Demographics of Uzbekistan

Demographics of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan 2020 population pyramid.svg
Population pyramid of Uzbekistan in 2020
Population36,024,000 (2022)[1]
Growth rate0.83% (2022 est.)
Birth rate15.53 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Death rate5.41 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Life expectancy75.29 years
 • male72.27 years
 • female78.5 years
Fertility rate2.1 children born/woman (2022 est.)
Infant mortality rate18.98 deaths/1,000 live births
Net migration rate-1.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Age structure
0–14 years23.19%
65 and over5.87%
Sex ratio
Total1.01 male(s)/female (2022 est.)
At birth1.06 male(s)/female
Under 151.05 male(s)/female
65 and over0.63 male(s)/female
Nationality
NationalityUzbekistani
Language
OfficialUzbek
Population of Uzbekistan (in millions): 1950 – 1 January 2008.

The demographics of Uzbekistan are the demographic features of the population of Uzbekistan, including population growth, population density, ethnicity, education level, health, economic status, religious affiliations, and other aspects of the population. The nationality of any person from Uzbekistan is Uzbekistani, while the ethnic Uzbek majority call themselves Uzbeks. Much of the data is estimated because the last census was carried out in Soviet times in 1989.

Demographic trends

Boys pose for a picture at Registan. Over a quarter of Uzbekistan's population is under 14 years old.

Uzbekistan is Central Asia's most populous country. Its 35 million people (2021 estimate)[2][3] comprise nearly half the region's total population.

The population of Uzbekistan is very young: 25.1% of its people are younger than 14. According to official sources, Uzbeks comprise a majority (84.4%) of the total population. Other ethnic groups, as of 1996 estimates, include Russians (5.5% of the population), Tajiks (5%), Kazakhs (3%), Karakalpaks (2.5%), and Tatars (1.5%).[4] Uzbekistan has an ethnic Korean population that was forcibly relocated to the region from the Soviet Far East in 1937–1938. There are also small groups of Armenians in Uzbekistan, mostly in Tashkent and Samarkand. The nation is 94% Muslim (mostly Sunni), 3% Eastern Orthodox and 3% other faiths (which include small communities of Korean Christians, other Christian denominations, Buddhists, Baha'is, and more).[5] The Bukharan Jews have lived in Central Asia, mostly in Uzbekistan, for thousands of years. There were 94,900 Jews in Uzbekistan in 1989[6] (about 0.5% of the population according to the 1989 census), but now, since the collapse of the USSR, most Central Asian Jews left the region for the United States or Israel. More than 5,000 Jews remain in Uzbekistan.[7]

Much of Uzbekistan's population was engaged in cotton farming in large-scale collective farms when the country was part of the Soviet Union. The population continues to be heavily rural and dependent on farming for its livelihood, although the farm structure in Uzbekistan has largely shifted from collective to individual since 1990.

Vital statistics

UN estimates

Period Births per year Deaths per year Natural change per year CBR1 CDR1 NC1 TFR1 IMR1
1990–1995 32.7 7.5 25.2 3.95
1995–2000 25.6 6.9 18.7 3.10
2000–2005 21.3 6.4 14.9 2.51
2005–2010 22.4 6.2 16.2 2.49
2010–2015 22.9 6.2 16.7 2.43
2015–2020 21.8 5.8 16.0 2.43
2020–2025 18.6 5.9 12.7 2.31
2025–2030 16.4 6.3 10.1 2.21
2030–2035 15.7 6.9 8.8 2.12
2035–2040 15.6 7.6 8.0 2.05

Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs website > World Population Prospects: The 2019 revision.[8]

Average population Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) TFR
1950 6,314,000 192,188 54,612 137,576 30.4 8.6 21.8
1951 6,511,000 207,302 49,275 158,027 31.8 7.6 24.3
1952 6,704,000 223,452 55,068 168,384 33.3 8.2 25.1
1953 6,909,000 219,832 60,855 158,977 31.8 8.8 23.0
1954 7,085,000 237,470 58,345 179,125 33.5 8.2 25.3
1955 7,256,000 248,545 59,370 189,175 34.3 8.2 26.1
1956 7,466,000 267,187 46,210 220,977 35.8 6.2 29.6
1957 7,720,000 276,668 47,568 229,100 35.8 6.2 29.7
1958 7,979,000 300,646 48,433 252,213 37.7 6.1 31.6
1959 8,252,000 305,082 50,254 254,828 37.0 6.1 30.9
1960 8,558,000 340,618 51,758 288,860 39.8 6.0 33.8
1961 8,895,000 339,952 53,591 286,361 38.2 6.0 32.2
1962 9,237,000 341,352 56,178 285,174 37.0 6.1 30.9
1963 9,574,000 342,659 54,502 288,157 35.8 5.7 30.1
1964 9,905,000 346,847 53,315 293,532 35.0 5.4 29.6
1965 10,233,000 355,135 60,056 295,079 34.7 5.9 28.8
1966 10,557,000 360,336 60,115 300,221 34.1 5.7 28.4
1967 10,886,000 359,623 64,627 294,996 33.0 5.9 27.1
1968 11,259,000 385,687 64,762 320,925 34.3 5.8 28.5
1969 11,625,000 380,729 69,147 311,582 32.8 6.0 26.8
1970 11,973,000 401,613 66,189 335,424 33.6 5.5 28.1
1971 12,354,000 425,646 67,162 358,484 34.4 5.4 29.0
1972 12,756,000 421,458 77,942 343,516 33.0 6.1 26.9
1973 13,155,000 441,237 83,170 358,067 33.5 6.3 27.2
1974 13,569,000 462,062 86,864 375,198 34.1 6.4 27.7
1975 13,981,000 478,604 100,213 378,391 34.2 7.2 27.0
1976 14,389,000 503,514 101,544 401,970 35.0 7.1 27.9
1977 14,786,000 493,329 104,297 389,032 33.4 7.1 26.3
1978 15,184,000 514,030 105,204 408,826 33.9 6.9 27.0
1979 15,578,000 535,928 109,459 426,469 34.4 7.0 27.4
1980 15,952,000 540,047 118,886 421,161 33.9 7.5 26.4
1981 16,376,000 572,197 117,793 454,404 34.9 7.2 27.7
1982 16,813,000 589,283 124,137 465,146 35.0 7.4 27.7
1983 17,261,000 609,400 128,779 480,621 35.3 7.5 27.8
1984 17,716,000 641,398 132,042 509,356 36.2 7.5 28.8 4.60
1985 18,174,000 679,057 131,686 547,371 37.4 7.2 30.1 4.68
1986 18,634,000 708,658 132,213 576,445 38.0 7.1 30.9 4.69
1987 19,095,000 714,454 133,781 580,673 37.4 7.0 30.4 4.57
1988 19,561,000 694,144 134,688 559,456 35.5 6.9 28.6 4.28
1989 20,108,000 668,807 126,862 541,945 33.3 6.3 27.0 4.02
1990 20,465,000 691,636 124,553 567,083 33.8 6.1 27.7 4.20
1991 20,857,000 723,420 130,294 593,126 34.7 6.2 28.4
1992 21,354,000 680,459 140,092 540,367 31.9 6.6 25.3
1993 21,847,000 692,324 145,294 547,030 31.7 6.7 25.0
1994 22,277,000 657,725 148,423 509,302 29.5 6.7 22.9
1995 22,684,000 677,999 145,439 532,560 29.9 6.4 23.5 3.60
1996 23,128,000 634,842 144,829 490,013 27.4 6.3 21.2
1997 23,560,000 602,694 137,331 465,363 25.6 5.8 19.8
1998 23,954,000 553,745 140,526 413,219 23.1 5.9 17.3
1999 24,312,000 544,788 130,529 414,259 22.4 5.4 17.0
2000 24,650,000 527,580 135,598 391,982 21.4 5.5 15.9 2.59
2001 24,965,000 512,950 132,542 380,408 20.5 5.3 15.2
2002 25,272,000 532,511 137,028 395,483 21.1 5.4 15.6
2003 25,568,000 508,457 135,933 372,524 19.9 5.3 14.6
2004 25,864,000 540,381 130,357 410,024 20.9 5.0 15.9
2005 26,167,000 533,530 140,585 392,945 20.4 5.4 15.0 2.36
2006 26,488,000 555,946 139,622 416,324 21.0 5.3 15.7
2007 26,868,000 608,917 137,430 471,487 22.7 5.1 17.5 2.55
2008 27,303,000 646,096 138,792 507,304 23.7 5.1 18.6 2.64
2009 27,767,000 649,727 130,659 519,068 23.4 4.7 18.7 2.53
2010 28,562,000 634,810 138,411 496,399 22.2 4.8 17.4 2.34
2011 29,339,000 626,881 144,585 482,296 21.4 4.9 16.4 2.24
2012 29,774,000 625,106 145,988 479,118 21.0 4.9 16.1 2.19
2013 30,243,000 679,519 145,672 533,847 22.5 4.8 17.7 2.35
2014 30,759,000 718,036 149,761 568,998 23.3 4.9 18.4 2.46
2015 31,576,000 734,141 152,035 582,106 23.5 4.9 18.6 2.49
2016 32,121,000 726,170 154,791 571,379 22.8 4.8 18.0 2.46
2017 32,653,000 715,519 160,723 554,796 22.1 5.0 17.1 2.42
2018 33,254,000 768,520 154,913 613,607 23.3 4.7 18.6 2.60
2019 33,905,000 815,939 154,959 660,980 24.3 4.6 19.7 2.79
2020 34,558,900 841,814 175,637 666,177 24.6 5.1 19.5 2.90
2021 35,271,300 905,211 174,541 730,670 25.9 5.0 20.9 3.17
2022 36,024,900 932,192 172,075 760,117 26.2 4.8 21.4 3.2(e)

Sources:[9][10][11][12][13][14][15] [16] [17]

Current vital statistics

[18]

Period Live births Deaths Natural increase
January - September 2021 670,700 132,100 +538,600
January - September 2022 681,800 130,400 +551,400
Difference Increase +11,100 (+1.6%) Positive decrease -1,700 (-1.3%) Increase +12,800 (+2.3%)

Fertility and births

Total fertility rate (TFR) and crude birth rate (CBR):[19]

Year CBR (total) TFR (total) CBR (urban) TFR (urban) CBR (rural) TFR (rural)
1996 27 3,34 (3,1) 23 2,71 (2,5) 29 3,74 (3,4)
2002 24,4 2,92 19,8 2,48 27,5 3,21

Total fertility rate (TFR)

Uzbek youth

According to the CIA World Factbook, the total fertility rate (TFR) estimated as of 2011 is 1.89 children born/woman.[4][20][21]

In 2002, the estimated TFR was 2.92; Uzbeks 2.99, Russians 1.35, Karakalpak 2.69, Tajik 3.19, Kazakh 2.95, Tatar 2.05, others 2.53; Tashkent City 1.96, Karakalpakstan 2.90, Fergana 2.73; Eastern region 2.71, East Central 2.96, Central 3.43, Western 3.05.[22]

Population density of Uzbekistan by municipality, according to 2020 population estimates

The high fertility rate during the Soviet Union and during its period of disintegration is partly due to the historical cultural preferences for large families, economic reliance upon agriculture, and the greater relative worth of Soviet child benefits in Uzbekistan.[23] Abortion was the preferred method of birth control. Legalized in 1955, the number of abortions increased by 231% from 1956-1973.[24] By 1991, the abortion ratio was 39 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age per year.[25]

However, in the past few decades, fertility control methods have shifted considerably from abortion to modern contraceptive methods, especially IUDs. By the mid-1980s IUDS became the main method of contraception through government and organizational policies that aimed to introduce women to modern contraceptives. According to a UHES report from 2002, 73% of married Uzbek woman had used the IUD, 14% male condom, and 13% the pill.[26]

The government supported the use of modern contraceptives to control fertility rates because of national economic difficulties that followed the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Thus the government has been influential in determining the popularity of the IUD. Despite family planning programs that educate women on different methods of contraception, the IUD has remained women’s first choice of contraception. Word of mouth and social relations also account for the strong preference for the IUD. Nevertheless, factors such as class and level of education have been shown to give women more freedom in their choice of contraception methods.

Regional differences

The regions of Surxondaryo and Qashqadaryo have the highest birth rate and the lowest death rates in Uzbekistan. On the other hand, the city of Tashkent has the lowest birth rate and the highest death rate of the country.

Vital statistics by regions of the Republic of Uzbekistan [27]
Division Birth rate (‰) Death rate (‰) Natural growth rate (‰)
Surxondaryo Region 29.9 4.7 +25.2
Qashqadaryo Region 28.8 4.4 +24.4
Jizzakh Region 28.9 4.2 +24.7
Samarqand Region 27.7 4.7 +23.0
Namangan Region 27.6 4.7 +22.9
Andijan Region 26.3 5.1 +21.2
Navoiy Region 26.0 4.7 +21.3
Xorazm Region 22.3 5.0 +17.3
Fergana Region 25.7 4.8 +20.9
Karakalpakstan 20.8 4.5 +16.3
Sirdaryo Region 26.7 4.8 +21.9
Buxoro Region 22.0 4.7 +17.3
Toshkent Region 24.9 6.2 +18.7
Toshkent 22.3 6.2 +16.1

Age structure

Population Estimates by Sex and Age Group (01.I.2020): [28]

Age Group Male Female Total %
Total 17 045 288 16 859 954 33 905 242 100
0–4 1 899 426 1 747 535 3 646 961 10.76
5–9 1 688 180 1 569 738 3 257 918 9.61
10–14 1 524 864 1 440 533 2 965 397 8.75
15–19 1 312 541 1 246 436 2 558 977 7.55
20–24 1 479 076 1 411 642 2 890 718 8.53
25–29 1 634 718 1 577 807 3 212 525 9.48
30–34 1 532 787 1 504 692 3 037 479 8.96
35–39 1 248 316 1 243 874 2 492 190 7.35
40–44 1 045 134 1 052 571 2 097 705 6.19
45–49 925 974 945 260 1 871 234 5.52
50–54 769 176 826 815 1 595 991 4.71
55–59 725 126 790 524 1 515 650 4.47
60–64 545 917 602 817 1 148 734 3.39
65-69 335 932 390 359 726 291 2.14
70-74 162 378 197 128 359 506 1.06
75-79 96 796 119 434 216 230 0.64
80-84 70 386 102 070 172 456 0.51
85-89 24 923 45 627 70 550 0.21
90-94 17 022 33 484 50 506 0.15
95-99 5 922 10 791 16 713 0.05
100+ 694 817 1 511 <0.01
Age group Male Female Total Percent
0–14 5 112 470 4 757 806 9 870 276 29.11
15–64 11 218 765 11 202 438 22 421 203 66.13
65+ 714 053 899 710 1 613 763 4.76

Life expectancy

Life expectancy in Uzbekistan since 1950
Life expectancy in Uzbekistan since 1960 by gender
Period Life expectancy in
Years
Period Life expectancy in
Years
1950–1955 56.1 1985–1990 66.6
1955–1960 57.9 1990–1995 66.3
1960–1965 59.8 1995–2000 66.7
1965–1970 61.6 2000–2005 67.7
1970–1975 63.0 2005–2010 69.1
1975–1980 64.0 2010–2015 70.8
1980–1985 65.3 2015-2020 75.2

Source: UN World Population Prospects 2017[29]

Ethnic groups

Ethnic composition according to the 1989 population census (latest available):[20][21][30][31]
Uzbek 71%, Russian 6%, Tajik 5% (believed to be much higher[32][33][34]), Kazakh 4%, Tatar 3%, Karakalpak 2%, other 7%.

Estimates of ethnic composition in 1996 from CIA World Factbook:[35]

Uzbek 80%, Russian 5.5%, Tajik 5%, Kazakh 3%, Karakalpak 2.5%, Tatar 1.5%, other 2.5% (1996 est.)

The table shows the ethnic composition of Uzbekistan's population (in percent) according to four population censuses between 1926 and 1989 (no population census was carried out in 1999, and the next census is now being planned for 2010).[36] The increase in the percentage of Tajik from 3.9% of the population in 1979 to 4.7% in 1989 may be attributed, at least in part, to the change in census instructions: in the 1989 census for the first the nationality could be reported not according to the passport, but freely self-declared on the basis of the respondent's ethnic self-identification.[37]

Population of Uzbekistan according to ethnic group 1926–2021
Ethnic
group
census 19261 census 19392 census 19593 census 19704 census 19795 census 19896 statistics 20177 statistics 20218
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
Uzbeks 3,467,226 73.0 4,804,096 65.1 5,038,273 62.2 7,733,541 64.7 10,569,007 68.7 14,142,475 71.4 26,917,700 83.8 29,194,071 84.5
Tajiks 350,670 7.4 317,560 5.1 311,375 3.8 457,356 3.8 594,627 3.9 933,560 4.7 1,544,700 4.8 1,657,336 4.8
Kazakhs 191,126 4.0 305,416 4.9 335,267 4.1 549,312 4.6 620,136 4.0 808,227 4.1 803,400 2.5 821,172 2.4
Karakalpaks 142,688 3.0 181,420 2.9 168,274 2.1 230,273 1.9 297,788 1.9 411,878 2.1 708,800 2.2 752,646 2.2
Russians 245,807 5.2 727,331 11.6 1,090,728 13.5 1,495,556 12.5 1,665,658 10.8 1,653,478 8.4 750,000 2.3 720,324 2.1
Kyrgyz 79,610 1.7 89,044 1.4 92,725 1.1 110,864 1.0 142,182 0.7 174,907 0.8 274,400 0.9 291,628 0.8
Turkmens 31,492 0.7 46,543 0.7 54,804 0.7 71,066 0.6 92,285 0.6 121,578 0.6 192,000 0.6 206,189 0.6
Tatars 28,335 0.6 147,157 2.3 397,981 4.9 442,331 3.7 531,205 3.5 467,829 2.4 195,000 0.6 187,330 0.5
Koreans 30 0.0 72,944 1.2 138,453 1.7 151,058 1.3 163,062 1.1 183,140 0.9 176,900 0.6 174,210 0.5
Ukrainians 25,335 0.5 70,577 1.1 87,927 1.1 114,979 1.0 113,826 0.7 153,197 0.8 70,700 0.2 67,869 0.2
Crimean Tatars 46,829 0.6 135,426 1.1 117,559 0.8 188,772 1.0
Turks 371 0.0 474 0.0 21,269 0.3 46,398 0.4 48,726 0.3 106,302 0.5
Jews 37,621 0.8 50,676 0.8 94,303 1.2 102,843 0.9 99,836 0.7 94,689 0.5 9,865 0.0
Armenians 14,862 0.3 20,394 0.3 27,370 0.3 34,470 0.3 42,374 0.3 50,537 0.3 34,079 0.1
Azerbaijanis 20,764 0.4 3,645 0.1 40,511 0.5 40,431 0.3 59,779 0.4 44,410 0.2 41,182 0.1
Uyghurs 36,349 0.8 50,638 0.8 19,377 0.2 24,039 0.2 29,104 0.2 35,762 0.2
Bashkirs 624 0.0 7,516 0.1 13,500 0.2 21,069 0.2 25,879 0.2 34,771 0.2
Others 77,889 1.6 98,838 1.6 126,738 1.6 198,570 1.7 176,274 1.1 204,565 1.0 486,900 1.5 412,855 1.2
Total 4,750,175 6,271,269 8,105,704 11,959,582 15,389,307 19,810,077 32,120,500 34,558,891
1 Excluding the Tadzjik ASSR, but including the Kara-Kalpak Autonomous Oblast (in 1926 part of the Kazakh ASSR); source: [38]. 2 Source: [39]. 3 Source: [40]. 4 Source: [41]. 5 Source: [42]. 6 Source: [43]. 7 Source: [44]. 8 Source:.[45]

Languages

Languages of Uzbekistan[35]
Languages percent
Uzbek
74.3%
Russian
14.2%
Tajik
4.4%
others
7.1%

According to the CIA factbook, the current language distribution is: Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4% and Other 7.1%.[35] The Latin script replaced Cyrillic in the mid-1990s. Following independence, Uzbek was made the official state language. President Islam Karimov, the radical nationalist group Birlik (Unity), and the Uzbek Popular Front promoted this change. These parties believed that Uzbek would stimulate nationalism and the change itself was part of the process of de-Russification, which was meant to deprive Russian language and culture of any recognition. Birlik held campaigns in the late 1980s to achieve this goal, with one event in 1989 culminating in 12,000 people in Tashkent calling for official recognition of Uzbek as the state language.[46] In 1995, the government adopted the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on State Language, which mandates that Uzbek be used in all public spheres and official jobs. Scholars studying migration and ethnic minorities have since criticized the law as a source of discrimination toward minorities who do not speak Uzbek. Nevertheless, Russian remains the de facto language when it comes to science, inter-ethnic communication, business, and advertising.[47] Multiple sources suggest that the Persian-speaking Tajik population of Uzbekistan may be as large as 10%-15% of the total population.[48] The Tajik language is the dominant language spoken in the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand. The delineation of territory in 1924 and the process of “Uzbekisation” caused many Tajiks to identify as Uzbek. Thus there are many Tajiks who speak Tajik but are officially documented as Uzbek.[49]

Religion

Mosque in Bukhara
Religions of Uzbekistan (2020 )[35]
Religions percent
Islam
94%
Eastern Orthodox
3%
others
3%

Muslims constitute 94% of the population according to a 2013 US State Department release.[50] Approximately 3% of the population are Russian Orthodox Christians.[50]

There were 94,900 Jews in Uzbekistan in 1989[6] (about 0.5% of the population according to the 1989 census), but fewer than 5,000 remained in 2007.[7]

A study showed that more than 50% of surveyed consider religion as "very important".[51]

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook as of September 2009, unless otherwise indicated.

Age structure

2020 estimate:
0–14 years: 24%
15–64 years: 60%
65 years and over: 6%

Sex ratio

2009 estimate:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 12 years 1.05 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female

Infant mortality rate

2009 estimate:
Total: 23.43 deaths per 1,000 live births
Male: 27.7 deaths per 1,000 live births
Female: 18.9 deaths per 1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth

2020 estimate:
total population: 75.2 years
male: 72.95 years
female: 78.15 years

Literacy

2003 estimate:
Literacy is defined as the percentage of the population aged 15 and over that can read and write.
total population: 99.3%
male: 99.6%
female: 99%

Education

The educational system has achieved 99% literacy, and the mean amount of schooling for both men and women is 12 years. The government provides free and compulsory 12-year education.

In 2016 Uzbekistan acknowledged the country's lack of higher education services to support its market needs. In addition, private higher education providers have begun to emerge on the market to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills needed in the labor market. TEAM University, a private university in Tashkent, aims to develop the skills required to start entrepreneurial activities, thereby contributing to the development of businesses and private enterprises.

Migration

As of 2011, Uzbekistan has a net migration rate of -2.74 migrant(s)/ 1000 population.[4]

The process of migration changed after the fall of the Soviet Union. During the Soviet Union, passports facilitated movement throughout the fifteen republics and movement throughout the republics was relatively less expensive than it is today.[52] An application for a labor abroad permit from a special department of the Uzbek Agency of External Labor Migration in Uzbekistan is required since 2003. The permit was originally not affordable to many Uzbeks and the process was criticized for the bureaucratic red tape it required. The same departments and agencies involved in creating this permit are consequently working to substantially reduce the costs as well as simplifying the procedure. On July 4, 2007, the Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov signed three agreements that would address labor activity and protection of the rights of the working migrants (this includes Russian citizens in Uzbekistan and Uzbek citizens in Russia) as well as cooperation in fighting undocumented immigration and the deportation of undocumented workers.[53]

Uzbek Migration

Economic difficulties have increased labor migration to Russia, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, South Korea, and Europe over the past decade.[54] At least 10% of Uzbekistan’s labor force works abroad.[55] Approximately 58% of the labor force that migrates, migrates to Russia.[53] High unemployment rates and low wages are responsible for labor migration.

Migrants typically are people from the village, farmers, blue-collar workers, and students who are seeking work abroad. However, many migrants are not aware of the legal procedures required to leave the country, causing many to end up unregistered in Uzbekistan or the host country. Without proper registration, undocumented migrants are susceptible to underpayment, no social guarantees and bad treatment by employers. According to data from the Russian Federal Immigration Service, there were 102,658 officially registered labor migrants versus 1.5 million unregistered immigrants from Uzbekistan in Russia in 2006. The total remittances for both groups combined was approximately US $1.3 billion that same year, eight percent of Uzbekistan’s GDP.[53]

Minorities

Jewish children with their teacher in Samarkand. Early color photograph from Russia, created by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii as part of his work to document the Russian Empire from 1909 to 1915.

A significant number of ethnic and national minorities left Uzbekistan after the country became independent, but actual numbers are unknown. The primary reasons for migration by minorities include: few economic opportunities, a low standard of living, and a poor prospect for educational opportunities for future generations. Although Uzbekistan's language law has been cited as a source of discrimination toward those who do not speak Uzbek, this law has intertwined with social, economic, and political factors that have led to migration as a solution to a lack of opportunities in Uzbekistan.

Russians, who constituted a primarily urban population made up half of the population of Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, until the 1980s. Since then, the population has been gradually diminishing as many Russians have migrated to Russia. Nevertheless, Russian registration permits (propiska) constrain migration.[56] The decision to migrate is complicated by the fact that many Russians or other minority groups who have a “homeland” may view Uzbekistan as the “motherland.” It is also complicated by the fact that these groups might not speak the national language of their “homeland” or may be registered under another nationality on their passports. Nonetheless, “native” embassies facilitate this migration. Approximately 200 visas are given out to Jews from the Israel embassy weekly.[57]

See also

References

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