Turkmenistan Population: 5,411,012


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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. In 2010, new gas export pipelines that carry Turkmenistani gas to China and to northern Iran began operating, effectively ending the Russian monopoly on Turkmenistani gas exports. In 2016 and 2017, Turkmenistani sales of natural gas were halted to Russia and Iran, respectively, making China the sole major buyer of Turkmenistani gas. As of April 2019, there are plans to renew gas exports to Russia. President for Life Saparmyrat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy chairman under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president. BERDIMUHAMEDOW won Turkmenistan's first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007, and again in 2012 and in 2017 with over 97% of the vote in both instances, in elections 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 more than three times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than California
Land Boundaries: total: 4,158 km border countries (4): Afghanistan 804 km, Iran 1148 km, Kazakhstan 413 km, Uzbekistan 1793 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked); 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
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
Land use: agricultural land: 72% (2011 est.) arable land: 4.1% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 67.8% (2011 est.) forest: 8.8% (2011 est.)
other: 19.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 19,950 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: earthquakes; mudslides; droughts; dust storms; floods
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; soil erosion; 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: Turkmenistani(s)
adjective: Turkmenistani
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: 5,411,012 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 25.66% (male 704,067 /female 684,581)
15-24 years: 17.71% (male 482,094 /female 476,080)
25-54 years: 43.52% (male 1,169,965 /female 1,185,159)
55-64 years: 8.17% (male 208,328 /female 233,902)
65 years and over: 4.93% (male 116,218 /female 150,618) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 52.7 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 46.5 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 6.2 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 16.1 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 28.3 years
male: 27.8 years
female: 28.8 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.1% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 18.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 51.6% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 2.46% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 810,000 ASHGABAT (capital) (2018)
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: 0.99 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 (2018 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 42 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 33.1 deaths/1,000 live births male: 39.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 26 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 70.7 years male: 67.6 years
female: 73.9 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.06 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 50.2% (2015/16)
Physicians density: 2.22 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density: 7.4 beds/1,000 population (2013)
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 (2012 est.)
rural: 98.2% of population (2012 est.)
total: 99.1% of population (2012 est.)

urban: 0% of population (2012 est.)
rural: 1.8% of population (2012 est.)
total: 0.9% of population (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: n/a
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: n/a
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 18.6% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 3.2% (2015)
Education expenditures: 3% of GDP (2012)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
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; 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), Dasoguz 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: history: several previous; latest adopted 14 September 2016 amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the total Assembly membership or absolute majority approval in a referendum; amended 2017 (2019)
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 2017 (next to be held in February 2024)

election results: Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW reelected president in the first round; percent of vote - Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (DPT) 97.7%, other 2.3%
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly or Mejlis (125 seats; members directly elected from single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 25 March 2018, although interim elections are held on an ad hoc basis to fill vacant sets

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - DPT 55, APT 11, PIE 11, independent 48 (individuals nominated by citizen groups); composition - men 94, women 31, percent of women 24.8%
Judicial branch: highest courts: 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 [Basim ANNAGURBANOW] Democratic Party of Turkmenistan or DPT [Ata SERDAROW] Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs or PIE [Saparmyrat OWGANOW] note: all of these parties support President BERDIMUHAMEDOW; a law authorizing the registration of political parties went into effect in January 2012; unofficial, small opposition movements exist abroad
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, to eliminate references to deceased President Saparmurat NYYAZOW
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Meret 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 almost 8% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Hydrocarbon exports, the bulk of which is natural gas going to China, make up 25% of Turkmenistan’s GDP. 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, political, 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, combatting corruption, and 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. There is a widening spread between the official exchange rate (3.5 TMM per US dollar) and the black market exchange rate (approximately 14 TMM per US dollar). Currency depreciation and conversion restrictions, corruption, isolationist policies, and declining spending on public services have resulted in a stagnate economy that is nearing crisis. Turkmenistan claims substantial foreign currency reserves, but non-transparent data limit international institutions’ ability to verify this information.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $103.7 billion (2017 est.) $97.41 billion (2016 est.) $91.72 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $37.93 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6.5% (2017 est.) 6.2% (2016 est.) 6.5% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $18,200 (2017 est.) $17,300 (2016 est.) $16,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 23.9% of GDP (2017 est.) 24.3% of GDP (2016 est.) 18.9% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 50% (2017 est.) government consumption: 10% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 28.2% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 26.2% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -14.3% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 7.5% (2017 est.) industry: 44.9% (2017 est.) services: 47.7% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, grain, melons; livestock
Industries: natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
Industrial production growth rate: 1% (2017 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: 5.657 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 6.714 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 14.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -2.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 28.8% of GDP (2017 est.) 24.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8% (2017 est.) 3.6% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$4.359 billion (2017 est.) -$7.207 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $7.458 billion (2017 est.) $6.987 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber
Exports - partners: China 83.7%, Turkey 5.1% (2017)
Imports: $4.571 billion (2017 est.) $5.215 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: Turkey 24.2%, Algeria 14.4%, Germany 9.8%, China 8.9%, Russia 8%, US 6.6% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $24.91 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $25.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $539.4 million (31 December 2017 est.) $425.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $3.061 billion (2013 est.) $3.117 billion (2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
Exchange rates: Turkmenistani manat (TMM) per US dollar - 4.125 (2017 est.) 3.5 (2016 est.) 3.5 (2015 est.) 3.5 (2014 est.) 2.85 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 21.18 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 15.09 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 3.201 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 4.001 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 67,790 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 600 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 191,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 160,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 53,780 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 77.45 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 39.31 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 38.14 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 7.504 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 100.5 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 8.575 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 160 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: telecommunications network is gradually improving for the former Soviet republic; state control over most economic activities has not helped growth; mobile market will see slow growth; some rural areas are still without telephones; mobile broadband is in the early stages of development (2018)

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; fixed-line 13 per 100 and mobile-cellular teledensity is about 160 per 100 persons; Russia's Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), the only foreign mobile-cellular service provider in Turkmenistan, suspended operations in September 2017 due to the state-owned telecom company cutting MTS' access to international and long-distance communication services and Internet; Turkmenistan's first telecommunication satellite was launched in 2015 and is expected to greatly improve connectivity in the country (2018)

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 (2018)
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
Internet country code: .tm
Internet users: total: 951,925
percent of population: 18% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 26 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 21
(2013) over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
under 914 m: 4 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: 7500 km gas, 1501 km oil (2013)
Railways: total 5,113 km
(2017) broad gauge: 5,113 km 1.520-m gauge (2017)
Roadways: total 58,592 km
(2002) paved: 47,577 km (2002)
unpaved: 11,015 km (2002)
Waterways: 1,300 km (Amu Darya River and Kara Kum Canal are important inland waterways) (2011)
Merchant marine: total 72

by type: general cargo 9, oil tanker 8, other 55 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Caspian Sea - Turkmenbasy
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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; 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; 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: 4,714 (2018)
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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