Demographics of Central Asia

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The ethnolinguistic patchwork of Central Asia in 1992
Central Asian Countries

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 groups[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, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan 29,000,000
Tajik Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Northern Afghanistan. It includes Pamiri people, who are officially categorized as Tajiks in Tajikistan. 25,000,000
Kazakh Kazakhstan 16,500,000
Kyrgyz Kyrgyzstan 4,100,000
Russians Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan 4,000,000 [5][6][7][8]
Ukrainian Northern Kazakhstan 250,000 [9][10][11]
Turkmen Turkmenistan 6,500,000
Volga German Kazakhstan 200,000[12][13]
Uyghur Northwest China, Eastern Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan 13,000,000
Dungan or Hui Northwest China, Kyrgyzstan 10,500,000
Bukharian Jew Uzbekistan 1,000
British People[14] Afghanistan or perhaps Kazakhstan 1,500-2,000
Tatar Uzbekistan 700,000
Karakalpaks North western Uzbekistan 500,000
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
Aimak Central and Northwest Afghanistan 1,500,000
Nuristani Far eastern and northern Afghanistan 200,000+
Belarusians Northern Kazakhstan 100,000-200,000 [15]
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
Chuvash's Northern Kazakhstan 35,000


Religion[16] Approximate population Center of population
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, Koreans, Daur, Mongour, Tungusic peoples, 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]