Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia with about 25.2 m (2003) population and it ranks third in CIS countries after only to Russia and Ukraine . In one square kilometer 56.1 people live in the country. The population is unevenly scattered across the country. Nearly 63 per cent of the total population lives in rural areas. The natural conditions of the country have definitely played an important role in the dissemination of the population. Very few people live in desert areas while water rich regions are densely populated. For instance, Andijan province is one of the most densely populated regions of the world.
The urbanization process is not quite active, since 1980 the proportion between cities and villages has remained almost the same. By nature Uzbeks prefer a sedentary life and that is why migration and immigration scarcely have any influence on population growth patterns. In general, the level of the population's natural growth is very high. In the country the number of marriages is significantly high and the percentage of divorce cases is one of the lowest in the world. According to Uzbek tradition, the family is regarded as something quite sacred.
Population number, thousands
The usual Uzbek family, particularly in villages, is rather big. On the average, the Uzbek family has 5-6 children. Ensuring a good and healthy life for the young generation, protecting motherhood is one the priorities for the Uzbek Government. Founded in 1993, the International Charity Fund "For a healthy generation" has been carrying out a number of projects to this effect. It is worth mentioning that apart from supporting this Fund, the government is employing a variety of measures to protect the motherhood and childhood.
The sex ratio of the population is 49,5 percent male and 50,5 percent female. In rural areas this proportion is almost fifty-fifty. Slightly more than 40 percent of the total population is children and young adults under the age of 14, and 28,3 percent are young people aged between 15-29. Children and youth account for 70 percent of the whole population of the country.
The native inhabitants of Uzbekistan are Uzbeks. Besides Uzbeks, there are Russians, Kazakhs, Kyrgyzs, Tajiks, Kara-Kalpaks, Turkmens, Tartars, Ukrainians, and other. Uzbeks live not only in Uzbekistan. There are Uzbek diaspora in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, China, India, Pakistan, Germany, USA, and some other countries
The annual average rate of the population growth, %