Women Role in Society in Uzbekistan

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| Uzbekistan - SOCIETY

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Uzbekistan - PopulationUzbekistan The population of Uzbekistan, estimated in 1994 at about 23 million, is the largest of the Central Asian republics, comprising more than 40 percent of their total population. Growing at a rapid rate, the population is split by ethnic and regional differences. The Russian component of the population shrank steadily in the years after independence.Size and DistributionRelative to the former Soviet Union as a whole, Uzbekistan is still largely rural: roughly 60 percent of Uzbekistan's population lives in rural areas. The capital city is Tashkent, whose 1990 population was estimated at about 2.1 million people. Other major cities are Samarqand (population 366,000), Namangan (308,000), Andijon (293,000), Bukhoro (224,000), Farghona (200,000), and Quqon (182,000).The population of Uzbekistan is exceedingly young. In the early 1990s, about half the population was under nineteen years of age. Experts expected this demographic trend to continue for some time because Uzbekistan's population growth rate has been quite high for the past century: on the eve of the collapse of the Soviet Union, only Tajikistan had a higher growth rate among the Soviet republics. Between 1897 and 1991, the population of the region that is now Uzbekistan more than quintupled, while the population of the entire territory of the former Soviet Union had not quite doubled. In 1991 the natural rate of population increase (the birth rate minus the death rate) in Uzbekistan was 28.3 per 1,000--more than four times that of the Soviet Union as a whole, and an increase from ten years earlier (see table 2, Appendix).These characteristics are especially pronounced in the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan (the Uzbek form for which is Qoroqalpoghiston Respublikasi), Uzbekistan's westernmost region. In 1936, as part of Stalin's nationality policy, the Karakalpaks (a Turkic Muslim group whose name literally means "black hat") were given their own territory in western Uzbekistan, which was declared an autonomous Soviet socialist republic to define its ethnic differences while maintaining it within the republic of Uzbekistan. In 1992 Karakalpakstan received republic status within independent Uzbekistan. Since that time, the central government in Tashkent has maintained pressure and tight economic ties that have kept the republic from exerting full independence.Today, the population of Karakalpakstan is about 1.3 million people who live on a territory of roughly 168,000 square kilometers. Located in the fertile lower reaches of the Amu Darya where the river empties into the Aral Sea, Karakalpakstan has a long history of irrigation agriculture. Currently, however, the shrinking of the Aral Sea has made Karakalpakstan one of the poorest and most environmentally devastated parts of Uzbekistan, if not the entire former Soviet Union.Because the population of that region is much younger than the national average (according to the 1989 census, nearly three-quarters of the population was younger than twenty-nine years), the rate of population growth is quite high. In 1991 the rate of natural growth in Karakalpakstan was reportedly more than thirty births per 1,000 and slightly higher in the republic's rural areas. Karakalpakstan is also more rural than Uzbekistan as a whole, with some of its administrative regions (rayony ; sing., rayon ) having only villages and no urban centers--an unusual situation in a former Soviet republic.The growth of Uzbekistan's population was in some part due to in-migration from other parts of the former Soviet Union. Several waves of Russian and Slavic in-migrants arrived at various times in response to the industrialization of Uzbekistan in the early part of...
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