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Central Asia: 10 Year Challenge

What has changed in Central Asian states since 2009?


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First of all, we have grown in numbers. If in 2009 the population of Central Asia was 61.6 million people, in 2019 the number has grown to 70.8 million. Tajikistan has shown the fastest rates of growth – the number of its citizens has grown almost by 23 per cent in 10 years.

However, birth rate has fallen in all countries but Kyrgyzstan, which has seen its increase by almost 7 per cent. The largest decline in the birth rate was in Kazakstan, by 37 per cent.

By 2019, the cumulative GDP of Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Tukmenistan has been 243.28 billion dollars. The largest growth in 10 years has been in Turkmenistan –more than twice

Before 2016 Uzbekistan had had two exchange rates – official and kerb rates. Moreover, it was only a few years ago that the national authorities admitted that some figures in the past were overstated.

Since 2009, Tajikistan’s external debt has increased more than twice, Kyrgyzstan’s – by 67% and Kazakstan’s – by 47 per cent. The minimum increase in external debt has been in Tajikistan, 2.2 per cent only. Turkmenistans’s external debt decresed by 20%. 

It’s hard to say whether the 10-year-old data are reliable in Uzbekistan, but based on them, the country’s burden has more than doubled.

Just as 10 years ago, the lowest level of average salary is in Tajikistan. According to the statistical committee, the best indicators are in Kazakstan – 493 dollars by 2019. Kyrgyzstan has shown the highest rate in 10 years – the average salary has grown by 61 per cent.

Uzbekistan has the highest unemployment rate in the region. In ten years, this number has grown by 39 per cent. Also, unemployment rate is rising in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, but in Kazakstan it decreases. Since 2009, the number of unemployed has decreased by 20%.

* The data of the World Bank, statistical committees of Central Asian states, as well as open sources were used in this article.  

Main photo:  gadventures.com


This article was prepared as part of the Giving Voice, Driving Change – from the Borderland to the Steppes Project implemented with the financial support of the Foreign Ministry of Norway. The opinions expressed in the article do not reflect the position of the editorial or donor.