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A Thousand Splendid Suns: Afghanistan

Map of Afghanistan

CIA World Factbook:

Web Resources


Country Facts

The flag of Afghanistan, most recently adopted in 2004, consists of three vertical bands of black, red, and green. In the center, the coat of arms features a mosque, sheaves of wheat, and the Muslim declaration of faith: “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah.”

Capital: Kabul
Population: 29,835,392
Human Dev. Index: 172 of 182 countries
Gender Inequality Index: 141 of 155 countries
GDP (PPP) per capita: $900
Adult literacy rate: 43% (male); 13% (female)
Infant mortality rate: 149 per 1,000 births
Life expectancy: 45 (male); 45 (female)
Currency: Afghani

Ethnic Makeup

Ethnic Breakdown:
  • Pashtun 42%
  • Tajik 27%
  • Hazara 9%
  • Uzbek 9%
  • Aimak 4%
  • Turkmen 3%
  • Baloch 2%
  • Other 4%
Languages Spoken:
  • Pashtu (official) 35%
  • Afghan Persian (Dari) 50%
  • Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%
  • 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%

Country Reports: