Kyrgyzstan was one of the poorest Union
republics in the Soviet era (1918–1991), and the
situation deteriorated after independence in 1991.
Nowadays, just over a quarter of the population lives
below the national poverty line. In the agricultural
areas in the south it is worse off than in the
industrial region in the north.
Impaired public health since the early 1990s has
lowered the average life expectancy. Diseases such as
diphtheria, jaundice, measles, whooping cough and
tuberculosis are common. Almost all residents have
access to clean water and functioning sewage systems.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Kyrgyzstan, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Social protection networks have been eroded since
independence, and health care has deteriorated,
especially in rural areas. There is a shortage of
medicines, vaccines and modern medical equipment. The
care is no longer free of charge and many surgeons
cannot afford to go to hospitals and clinics. Bribes are
common for example passing a care queue.
With international assistance, the government is
trying to improve healthcare and reform the pension
system. The retirement age is 60 years for men and 55
years for women.
Crime has increased in line with drug smuggling.
Drugs are produced in the country, but essentially it is
smuggled in by major international networks from
Afghanistan and Tajikistan via Kyrgyzstan, among others,
into the world. Drug use is becoming more common among
Classes and community life
Kyrgyz society is traditionally conservative and has
long had nomadic life as the norm. In the 1930s, the
Soviet power forced people to move to cities, villages
and collective agriculture. Nevertheless, many Kyrgyz
continued to move with their livestock herds seasonally,
and resistance to industrialization has remained strong.
Kyrgyzstan has a small upper class while the rest of
the population lives under scarce circumstances. Ethnic
Kyrgyz are present in both groups, but it is unusual for
members of minority peoples among politicians and
business leaders, for example. Speaking Russian,
dressing western, having a two-storey house and
expensive car gives status. Poor knowledge of Russian is
usually regarded as a sign of a lower social status.
Clans and family life
The residents' identity has long been determined by
customer affiliation. They belong to one of the three
clan groups ong (right), sun (left) or
itjkilik (neither or). The left flank includes
seven clans in the north and in the west who fight for
power and influence among themselves. From the Buguu
clan , the first administrators of the Kyrgyz Soviet
Republic came, but they were replaced by members of the
Sarygavian clan following the purges
of Soviet leader Josef Stalin in the 1930s. Since then,
many Kyrgyz leaders have come from Sarybagysh, including
former President Askar Akajev. The right wing is in the
south and consists of only one clan, Adygeja.
It has a reputation as the genuine Kyrgyz clan.
Itchkilik in the south consists of many clans, where not
all of them are Kyrgyz, although they claim it.
Although regional affiliation has now become
increasingly important, Kyrgyz people are still aware of
their clan membership when it comes to competition for
social and economic benefits. Supporting members of
one's own clan is especially important in the north.
Members of the same clan do not marry each other if they
have common ancestors among the last seven generations.
The Kyrgyz are well aware of their own history and are
expected to name the family's ancestors for seven
generations. However, the consciousness of customer
affiliation is considerably stronger in the countryside
than in the more modern cities.
Family traditions still have a patriarchal and feudal
character from the nomadic age. The respect is great for
the elderly and for the dominance of the male head of
the family. Age is more important than gender when it
comes to status; an older woman is superior to a younger
A traditional wedding lasts for three days, but few
Kyrgyz nowadays can afford bride price, dowry, animal
sacrifice, money gifts and clothing gifts between the
bride and groom's families. When the youngest son in a
family gets married, he and his wife are expected to
live with the son's parents and take care of them until
they die, when the son is allowed to take over the house
and cattle. He is expected to share the livestock with
his brothers if they end up in hardship. Daughters do
not inherit their parents but are part of their spouse's
Arranged marriages are not as common as before, but
bridesmaids still exist. According to legal activists,
more than 10,000 girls and women are kidnapped each year
and forced into marriage. Victims are deprived of
education and other rights and often become sex and
household slaves. Many marriages with minors are
unofficially registered at mosques. In 2013, the maximum
penalty for bride kidnapping was increased to seven
years in prison, if the bride is a minor, the sentence
could be ten years. It is considered shameful to report
the perpetrator, and the first prison sentence for bride
robbery was first sentenced in 2012. Then a man was sent
to jail after a young girl whom he robbed had been
The situation of women
The demands of nomad life have meant that women have
traditionally worked as men's equals, but have also been
responsible for raising children, milking and cooking.
During the Soviet era, women could continue to work
outside the home and also play a role in politics.
Within the school system, women still have a significant
influence today. After independence, women have had more
prominent roles in society in Kyrgyzstan than in other
Central Asia. Most recently, former Foreign Minister
Roza Otunbajeva has reached. She played a central role
in connection with the change of power in 2010 (see
Modern history) and then became acting president.
Abuse of women and children is common, as is
trafficking. There are also many street children.
The situation of LGBT people
Since 1998, homosexuality among men is no longer
illegal. Homosexuality among women has never been
regulated by law. There are reports that homosexuals are
nevertheless discriminated against in society in
different ways, which means that many do not talk about
their sexual orientation.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
17 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
87.3 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
96.5 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
8.2 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 73 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
19 percent (2018)
The government is leaving
The government resigns in an attempt to force new elections.
Islamist imam is killed
Imam Rafik Kamalov, an ethnic Uzbek, is killed when Kyrgyz and Uzbek security
forces make joint raids against radical Islamist strongholds in the Fergana
Valley. The Bakijev regime accuses Kamalov of conspiring with Islamist
Ethnic conflict in the Fergana Valley
Tensions are rising in the Fergana Valley in the southwest between Kyrgyz and
the Uzbek minority. Several people are killed when unknown perpetrators attack a
Big demonstrations against the regime
In Bishkek, For Reform organizes mass demonstrations demanding constitutional
changes that limit the power of the president. Bakijev appears powerless in the
face of growing popular dissatisfaction.
Protests against the Bakijev regime
Omurbek Tekebajev is at the forefront of a new opposition movement,
Reform, which calls for the president's powers to be reduced in favor
of Parliament. Thousands of protesters are demanding that President Bakijev take
power against slanderous politics, corruption and organized crime.