Afghanistan Population

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Afghanistan is 39,510,885, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 39,510,885
Population growth rate 2.38%
Birth rate 37.90 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 50.11 years
Men life expectancy 48.81 years
Women life expectancy 51.47 years
Age structure
0-14 years 40.92%
15-64 years 56.48%
65 years and above 2.61%
Median age 18.40 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 1.03
Population density 56.18 residents per km²
Urbanization 23.30%
42% Pashtuns, 27% Tajiks, 9% Hazara, 9% Uzbeks; also Aimak, Nuristani, Balutschen, Turkmen, Kyrgyz and others
Muslims (Sunnis 80%, Shiites 19%), members of other religious communities 1%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.496
HDI ranking 170th out of 194

People in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic state, as the residents are made up of different ethnic groups and languages. Afghanistan has always been a transit country for many people: Warriors, traders and later also missionaries came. The Pashtuns make up the largest proportion in Afghanistan, they are the largest population group in the country. This is followed by the Tajiks. At least 25 out of 100 residents are among them, they speak Persian. Hesors and Uzbeks as well as other minorities also live in Afghanistan. The Hesors also speak Persian, but are largely Shiitesand are often persecuted in Afghanistan. Different languages ​​and cultures were able to survive for a long time in the inaccessible mountain regions of Afghanistan. There are many other smaller groups that also live in Afghanistan.

Where do the people live in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan means something like “Land of Afghans”. The country has about 38 million residents. Most of the people live in the river oases on the edges of the central mountain region, in cities called Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-e Sharif or Kunduz. Many residents also live in the basin landscape in the east of the country, in the capital Kabul. This is where the population density is highest. That means that most people live there per square kilometer. People mainly go to these places because there are areas for agriculture. Many live from this agriculture. There are far fewer people in the central highlands. In Afghanistan, most of the people live in rural areas and only a small proportion live in cities.

Languages in Afghanistan

Not only do many people of different origins live together in Afghanistan, they also speak many languages. A distinction is made between almost 50 languages ​​and more than 200 dialects. Persian and Pashto are the official languages. Pashto is the language of the Pashtuns and is spoken by many people in addition to Persian. You can see the exact distribution on the map above.

Religions in Afghanistan

Most of the people in Afghanistan are Muslim, most of them Sunnis and only a small number of them Shiites.

Afghanistan Overview

Afghanistan, located in South Asia and Central Asia, is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and tumultuous history. Its strategic location along ancient trade routes has endowed it with a diverse tapestry of influences, reflected in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions. Afghanistan is famous for the majestic Hindu Kush mountain range, the historic city of Kabul, and the resilient spirit of its people amidst decades of conflict and turmoil. From the legendary Silk Road to the modern-day geopolitical stage, Afghanistan remains a focal point of global attention.

  • Capital City: Kabul
  • Population: Approximately 38 million
  • Area: 652,864 square kilometers
  • Full Country Name: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • Currency: Afghan Afghani (AFN)
  • Language: Pashto, Dari (Persian)
  • ISO Country Codes: AF, AFG

Bordering Countries of Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a landlocked country bordered by a total of seven countries. To the north is Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. To the west is Iran, to the south and east is Pakistan, and to the northeast is China. Each of these countries has played an important role in Afghanistan’s history and politics.

Turkmenistan shares a 744 km long border with Afghanistan and has historically been an important trade partner with Afghanistan due to its location on the Silk Road. Uzbekistan shares a 137 km long border with Afghanistan and has had a long history of cultural exchange as well as political and economic ties between the two countries. Tajikistan shares an 870 km long border with Afghanistan and has been an ally in providing development assistance to Afghanistan.

Iran has had an especially close relationship with Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001; it shares a 936 km long border with Afghanistan, making it one of its longest borders. Iran provides economic aid to help rebuild infrastructure destroyed by war, including roads, electricity lines, schools, bridges, etc., as well as humanitarian aid for Afghan refugees living in Iran.

Pakistan also shares a close relationship with Afghanistan; it has a 2,430 km long border with its neighbor to the west and provides critical access to ports for Afghan exports. The two countries share deep cultural ties that have remained despite political tensions over borders, terrorism issues, refugee problems etc., which have at times caused tensions between them both economically and politically.

Finally, China shares an 87 km long border with Afghanistan along their mutual mountain ranges known as the Hindu Kush mountains; this region was historically part of China’s Silk Road trading network which connected China to Europe via Central Asia and provided important trade links between these regions for centuries. In recent years China has become increasingly involved in Afghan affairs through investments in infrastructure projects such as roads or power plants that benefit both countries economically while also strengthening diplomatic ties between them both politically and culturally.


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