Turkmenistan Population: 5,291,317


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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 armies, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. In medieval times, Merv (located in present-day Mary province) 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. The Government of Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects and has attempted to diversify its gas export routes beyond Russia's 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. Subsequently, decreased Russian purchases, as well as limited purchases by Iran, have made China the dominant buyer of Turkmen gas. 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 reelected in February 2012 with 97% of the vote, in an election widely regarded as undemocratic.

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: 4,158 km border countries (4): Afghanistan 804 km, Iran 1,148 km, Kazakhstan 413 km, Uzbekistan 1,793 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:
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
Land use: agricultural land: 72% arable land 4.1%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 67.8% forest: 8.8%
other: 19.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 19,950 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: NA
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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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: 5,291,317 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 25.95% (male 695,752/female 677,166)
15-24 years: 19.04% (male 506,856/female 500,647)
25-54 years: 42.86% (male 1,125,058/female 1,142,870)
55-64 years: 7.59% (male 189,464/female 212,330)
65 years and over: 4.56% (male 105,140/female 136,034) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 47.9%
youth dependency ratio: 41.7%
elderly dependency ratio: 6.1%
potential support ratio: 16.3% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 27.5 years
male: 27 years
female: 28 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.13% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 19.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 50% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.94% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: ASHGABAT (capital) 746,000 (2015)
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: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 24.6 (2006 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 42 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 35.5 deaths/1,000 live births male: 42.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 28.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 70.1 years male: 67.1 years
female: 73.3 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.08 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 48% (2006)
Health expenditures: 2.1% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density: 4 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 89.1% of population
rural: 53.7% of population
total: 71.1% of population

urban: 10.9% of population
rural: 46.3% of population
total: 28.9% of population (2012 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 98.2% of population
total: 99.1% of population

urban: 0% of population
rural: 1.8% of population
total: 0.9% of population (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 18.8% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 9.2% (2006)
Education expenditures: 3% of GDP (2012)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.6% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 11 years male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2014)
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Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Turkmenistan
local long form: none
local short form: Turkmenistan
former: Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
etymology: the suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so Turkmenistan literally means the "Land of the Turkmen [people]"
Government type: presidential republic; highly authoritarian
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 18 May 1992; amended several times, last in 2016 (2016)
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 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 elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 12 February 2012 (next to be held in February 2017); note – presidential election is still planned for February 2017 despite a 2016 constitutional amendment that extends the presidential term from 5 to 7 years

election results: Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW reelected president; percent of vote - Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW 97.1%, Annageldi YAZMYRADOW 1.1%, other candidates 1.8%
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly or Mejlis (125 seats; members directly elected from districts having about the same number of voters; members serve 5-year terms); note - in September 2008, a constitutional change abolished a second, 2,507-member People's Council and expanded the membership in the National Assembly to 125 from 65; the powers formerly held by the People's Council were divided between the president and the National Assembly

elections: last held on 15 December 2013 (next to be held in December 2018)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 47, Organization of Trade and Unions of Turkmenistan 33, Women's Union of Turkmenistan 16, Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs 14, Magtymguly Youth Organization 8, independents 7; note - all of these parties support President BERDIMUHAMIDOW
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Turkmenistan (consists of the court president and 21 associate judges and organized into civil, criminal, and military chambers) judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president for 5-year terms

subordinate courts: High Commercial Court; appellate courts; provincial, district, and city courts; military courts
Political parties and leaders: Agrarian Party of Turkmenistan or APT [Rezhep BAZAROV] (government created in September 2014, like the PIE, but not represented in parliament) Democratic Party of Turkmenistan or DPT [Kasymguly BABAYEW] Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs or PIE [Orazmammet MAMMEDOW] note: a law authorizing the registration of political parties went into effect in January 2012; unofficial, small opposition movements exist abroad
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 colors: green, white
National anthem: name: "Garassyz, Bitarap Turkmenistanyn" (Independent, Neutral, Turkmenistan State Anthem)
lyrics/music: collective/Veli MUKHATOV

note: adopted 1997, lyrics revised in 2008, following the death of President Saparmurat NYYAZOW, to eliminate references to him
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Mered Bairamovich ORAZOW (since 14 February 2001)
chancery: 2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 588-1500
FAX: [1] (202) 588-0697
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Allan MUSTARD (since 20 January 2015)
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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Turkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and significant natural 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 14% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Hydrocarbon exports (mainly natural gas) make up 31% of Turkmenistan’s GDP, with 60% of gas exports going to China and the remainder to Russia and Iran. Ashgabat has explored two initiatives to bring gas to new markets: a trans-Caspian pipeline that would carry gas to Europe and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Both face major financing and security hurdles and are unlikely to be completed soon. Turkmenistan’s autocratic governments under presidents NIYAZOW (1991-2006) and BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 2007) have made little progress improving the business climate, privatizing state-owned industries, and combatting corruption, limiting economic development outside the energy sector. High energy prices in the mid-2000s allowed the government to undertake extensive development and social spending, including providing heavy utility subsidies. Low energy prices since mid-2014 are hampering Turkmenistan’s economic growth and reducing government revenues. The government has cut subsidies in several areas, and wage arrears have increased. In January 2014, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan devalued the manat by 19%, and downward pressure on the currency continues. Turkmenistan continues to report GDP growth of nearly 10% per year and claims substantial foreign currency reserves, but non-transparent data limit international institutions’ ability to verify this information.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $94.77 billion (2016 est.) $89.95 billion (2015 est.) $84.46 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $36.57 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.4% (2016 est.) 6.5% (2015 est.) 10.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $17,300 (2016 est.) $16,700 (2015 est.) $15,900 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 20.1% of GDP (2016 est.) 9.6% of GDP (2015 est.) -22.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 50%
government consumption: 10.9%
investment in fixed capital: 26.7%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 33.9%
imports of goods and services: -21.6% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 50%
government consumption: 10.9%
investment in fixed capital: 26.7%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 33.9%
imports of goods and services: -21.6% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, grain, melons; livestock
Industries: natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
Industrial production growth rate: 1% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 2.305 million (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 48.2%
industry: 14%
services: 37.8% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate: 11% (2014 est.) 10.6% (2013)
Population below poverty line: 0.2% (2012 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: $3.765 billion
expenditures: $4.753 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 10.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 11% (2016 est.) 16% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$6.78 billion (2016 est.) -$3.695 billion (2015 est.)
Exports: $8.756 billion (2016 est.) $10.38 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber
Exports - partners: China 68.6%, Turkey 4.9% (2015)
Imports: $7.467 billion (2016 est.) $8.198 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: Turkey 24.9%, Russia 12.3%, China 10.9%, UAE 9.1%, Kazakhstan 5.1%, Germany 4.6%, Iran 4.4% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $10.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $13.62 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $502.8 million (31 December 2016 est.) $454.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $3.061 billion (2013 est.) $3.117 billion (2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: Turkmen manat (TMM) per US dollar - 4.25 (2016 est.) 3.5 (2015 est.) 3.5 (2014 est.) 2.85 (2013 est.) 2.85 (2012 est.)
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Electricity - production: 22.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 13 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 3.2 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 4.275 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Crude oil - production: 243,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 70,740 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 600 million bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 173,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 145,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 47,830 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 76 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 30.2 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 45.79 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 7.504 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 67 million Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 7.842 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 150 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: telecommunications network is gradually improving

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 ab

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 (2015)
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 satellit (2007)
Internet country code: .tm
Internet users: total: 785,000 percent of population: 15% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 26 (2013)
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 (2014)
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: major seaport(s): Caspian Sea - Turkmenbasy
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Military branches: Turkmen 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; 20 years of age for voluntary service; males may enroll in military schools from age 15 (2015)
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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: 7,125 (2015)
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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