Formal Name: The Republic of Uzbekistan
Short name: Uzbekistan
Term for Citizens: Uzbekistani
Date of Independence: September 1st, 1991.
Area: 447,400 km2
Topography: Two-third of the territory is flat; the Tian Shan and Pamir-Alai mountain ranges dominate in the South and East; the biggest rivers are the Syr-Darya (2212 km) and the Amu-Darya (1415 km).
Climate: Continental, hot summer; humidity is low.
Population: 24.6 million people by 2000; growth rate is 1.4% a year; 40% of population is urban, 80% rural. About 100 nations live in Uzbekistan, 80% of population are Uzbeks.
Language: Uzbek - official language, but Russian is still widely used.
Religion: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 80%; all kinds of faiths are also represented.
Education: Compulsory up to sixteen years; there are 60 active higher educational institutions.
Major industries: Textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, natural gas, cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain, livestock.
Major trading partners: Russia, the Ukraine, Europe, the CIS, the Czech Republic.
Money: Currency is called Sum (UZS).
Ecology: Water is the main environmental problem alongside with shrinking of the Aral Sea.
Health: Health care is generally free of charge; some efficient private practices have been introduced recently.
Culture: Land of ancient and rich culture with lots of historical monuments, traditional handicrafts and an enormous variety of foods.
Popular tourist destinations: Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Tashkent and Ferghana Valley.