expenditures: NA
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.6%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.5% (2011 est.)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Turkmenistan
local long form: none
local short form: Turkmenistan former: Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
Government type: defines itself as a secular democracy and a presidential republic; in actuality displays authoritarian presidential rule, with power concentrated within the presidential administration
Capital: name: Ashgabat (Ashkhabad)
geographic coordinates: 37 57 N, 58 23 E
time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 5 provinces (welayatlar, singular - welayat) and 1 independent city*: Ahal Welayaty (Anew), Ashgabat*, Balkan Welayaty (Balkanabat), Dashoguz Welayaty, Lebap Welayaty (Turkmenabat), Mary Welayaty

note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
Independence: 27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National holiday: Independence Day, 27 October (1991)
Constitution: adopted 26 September 2008
Legal system: civil law system with Islamic law influences
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term; election last held on 12 February 2012 (next to be held February 2017)

election results: Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW reelected president; percent of vote - Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW 97.1%, Annageldi YAZMYRADOW 1.1%, other candidates 1.8%
Legislative branch: unicameral parliament known as the National Assembly (Mejlis) (125 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 14 December 2008 (next to be held in December 2013)

election results: 100% of elected officials are members of the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan and are preapproved by the president note: in 26 September 2008, a new constitution of Turkmenistan abolished a second, 2,507-member legislative body known as the People's Council and expanded the number of deputies in the National Assembly from 65 to 125; the powers formerly held by the People's Council were divided up between the president and the National Assembly
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Turkmenistan (consists of the court president and 21 associate judges) judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president; judge tenure NA

subordinate courts: provincial, district, and city courts; High Commercial Court; military courts
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party of Turkmenistan or DPT [Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, Chairman; Kasymguly BABAYEW, DPT Political Council First Secretary] Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs or PIE [Orazmammet MAMMEDOW] (party registered 21 August 2012) note: a law authorizing the registration of political parties went into effect in January 2012; unofficial, small opposition movements exist abroad; the three most prominent opposition groups-in-exile are the National Democratic Movement of Turkmenistan (NDMT), the Republican Party of Turkmenistan, and the Watan (Fatherland) Party; the NDMT was led by former Foreign Minister Boris SHIKHMURADOV until his arrest and imprisonment in the wake of the 25 November 2002 attack on President NYYAZOW's motorcade
Political pressure groups and leaders: none
International organization participation: ADB, CIS (associate member, has not ratified the 1993 CIS charter although it participates in meetings and held the chairmanship of the CIS in 2012), EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO
National symbol(s): Akhal-Teke horse
National anthem: name: "Garassyz, Bitarap Turkmenistanyn" (Independent, Neutral, Turkmenistan State Anthem)
lyrics/music: collective/Veli MUKHATOV

note: adopted 1997, lyrics revised 2008; following the death of the President Saparmurat NYYAZOW, the lyrics were altered to eliminate references to the former president
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Mered Bairamovich ORAZOW
chancery: 2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 588-1500
FAX: [1] (202) 280-1003
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Robert E. PATTERSON
embassy: No. 9 1984 Street (formerly Pushkin Street), Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 744000 mailing address: 7070 Ashgabat Place, Washington, DC 20521-7070
telephone: [993] (12) 94-00-45
FAX: [993] (12) 94-26-14
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 Economy
Turkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and sizeable gas and oil resources. The two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for roughly 8% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Turkmenistan's authoritarian regime has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton export revenues to sustain its inefficient and highly corrupt economy. Privatization goals remain limited. From 1998-2005, Turkmenistan suffered from the continued lack of adequate export routes for natural gas and from obligations on extensive short-term external debt. At the same time, however, total exports rose by an average of roughly 15% per year from 2003-08, largely because of higher international oil and gas prices. Additional pipelines to China, that began operation in early 2010, and increased pipeline capacity to Iran, have expanded Turkmenistan''s export routes for its gas. Overall prospects in the near future are discouraging because of endemic corruption, a poor educational system, government misuse of oil and gas revenues, and Ashgabat''s reluctance to adopt market-oriented reforms. The majority of Turkmenistan''s economic statistics are state secrets. The present government established a State Agency for Statistics, but GDP numbers and other publicized figures are subject to wide margins of error. In particular, the rate of GDP growth is uncertain. Since his election, President BERDIMUHAMEDOW unified the country''s dual currency exchange rate, ordered the redenomination of the manat, reduced state subsidies for gasoline, and initiated development of a special tourism zone on the Caspian Sea. Although foreign investment is encouraged, and some improvements in macroeconomic policy have been made, numerous bureaucratic obstacles impede international business activity.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $49.75 billion (2012 est.) $44.84 billion (2011 est.) $39.11 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $33.68 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 11% (2012 est.) 14.7% (2011 est.) 9.2% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $8,900 (2012 est.) $8,100 (2011 est.) $7,200 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving: 14.6% of GDP (2012 est.) 11.6% of GDP (2011 est.) 12% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 50%
government consumption: 12.9%
investment in fixed capital: 10.6%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 62.7%
imports of goods and services: -36.2% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 50%
government consumption: 12.9%
investment in fixed capital: 10.6%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 62.7%
imports of goods and services: -36.2% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, grain, melons; livestock
Industries: natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
Industrial production growth rate: 6.5% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 2.3 million (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 48.2%
industry: 14%
services: 37.8% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate: 60% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line: 30% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 40.8 (1998)
Budget: revenues: $26.4 billion
expenditures: $26.9 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 78.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.5% (2012 est.) 12% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: $1.496 billion (2012 est.) $1.005 billion (2011 est.)
Exports: $15.4 billion (2012 est.) $13.84 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber
Exports - partners: China 66%, Ukraine 7%, Italy 4.5% (2012)
Imports: $10.19 billion (2012 est.) $9.368 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: China 20.1%, Turkey 17.5%, Russia 13%, UAE 6.9%, Germany 4.8%, UK 4.4% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $20.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $18.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $428.9 million (31 December 2012 est.) $451.5 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: Turkmen manat (TMM) per US dollar - 2.85 (2012 est.) 2.85 (2011 est.) 2.85 (2010 est.) 2.85 (2009) 14,250 (2008)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 15.02 billion kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 81
Electricity - consumption: 11.22 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 1.568 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 2.852 million kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 222,200 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 67,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 600 million bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 160,300 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 145,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 74,430 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 2,542 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 59.5 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 25 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 34.5 billion cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 24.3 trillion cu m (June 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 62.05 million Mt (2010 est.)
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 Communications
Telephones in use: 547,000 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 94
Cellular Phones in use: 3.511 million (2011)
Telephone system: general assessment: telecommunications network remains underdeveloped and progress toward improvement is slow; strict government control and censorship inhibits liberalization and modernization

domestic: Turkmentelekom, in cooperation with foreign partners, has installed high-speed fiber-optic lines and has upgraded most of the country's telephone exchanges and switching centers with new digital technology; combined fixed-line and mobile teledensity is about 80 per 100 persons; Russia's Mobile Telesystems, the only foreign mobile-cellular service provider in Turkmenistan, had its operating license suspended in December 2010 but was able to resume operations in September 2012

international: country code - 993; linked by fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and to other countries by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; an exchange in Ashgabat switches international traffic through Turkey via Intelsat; satellite earth stations - 1 Orbita and 1 Intelsat (2012)
Broadcast media: broadcast media is government controlled and censored; 7 state-owned TV and 4 state-owned radio networks; satellite dishes and programming provide an alternative to the state-run media; officials sometimes limit access to satellite TV by removing satellite dishes (2007)
Internet country code: .tm
Internet hosts: 714 (2012)
Internet users: 80,400 (2009)
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 Transportation
Airports: 26 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 126
Airports (paved runways): total 21
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 4 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 7,500 km; oil 1,501 km (2013)
Railways: total 2,980 km
broad gauge: 2,980 km 1.520-m gauge (2008)
Roadways: total 58,592 km
paved: 47,577 km
unpaved: 11,015 km (2002)
Waterways: 1,300 km (Amu Darya and Kara Kum canal are important inland waterways) (2011)
Merchant marine: total 11

by type: cargo 4, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 1 (2010)
Ports and terminals: Turkmenbasy
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 Military
Military branches: Turkmenistani Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 18-27 years of age for compulsory male military service; 2-year conscript service obligation, or 1 year for university students; 20 years of age for voluntary service; males may enroll in military schools from age 15 (2013)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 1,380,794
females age 16-49: 1,387,211 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 1,066,649
females age 16-49: 1,185,538 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 53,829
female: 52,988 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 1.6% of GDP (2011)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2005, but Caspian seabed delimitation remains stalled with Azerbaijan, Iran, and Kazakhstan due to Turkmenistan's indecision over how to allocate the sea's waters and seabed; bilateral talks continue with Azerbaijan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
stateless persons: 8,947 (2012)
Illicit drugs: transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and Western European markets; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan
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Source: CIA - The World Factbook
 

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