Demography of Afghanistan

Demography of Afghanistan

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The population of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 is around 29,835,392 as of the year 2011, which is unclear if the refugee
Afghan diaspora
Afghan diaspora or Afghan immigrants are citizens of Afghanistan who have emigrated to other countries, or people of Afghan origin who are born outside Afghanistan.-List of countries:...

s living outside the country are included or not. The nation is composed of a multi-ethnic
Multiethnic society
A multiethnic society is one with members belonging to more than one ethnic group, in contrast to societies which are ethnically homogenous. In practice, virtually all contemporary national societies are multiethnic...

 and multi-lingual
Multilingualism
Multilingualism is the act of using, or promoting the use of, multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. Multilingualism is becoming a social phenomenon governed by the needs of...

 society, reflecting its location astride historic trade and invasion routes between Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

, Southern Asia, and Western Asia. The majority of Afghanistan's population consist of the Iranic peoples, notably the Pashtuns
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 and Tajiks. The Pashtun is the largest group followed by Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

, Aimak
Aimak
Aymāq , also transliterated as Aimak or Aimaq, are a collection of Persian-speaking nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes. They are found throughout the north and northwest highlands of Afghanistan, immediately to the north of Herat, and in the Khorasan Province of Iran...

, Turkmen
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

, Baloch
Baloch people
The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

 and others.

Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 and Dari (Persian)
Dari (Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

 are both the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

s of the country. Persian is spoken by about half of the population and serves as a lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 for the majority. Pashto is spoken widely in the south, east and south west of the country as well as in neighboring western Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. Uzbek language
Uzbek language
Uzbek is a Turkic language and the official language of Uzbekistan. It has about 25.5 million native speakers, and it is spoken by the Uzbeks in Uzbekistan and elsewhere in Central Asia...

 and Turkmen language
Turkmen language
Turkmen is the national language of Turkmenistan...

 are spoken in parts of the north. Smaller groups throughout the country also speak more than 30 other languages and numerous dialects.

Islam
Islam in Afghanistan
Islam is the official state religion of Afghanistan, with approximately 99.7% of the Afghan population being Muslim. About 80-89% practice Sunni Islam and belong to the Hanafi Islamic law school while 10-19% are Shi'a, majority of whom follow the Twelver branch with smaller numbers of Ismailis...

 is the religion of 99.7% of Afghanistan. An estimated 80-89% of the population practice Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 and belong to the Hanafi
Hanafi
The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

 Islamic law school while 10-19% are Shi'a
Shi'a Islam in Afghanistan
Shi'a Islam in Afghanistan makes up 10-19% of the total population of the state, while the remaining 80-89% practice Sunni Islam.Many of the Pamir language speakers of the northeastern portion of the country are followers of the Nizari Ismaili sect, while majority of the Hazara people, the third...

, majority of the Shia follow the Twelver branch with smaller numbers of Ismailis. The remaining 1% or less practice other religions such as Sikhism
Sikhism in Afghanistan
Sikhism in Afghanistan is limited to small populations, primarily in major cities, with the largest numbers of Afghan Sikhs living in Jalalabad, Kabul, and Kandahar...

 and Hinduism
Hinduism in Afghanistan
Hinduism in Afghanistan has existed for almost as long as Hinduism itself. The religion was widespread in the region until the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan...

. Despite attempts during the 1980s to secularize Afghan society, Islamic practices pervade all aspects of life. In fact, Islam served as the principal basis for expressing opposition to the Soviet invasion
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

. Likewise, Islamic religious tradition and codes, together with traditional practices, provide the principal means of controlling personal conduct and settling legal disputes. Excluding urban populations in the principal cities, most Afghans are organized into tribal and other kinship-based groups, which follow their own traditional customs: for instance Pashtunwali
Pashtunwali
Pashtunwali or Pakhtunwali is a non-written ethical code and traditional lifestyle which the indigenous Pashtun people from Afghanistan and Pakistan follow. Some in the Indian subcontinent refer to it as "Pathanwali". Its meaning may also be interpreted as "the way of the Pashtuns" or "the code of...

.

Population statistics


As of 2011, the population of Afghanistan is around 29,835,392, but is unknown if the Afghan refugees
Afghan diaspora
Afghan diaspora or Afghan immigrants are citizens of Afghanistan who have emigrated to other countries, or people of Afghan origin who are born outside Afghanistan.-List of countries:...

 living in Pakistan
Afghans in Pakistan
Afghans in Pakistan are mostly refugees who fled Afghanistan during the 1980s Soviet war as well as diplomats, traders, businesspersons, workers, exchange students, tourists and other visitors. As of March 2009, some 1.7 million registered Afghan nationals were reported to be living in Pakistan,...

 and Iran
Afghans in Iran
Afghans in Iran are mostly refugees who fled Afghanistan during the 1980s Soviet war as well as diplomats, traders, businesspersons, workers, exchange students, tourists and other visitors. As of March 2009, nearly 1 million Afghan nationals were reported to be living in Iran...

 are included or not. A 2009 United Nations estimate showed that the population was 28,150,000 and a 2009–2010 nationwide survey
Statistical survey
Survey methodology is the field that studies surveys, that is, the sample of individuals from a population with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population using the sample. Polls about public opinion, such as political beliefs, are reported in the news media in democracies....

 conducted by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Afghanistan has put it at 26 million but not counting some parts of the country due to insecurity.

A partial census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 conducted in 1979 showed roughly 15.5 million people living in the country. The Statistical Yearbook published in 1983 by the Babrak Karmal
Babrak Karmal
Babrak Karmal was the third President of Afghanistan during the period of the communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. He is the best known of the Marxist leadership....

 government claimed a total population of 15.96 million for 1981–82. Between 600,000 to 2 million Afghans were killed during the various 1979–2001 wars, majority of them during the Soviet war in the 1980s. At least 5 million more fled the country to neighboring countries. According to the Population Reference Bureau
Population Reference Bureau
The Population Reference Bureau is a private, nonprofit organization which informs people around the world about population, health and the environment for research or academic purposes...

, the Afghan population is estimated to increase to 82 million by 2050.

The only city in Afghanistan with over a million residents is its capital, Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

. The other major cities in the country are, in order of population size, Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

, Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

, Mazar-e Sharif
Mazar-e Sharif
Mazār-i-Sharīf or Mazār-e Sharīf is the fourth largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 375,000 as of 2006. It is the capital of Balkh province and is linked by roads to Kunduz in the east, Kabul in the south-east, Herat to the west and Uzbekistan to the north...

, Jalalabad
Jalalabad
Jalalabad , formerly called Adinapour, as documented by the 7th century Hsüan-tsang, is a city in eastern Afghanistan. Located at the junction of the Kabul River and Kunar River near the Laghman valley, Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province. It is linked by approximately of highway with...

, Ghazni
Ghazni
For the Province of Ghazni see Ghazni ProvinceGhazni is a city in central-east Afghanistan with a population of about 141,000 people...

 and Kunduz
Kunduz
Kunduz also known as Kundûz, Qonduz, Qondûz, Konduz, Kondûz, Kondoz, or Qhunduz is a city in northern Afghanistan, the capital of Kunduz Province. It is linked by highways with Mazari Sharif to the west, Kabul to the south and Tajikistan's border to the north...

. Urban areas are experiencing rapid population growth since the Karzai administration
Karzai administration
The Karzai administration is the official government of Afghanistan under President Hamid Karzai, who became the head of state of Afghanistan in December 2001, after the Taliban government was removed. He was appointed at the 2002 Loya Jirga as the Interim President of the Afghan Transitional...

 began in late 2001, which is mainly due to the return of over 5 million expats
Expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

.

Age structure


0–14 years: 44.5% (male 7,064,670; female 7,300,446)

15–64 years: 53% (male 9,147,846; female 8,679,800)

65 years and over: 2.4% (male 394,572; female 422,603) (2009 est.)

Births and deaths

Period Live births per year Deaths per year Natural change per year CBR* CDR* NC* TFR* IMR*
1950-1955 450 000 313 000 136 000 52.9 36.9 16.0 7.70 275.0
1955-1960 489 000 322 000 168 000 52.9 34.8 18.1 7.70 260.6
1960-1965 538 000 333 000 205 000 52.8 32.7 20.2 7.70 245.4
1965-1970 596 000 343 000 253 000 52.6 30.3 22.4 7.70 228.1
1970-1975 664 000 356 000 308 000 52.1 27.9 24.2 7.70 211.4
1975-1980 713 000 354 000 360 000 51.5 25.6 26.0 7.70 194.5
1980-1985 694 000 323 000 372 000 51.8 24.1 27.7 7.80 182.8
1985-1990 669 000 291 000 378 000 52.2 22.7 29.5 7.90 171.9
1990-1995 863 000 352 000 512 000 52.6 21.4 31.2 8.00 161.8
1995-2000 1 118 000 429 000 688 000 52.4 20.1 32.3 8.00 152.3
2000-2005 1 221 000 463 000 759 000 48.4 18.3 30.1 7.35 143.7
2005-2010 1 332 000 496 000 836 000 45.1 16.8 28.3 6.62 136.0

CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births; TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman)

Urbanization


urbanization population: 24% of the total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 5.4% annual rate of change (2005–10 est.)

Literacy

Definition: Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 28%
Male: 43.1%
Female: 12.6% (2000 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)


total: 8 years

male: 11 years

female: 4 years (2004)

Sex ratio


at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15–64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female

total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth


total population:
44.64 years

country comparison to the world: 214

male: 44.47 years

female: 44.81 years (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate


0.01% (2001 est.)

According to Afghanistan's National Aids Control Program (NACP), as of late 2008, 504 cases of HIV/AIDS have been documented. In the same year it was estimated that up to 2,500 people may be infected nationwide.


country comparison to the world: 168

Major infectious diseases


Degree of risk: high
  • Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
  • Vector-borne diseases: malaria
  • Animal contact diseases: rabies

Nnote: WH5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk as of 2009.

Ethnic groups


Because a systematic census has not been held in the nation in decades, exact figures about the size and composition of the various ethnic groups are unvailable. An approximate distribution of the ethnic groups
Ethnic groups in Afghanistan
Afghanistan is a multiethnic society. The population of the country is divided into a wide variety of ethnolinguistic groups. The ethnic groups of the country are as follow: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Aimak, Turkmen, Baloch, Pashai, Nuristani, Arab, Brahui, Pamiri and some others.-Ethnic...

 is shown in the chart below:
Ethnic groups in Afghanistan
Ethnic group Image
Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

40% 40percent
Tajik 40% 40% (of this 1% are Qizilbash)
Hazara 9% 10–19 percent
Uzbek
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

9% 6–8% percent
Aimak 4% 500,000 to 800,000
Turkmen
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

2.5% 2.5 percent
Baloch
Baloch people
The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

2% 100,000
Others (Pashai, Nuristani, Arab
History of Arabs in Afghanistan
The history of Arabs in Afghanistan spans over one millennium, from the 7th century Islamic conquest when Arab ghazis arrived with their Islamic mission until recently when others from the Arab world arrived to defend fellow Muslims from the Soviet followed by their liberation by NATO forces...

, Brahui
Brahui people
The Brahui or Brohi are ethnic Baloch group of about 2.2 million people with the majority found in Kalat, Baluchistan, Pakistan, but they are also found in smaller numbers in neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.-Origins:The ethnonym "Brahui" is a very...

, Pamiri
Pamiri people
Pamiri is the name of an Iranian ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan.-Ethnic Identity:The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili sect of Shia...

, Gujjar
Gujjar
The Gurjar are an ethnic group in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Alternative spellings include Gurjara, Gujar, Gurjjara and Gūrjara. The spelling Gurjara or Gurjar is preferable to the rest....

, etc.)
4% 6.9 percent

The 2004–present suggested estimations in the above chart are supported by recent national opinion poll
Opinion poll
An opinion poll, sometimes simply referred to as a poll is a survey of public opinion from a particular sample. Opinion polls are usually designed to represent the opinions of a population by conducting a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities in ratio or within confidence...

s, which were aimed at knowing how a group of 7,760 Afghan citizens felt about the current war, political situation, as well as the economic and social issues affecting their daily lives. Two of the survey
Survey
-Quantitative research:* Statistical survey, a method for collecting quantitative information about items in a population* Paid survey, a method that companies use to collect consumer opinions about a product by paying consumers for participating in the survey...

s were conducted between 2006 to 2010 by the Asia Foundation (with technical assistance by the Indian Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies is an Indian social sciences and humanities research institute. It was founded in 1963 by Rajni Kothari and is largely founded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research...

and the Afghan Center for Socio-economic and Opinion Research) and one between 2004 to 2009 by a combined effort of the broadcasting companies NBC News
NBC News
NBC News is the news division of American television network NBC. It first started broadcasting in February 21, 1940. NBC Nightly News has aired from Studio 3B, located on floors 3 of the NBC Studios is the headquarters of the GE Building forms the centerpiece of 30th Rockefeller Center it is...

, BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, and ARD
ARD (broadcaster)
ARD is a joint organization of Germany's regional public-service broadcasters...

.

Languages



Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 and Dari (Persian)
Dari (Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

 are both the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

s of Afghanistan. Dari (also known as Farsi) has always been the prestige language, it is the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

, the language resorted to when people of different ethnic groups need to conduct business or otherwise communicate. Sources before 1996 state that Pashto is the native tongue of 35-55% of the population and Persian being of 25-50%, although it is the most widely used language in the country by different ethnic groups. A fair number of Afghans can also speak and understand especially Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

, which uses the same persian script. Other languages include Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

, Hindi-Urdu and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

. The Afghan National Anthem
Afghan National Anthem
The Afghan National Anthem was adopted and officially announced in May 2006. According to article 20 of the Constitution of Afghanistan, "The national anthem of Afghanistan shall be in Pashto with the mention of "God is Greatest" as well as the names of the ethnicities of Afghanistan." The lyrics...

 is only in the Pashto language. An approximate distribution of languages spoken in the country is shown in the line chart below:
Languages of Afghanistan
Language
Persian
Dari (Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

 (officially called Dari
Dari (Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

)
60 40-50
Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

35% 35-55%
Uzbek
Uzbek language
Uzbek is a Turkic language and the official language of Uzbekistan. It has about 25.5 million native speakers, and it is spoken by the Uzbeks in Uzbekistan and elsewhere in Central Asia...

8.5% 9%
Turkmen
Turkmen language
Turkmen is the national language of Turkmenistan...

2.5% 500,000 speakers
30 others (Balochi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

, Nuristani
Nuristani languages
The Nuristani languages are one of the three groups within the Indo-Iranian language family, alongside the much larger Indo-Aryan and Iranian groups. They are spoken primarily in eastern Afghanistan...

, Pashayi
Pashayi language
Pashayi - also known as Pashai - is a language spoken by the Pashai people in parts of Kapisa, Laghman, Nuristan, Kunar, and Nangarhar Provinces in Northeastern Afghanistan....

, Brahui, Hindko
Hindko language
Hindko , also Hindku, or Hinko, is the sixth main regional language of Pakistan. It forms a subgroup of Indo-Aryan languages spoken by Hindkowans in Pakistan and northern India, some Pashtun tribes in Pakistan, as well as by the Hindki people of Afghanistan...

, Pamiri
Pamir languages
The Pamir languages are a group of the Eastern Iranian languages, spoken by numerous people in the Pamir Mountains, primarily along the Panj River and its tributaries. This includes the Badakhshan Province of northeastern Afghanistan and the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province of eastern Tajikistan...

, Kyrgyz
Kyrgyz language
Kyrgyz or Kirgiz, also Kirghiz, Kyrghiz, Qyrghiz is a Turkic language and, together with Russian, an official language of Kyrgyzstan...

, Gujari, etc.)
4% 4%

According to the 2006 and 2010 Asia Foundation "A survey of the Afghan people", Dari (Persian) was the first language of 36-49% of the polled people, while additional 37% spoke it as a second language (combined 73-86%). Pashto was the first language of 29-40% of the polled people, while additional 27% knew the language (combined 56-67%). Uzbeki was spoken or understood by 2-6% and Turkmen by 1-3%. About 6% of the interviewed people could also speak English. In the survey "Afghanistan: Where Things Stand" (average numbers from 2005 to 2009), 69% of the interviewed people preferred Dari, while 31% preferred Pashto. Additionally, 45% of the polled people said that they can read Dari, while 36% said that they can read Pashto.

Religions



  • Islam: 99.7% of the total population
    • Sunni Muslim: 80-89%
    • Shi'a Muslim
      Shi'a Islam in Afghanistan
      Shi'a Islam in Afghanistan makes up 10-19% of the total population of the state, while the remaining 80-89% practice Sunni Islam.Many of the Pamir language speakers of the northeastern portion of the country are followers of the Nizari Ismaili sect, while majority of the Hazara people, the third...

      : 10-19%
  • Other: less than 1%
    • Sikhism
      Sikhism in Afghanistan
      Sikhism in Afghanistan is limited to small populations, primarily in major cities, with the largest numbers of Afghan Sikhs living in Jalalabad, Kabul, and Kandahar...

      : In the thousands
    • Hinduism
      Hinduism in Afghanistan
      Hinduism in Afghanistan has existed for almost as long as Hinduism itself. The religion was widespread in the region until the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan...

      : In the thousands
    • Zoroastrianism
      Zoroastrianism
      Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

      : Unknown
    • Christianity: In the thousands
    • Judaism (one known individual: Zablon Simintov
      Zablon Simintov
      Zablon Simintov is a Turkmen-Afghan carpet trader and the caretaker of the only synagogue in Kabul. , he is believed to be the sole remaining Afghan Jew still residing in Afghanistan...

      )
    • Buddhism
      Buddhism in Afghanistan
      Buddhism in Afghanistan was one of the major religions during pre-Islamic era. The religion was wide spread south of the Hindu Kush mountains. Buddhism first arrived to Afghanistan in 305 BCE when the Seleucid Empire made an alliance with the Indian Maurya Empire...

      : Unknown

External links