Afghanistan Facts

Famed 'Afghan Girl' Finally Gets a Home loading...
Famed 'Afghan Girl' Finally Gets a Home
More than 30 years after she became a refugee from her native Afghanistan, Sharbat Gula has been deeded a permanent house.
Inside the Afghan School Where Girls Can Dress Like Girls loading...
Inside the Afghan School Where Girls Can Dress Like Girls
Shabana Basij-Rasikh, a 2014 National Geographic Explorer, wants to bring an end to the “bacha posh” tradition in Afghanistan.
Pictures of Women by Women Celebrate a Shared Sisterhood loading...
Pictures of Women by Women Celebrate a Shared Sisterhood
Seven National Geographic photographers tell stories of empowerment, ritual, and redefined beauty.
Gritty Pictures Show Refugee Life in Abandoned Warehouses loading...
Gritty Pictures Show Refugee Life in Abandoned Warehouses
"They are in the worst living conditions you can possibly imagine," says photographer Daniel Etter of a group of refugees living in Serbia's capital.
'Afghan Girl' Sharbat Gula to Be Released From Prison loading...
'Afghan Girl' Sharbat Gula to Be Released From Prison
The famous refugee could have received 14 years in jail, but now she will return to her home country of Afghanistan.
A Life Revealed loading...
A Life Revealed
Her eyes have captivated the world since she appeared on our cover in 1985. Now we can tell her story.
About Afghanistan Facts

Since Alexander the Great, invading armies and peaceful migrations have brought in diverse peoples to this Central Asian crossroads. As a result, Afghanistan is a country of ethnic minorities: Pashtun (38 percent), Tajik (25 percent), Hazara (19 percent), and Uzbek (6 percent). The towering Hindu Kush range dominates and divides Afghanistan. The northern plains and valleys are home to Tajiks and Uzbeks. Pashtuns inhabit the desert-dominated southern plateaus. Hazara live in the central highlands. Kabul, south of the Hindu Kush, is linked by narrow passes to the northern plains.

Fast Facts 

Population: 29,929,000

Capital: Kabul; 2,956,000

Area: 652,090 square kilometres (251,773 square miles)

Language: Pashtu, Afghan Persian (Dari), Uzbek, Turkmen, 30 minor langauges

Religion: Sunni and Shiite Muslim

Currency: Afghani

Life Expectancy: 46

GDP per Capita: U.S. $700

Literacy Percent: 36

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