Afghanistan - Statistics & Facts

Due to war and turmoil, reliable and up-to-date figures about Afghanistan are hard to come by, especially in regards to demographic data. However, a few benchmark figures with which the current state of the country can be gauged are available.

Although Afghanistan’s fertility rate is one of the highest worldwide, its infant mortality rate is the highest worldwide. Life expectancy in Afghanistan is also notably low, under 64 years. Afghanistan’s age distribution consequently shows that a large share of the population is young. In 2016, Afghanistan was listed at 169 out of 188 states on the Human Development Index.

Afghanistan’s gross domestic product per capita has been on a downswing over last few years, but is estimated to recover and even increase again, starting in 2018. It is also still one of the lowest GDPs per capita worldwide. The World Bank estimates unemployment figures to be nearly 9 percent. The inflation rate is expected to be recovering and stabilize again from a deflationary year in 2015, presumably due to the consequences of years of war.

Afghanistan exports significantly less in goods than it imports, which causes a remarkable trade balance deficit, which is not expected to get out of the red anytime soon. One of its most important trade partners for both export and import is Pakistan.

Since 2001, foreign troops have been stationed in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, which rule the country until the 2002 invasion, and to help the Afghan government stabilize. The United States has sent the largest number of soldiers for this ISAF mission, helmed by NATO. The troops are now slowly being withdrawn from the country. However, Afghanistan's economy may need a lot more time to recover from the war.


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