HDI RANK: 124
POPULATION: 29,853,000
GNI PER CAPITA: $250
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 47

Environment

Afghanistan is a landlocked, arid, mountainous and sparsely populated country, with an area of 647,500 square kilometres, bordered by Iran to the west, Pakistan to the south and east, the People's Republic of China to the far north-east and the Central Asian republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north-east.

Afghanistan is still largely a tribal society, divided into many tribes, clans and smaller groups. Considerable variation in the types of terrain and obstacles imposed by high ranking mountains and deserts, account for the country's marked ethnic and cultural differences.

The country's population reflects its location with the presence of several ‘national' minorities. The main ethnic groups are dispersed throughout the country as follows: Pashtuns, the majority group, are concentrated mainly in the south and south-east but also live all over state; Tajiks inhabit mainly the north and north-east and Kabul region; Hazaras in the centre (Hazarajat) and in Kabul; Uzbeks in the north, Aimaq in the west; Turkmens in the north; Baluchis in the west and north-west and the Nuristani the east.

The sovereign territory of Afghanistan is divided into 34 provinces (Welayat) with more than 300 districts (Woleswali). The boundaries of two newly created provinces are yet to be delimited.

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