Quick facts

Geography
Area: 77,181 sq. mi.
Cities: Bishkek (capital), Osh, Cholpon Ata, Karakol.
Terrain: 90% mountainous, with some desert regions. Elevation extremes-lowest point: Kulundy village in the Batken province 401 m; highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m.

People
Nationality: Kyrgyzstani.
Population (July 2008): 5,356,869.
Annual growth rate (2008): 1.38%.
Ethnic groups (2007): Kyrgyz 68.9%; Russian 9.1%; Uzbek 14.4%; Dungan (ethnic Chinese Muslims) 1%; Uighurs 1%; Tajik 0.9%, Kazakh 0.8%, Tatars 0.7%; Korean 0.4%, German 0.3%.
Main religions: Islam; Russian Orthodox.
Languages: Kyrgyz (state); Russian (official, 2001).
Education: Nine years compulsory. Literacy--98.7%.
Health (2006): Infant mortality rate--29.2 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy--67.7 years.
Population distribution (2006): Urban 64.7%; rural 35.3%.

Government
Type: Republic.
Independence: August 31, 1991 (from the Soviet Union).
Constitution: May 5, 1993; amended in 1996, 1998, 2003, 2006, and 2007.
Branches: Executive- prime minister. Legislative-parliament. Judicial-Supreme Court, local courts, Procurator-General.
Administrative subdivisions: Seven oblasts and the municipality of Bishkek.
Political parties and leaders: Ata Meken (Omurbek Tekebaev), Republic (Omurbek Babanov), Social Democratic (Atambaev) Ar Namus (Felix Kulov), Ata Jurt (Tashiev Kamchubek).