Demography of Central Asia

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The ethnolinguistic patchwork of Central Asia in later soviet times (1992)

Central Asia is a diverse land with many ethnic groups, languages, religions and tribes. This article discusses all of the above, and includes the demographics of the nations of the five former Soviet republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, a group which has a total population of about 61 million. When Afghanistan, which is not always considered part of the region, is included, then Central Asia has a total population of about 90 million as of 2010. It is to be noted that Pakistan has a large population of Central Asian peoples. [1] Although most central Asians have belonged to religions which were introduced into the area within the last 1,500 years,[2] such as Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, Ismaili Islam, Tengriism, and Syriac Christianity, Buddhism was introduced to Central Asia over 2,200 years ago, and Zoroastrianism, over 2,500 years ago.[3]

Ethnic history of Central Asia[edit]

Modern Central Asians (Indigenous peoples):

Historic Iranian peoples:

Historic Mongolic peoples:

Historic Turkic peoples:

Ethnic groups in Central Asia[edit]

Below is information on the demographics of ethnic groups in Central Asia [4]

Ethnic Group Center of population in Central Asia Total roughly estimated population in Central Asia
Uzbek Uzbekistan 27,000,000-30,000,000
Tajik Tajikistan and Northern Afghanistan. It includes Pamiri people, who are officially categorized as Tajiks in Tajikistan. 15,000,000
Kazakh Kazakhstan 11,500,000
Kyrgyz Kyrgyzstan 4,100,000
Russians Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan 7,000,000 [5][6][7][8]
Ukrainian Northern Kazakhstan 700,000 [9][10][11]
Turkmen Turkmenistan 6,500,000
Volga German Kazakhstan 350,000[12][13]
Uyghur Northwest China, Eastern Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan 13,000,000
Dungan or Hui Northwest China, Kyrgyzstan 47,100,000
Bukharian Arab Uzbekistan  ? thousands
Bukharian Jew Uzbekistan 1,000
British People[14] Afghanistan or perhaps Kazakhstan 1,500-2,000
Kurds Afghanistan 250,000-300,000
Tatar Uzbekistan 700,000
Karakalpaks North western Uzbekistan 500,000
Lakai sometimes considered to be Uzbeks Uzbekistan NA
Bashkirs Kazakhstan 30,000
Meskhetian Turks Kazakhstan 200,000
Armenians Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan 100,000
Altai Northern Kazakhstan 10,000
Pashtun Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan 12,500,000
Hazara Central Afghanistan 3,500,000
Baloch Southern Afghanistan and western Pakistan 600,000
Brahui Southern Afghanistan and western Pakistan 250,000
Aimak Central and Northwest Afghanistan 1,500,000
Nuristani Far eastern and northern Afghanistan 200,000+
Belorussians Northern Kazakhstan 100,000-200,000 [15]
Bulgarians Kazakhstan 10,000
Romanians Kazakhstan 20,000
Greeks Kazakhstan 30,000
Mordvins Kazakhstan 20,000
Moldovans Kazakhstan 25,000
Chechens Kazakhstan 40,000
Poles Northern Kazakhstan 50,000-100,000
Azeri Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan 100,000-200,000
Recent Indian subcontinental Afghanistan 4,000
Pakistani Kirghistan 2,000
Koreans Uzbekistan 200,000-300,000
Chuvash's Northern Kazakhstan 35,000
Other native groups in central Asia NA NA
Others (Various Eurasian groups) Kazakhstan? NA

Religions in Central Asia [16][edit]

Religion Total roughly estimated Population in Central Asia Center of Population in Central Asia
Sunni Islam 28,000,000 Southern Central Asia (Most dense in Afghanistan)
Buddhism 17,000,000 Mongolia, Russia, China, 260,000 people in Kazakhstan and Afghanistan; (Mongols, Daur, Mongour, Tungusic people, Tibetans, Tuvans, Yugur)
Eastern Christianity 7,000,000 Northern Kazakhstan
Western Christianity 510,000 Kazakhstan
Judaism 27,500 Uzbekistan
Shia Islam 4,000,000 Hazaras, Central Afghanistan
Atheism and Irreligion 2,500,000 -? Millions throughout the region
Zoroastrianism 10,000 Historically Afghanistan

See also[edit]

Works Cited[edit]