People in Tajikistan
Around 9 million people live in Tajikistan. Most of
them - 85 percent - are Tajiks. Their country is named
after them: Tajikistan means "Land of the Tajiks".
Tajiks are among the Iranian peoples. Unlike their
Turkish-speaking neighbors in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan,
they speak an Iranian language. The Jaghnob people who
live on the Jaghnob River are also part of the Tajik
In addition to Tajiks, there are also minorities
living in the country. The largest group are the Uzbeks
(14 percent). Small groups form Kyrgyz people (0.8
percent) and Russians (0.5 percent), as well as Tatars,
Ukrainians and Germans. These groups, especially those
of the Russians, were far larger before the end of the
Soviet Union. Many left the country. The Pamiri live in
the far east on the border with Afghanistan.
27 out of 100 inhabitants live in a city. So the
majority are at home in the country. By far the largest
city is Dushanbe, followed by Khujand in the Ferghana
Valley and Kulob and Qurghonteppa in the south-west of
the country. Most of the people live in the country's
fertile valleys. The birth rate is quite high at 2.5
children per woman.
Languages in Tajikistan
The official language in Tajikistan is Tajik. This is
an Iranian (Persian) language. The language
distinguishes Tajikistan from the other Central Asian
countries, because Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Turkmens
are Turkic-speaking peoples.
Some scholars count Tajik as their own language,
others see Tajik as a dialect of Persian. In any case,
Tajik itself breaks down into numerous dialects.
Unlike in Iran or Afghanistan, Tajik is also not
written in the Arabic-Persian alphabet, but with
Cyrillic letters. After the collapse of the Soviet Union
, efforts were made to write Tajik in Arabic letters
again, but this was not successful. In 1998, however,
four Cyrillic letters were abolished, namely ц, щ, ы and
An example of a sentence in Tajik: Ман мактуб навишта
истода-ам. That is what one speaks: Man maktub navishta
istoda-am. And it means: I'm writing a letter.
Russian is still an important colloquial language in
Tajikistan that many residents speak as a second
language. Due to the high number of Uzbeks in the
country, Uzbek is also spoken.
Religions in Tajikistan
Ninety percent of the population of Tajikistan are
followers of Islam. 85 percent belong to Sunni Islam, 5
percent are Shiites.
Christians make up about 3
percent. For example, you are Russian Orthodox or
Catholic or belong to a Protestant free church or are