A lot has improved for the people of
Tajikistan since the civil war of the 1990s in many
respects brought the country to the same level as a
developing country. Poverty has decreased significantly
and significantly more people have access to clean water
and functioning sewers. Yet the country is faced with
major social problems, such as undeveloped health care
and high crime rates.
In 1999, 82 percent of residents lived below the
national poverty level; two decades later, this is just
over 29 percent. Extreme poverty decreased from 54
percent in 1999 to 4.8 percent in 2015, according to the
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Tajikistan, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
At the same time, many Tajiks still find it difficult
to get food. According to the UN agency WFP, between 1
million and 1.8 million residents of a population of 8.9
million have insecure access to food. Portions of the
population depend on food and supplies from UN agencies
and other donors.
One in four residents lack access to clean water,
while almost all now have access to proper toilets and
drains according to official statistics.
Healthcare is deficient, especially in rural areas.
Diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, typhoid, cholera
and diphtheria are common. Mortality among children
under five is the second highest among the countries of
the former Eastern bloc (the former Soviet Union and
Eastern Europe). Together with the World Bank, the
government is investing in vaccination programs for
children under five, treatment of high blood pressure
and special efforts for pregnant women and infants.
The crime is high, mainly because Tajikistan is a
transit country for drug smuggling from Afghanistan.
Drug abuse also occurs.
Trafficking in people, so-called trafficking, is a
major problem where Tajikistan is both a transit country
and a country of origin for prostitution. Child labor is
common, especially in cotton cultivation.
Social insurance consists mainly of pension schemes
and assistance programs that are not very effective in
The Tajiks, like other historically settled peoples
in Central Asia, are not divided into tribes, although
the cohesion within the genus - or clan - is strong.
People often identify with the region they live in
rather than with the nation.
The big family is a basic social unit. A large family
usually consists of a couple and their unmarried
daughters as well as married sons and their wives and
children. Such a family unit often has joint
responsibility for houses, land and livestock.
Previously, a well-off large family could consist of at
least 50 people. Nowadays, families are usually smaller,
but it is common for three generations to live together.
The youngest son is expected to live with his parents
even when he forms his own family.
Marriages are often arranged through agents,
sometimes even when the intended spouses are infants.
The man traditionally pays a high bride price at
marriage. Above all, women are occasionally given away
even in their younger teens, even though the law doesn't
really allow it. Polygamy is also officially banned but
has become increasingly common in recent years. One
reason for this is that religion has become increasingly
important after the Soviet era (1920-1991), and
according to Islam, one man has four wives. Another is
the great shortage of men in Tajikistan, which is
because many men leave abroad to look for work.
The woman's position
The woman's situation is difficult. There are laws
that guarantee women's rights, but they are poorly
followed. Women are subjected to discrimination and
violence, and are particularly affected by poverty. In
the cities there are women who have participated in all
aspects of society since the Soviet era. In the
countryside, on the other hand, it is common for the man
not to allow the woman to study or work outside the
Some women are subjected to violence and abuse, not
only by their spouse but also by their family. The man
may be working abroad and the woman will stay with his
family in a remote village, under tight conditions. It
seems that women become so desperate that they set fire
to themselves. According to some reports, several
hundred women a year try to kill themselves in this way.
The dark figure is assumed to be large. Often, burns are
reported to have been caused by accidents when cooking
over an open fire.
In many cases, her husband soon disappears to work
abroad, and the wife becomes the closest servant of his
family. In many parts of the countryside there are
almost no men left. Many women, especially the young, in
practice become widows. It is not uncommon for men to
form a new family in another place.
Infants are considered susceptible to infections and
do not show up until 40 days after birth, when
celebrations can be held. Many children are raised in
the home. Tradition does not attach much importance to
formal education, the duty towards the family is more
Homosexuality is not prohibited by law, but socially
it is not accepted.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
30 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
74.1 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
97.0 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
6.9 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 56 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
19 percent (2018)
Long prison sentence for opposition leaders
Opposition leader Mahmadruzi Iskandarov (see April 2005) is sentenced to 23
years in prison for terrorism and corruption.
Tajik border control
Russian forces complete their retreat from the border with Afghanistan and
Tajik forces take over.
Opposition leaders are kidnapped in Russia
Opposition leader Mahmadruzi Iskandarov is released in Moscow after a Tajik
request for extradition was rejected. Iskandarov is later kidnapped and arrested
Criticism of the presidential grand victory
The People's Democratic Party wins a new landslide victory in the
parliamentary elections. According to international analysts, the election is