About the size of the U.S. State of Texas, Afghanistan occupies an area of 647,230 km2 (249,900 sq mi) in Southern Asia.
As observed on the physical map of the country above, most of Afghanistan is a rugged, inhospitable mountainous landscape. More than 50% of the total land area lies above 6,500 ft. (2,000 m). It all culminates in the high peaks of the Hindu Kush, where extensions of the Pamir Mountains, Karakorum Mountains and the Himalayas all come together.
Afghanistan's highest point is Mt. Nowshak (marked on the map by a yellow triangle) which peaks at 24,446 ft. (7,485 m).
In the north, a fertile plain front the Anu Dar'ya River. In the south, below the mountains, rolling desert and scattered salt flats cover the land.
Afghanistan is drained by numerous rivers; significant ones include the Amu Dar'ya, Hari, Helmand, and the Kabul - directly east of the capital city, flowing down into the Indus River in Pakistan.
In 2009 Afghanistan designated a portion of the Hindu Kush Mountains, known as Band-e Amir, their first national park. The park contains six deep blue lakes, Band-e Gholaman, Band-e Qambar, Band-e Haibat, Band-e Panir, Band-e Pudina and Band-e Zulfiqar, all of which are separated by natural dams.
Afghanistan (officially, The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) is divided into 34 administrative provinces (welayat). In alphabetical order, the 34 provinces are: Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daykundi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghor, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktiya, Panjshir, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e-Pul, Takhar, Uruzgan, Wardak and Zabul. These provinces are further subdivided into several districts.
Located in the east-central part of the country, Kabul – is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. Kabul’s location at an altitude of 1790m, in a narrow valley of the Hindu Kush Mountains – makes it one of the highest capitals in the world. Kabul is the only city in Afghanistan, with populations over a million. Kabul is the country’s largest urban center as well as the political, cultural and economic hub of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is a landlocked mountainous country in Southern Asia. It is situated in the Northern and Eastern hemispheres of the Earth. It is bordered by six nations – by Pakistan in the east and south; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north and China in the northeast.
Regional Maps: Map of Asia
|Legal Name||Islamic Republic of Afghanistan|
|34 31 N, 69 11 E|
|Independence||19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)|
|Total Area||652,230 km2|
|Land Area||652,230 km2|
|Water Area||0 km2|
|Total Border||5,987 km|
|Bordering Countries||China 91 km, Iran 921 km, Pakistan 2670 km, Tajikistan 1357 km, Turkmenistan 804 km, Uzbekistan 144 km|
|Climate||Arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers|
|Coordinates||33 00 N, 65 00 E|
|Mean Elevation||1,884 m|
|Lowest Elevation||258 m|
|Highest Elevation||7,492 m|
|Ethnic Groups||Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, other (includes smaller numbers of Baloch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, Pashai, and Kyrghyz) (2015)|
|Languages||Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 77% (Dari functions as the lingua franca), Pashto (official) 48%, Uzbek 11%, English 6%, Turkmen 3%, Urdu 3%, Pashayi 1%, Nuristani 1%, Arabic 1%, Balochi 1% (2017 est.)|
|Religions||Muslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 - 89.7%, Shia 10 - 15%), other 0.3% (2009 est.)|
|GDP Per Capita||$502.12|
|Exports||Opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems, and medical herbs|
This page was last updated on September 16, 2020