The population of Kyrgyzstan
The population of Kyrgyzstan is about 6 million people. Urban dwellers make up 34.1% of the total population (most of them live in Bishkek), the rest are rural dwellers and nomadic herders. Kyrgyz are the main ethnic group, besides them, there are more than 80 ethnic groups in Kyrgyzstan, including Uzbeks, Russians, Dungans, Uighurs, Tatars, and even Germans.
There is also a semi-nomadic population, which spends six months on summer pastures (jailoo), and in the colder months, they return to the villages. Two-thirds of the Kyrgyz population is rural, consequently, the economy is heavily dependent on the agricultural sector.
The largest ethnic group is the Kyrgyz, they make up about 70% of the country’s population. The next largest people in Kyrgyzstan are Uzbeks (15%), they mainly live in the southern part of the country. 800,000 Uzbeks represent approximately half of the population of Osh and about 95% of the population of Arslanbob. Students have the opportunity to attend Russian, Kyrgyz or Uzbek schools.
Russians make up only about 5% of the current population of Kyrgyzstan, but in Soviet times there was much more. The Russian population is mostly in the northern part of the country, especially in Chui province, in and around Bishkek, while a part of the Soviet Union, Russians were important figures in the politics and economy of Kyrgyzstan, and the Russian language was the language of the capital and government, but after independence in 1991, many Russians moved to Russia, and the Kyrgyz became the dominant ethnic group in Kyrgyzstan.
In Kyrgyzstan, there are more than 80 ethnic groups, restaurants of Dungan and Uyghur cuisine can be found throughout the country, especially around Issyk-Kul. Many people left Kyrgyzstan after independence, as a result, the number of other ethnic groups in the country decreased.
Due to the diversity of ethnic groups, population issues have become an important problem in Kyrgyzstan since independence. Ethnic discrimination complicates politics and economic growth, but leaders are working on ways to address this tension. The problems of ethnic conflict were especially evident in 1990 and 2010, but now all efforts are being made to maintain calm in the country.