Central Asia Overview

There is no clear demarcation of which countries and areas belong to Central Asia. Over time, the “boundaries” have shifted again and again or have been interpreted differently. In general, there have been three definitions in recent decades: one that dates from the times of the Soviet Union, one from the present day, and one that was determined by UNSECO. Basically, Central Asia, which is also called Central Asia, is a region in the center of the Asian continent.

Since there may be overlaps with South Asia, North Asia and the Near East, we adhere to the generally accepted definition in which the following countries are counted as Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The five countries of Central Asia

If one starts from the usual definition, then Central Asia includes five countries in which around 68 million people live. Uzbekistan has the largest population with over 30 million people. Kazakhstan follows with 17.7 million. The population density is lowest here at 6.5 people per square kilometer, which is due to the size of the country. With 2.7 million square kilometers, Kazakhstan is the largest of these five countries and the ninth largest in the world (it is over seven and a half times larger than Germany). Almost eight million people live in Tajikistan, 6.7 million in Turkmenistan and 5.5 million in Kyrgyzstan.

Geographical features

Central Asia is characterized by a very dry climate, which is why many steppes, deserts and mountains can be found here. Agricultural use is therefore less possible, the focus is primarily on animal husbandry. A steppe belt, also known as the Eurasian steppe, extends as far as Eastern Europe. These include the Kazakh steppe and the Kulunda steppe.

The region’s great mountains include the Alai, Altai and Pamir mountains. The largest is the Tian Shan, which stretches across Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to China. The south of Central Asia in particular is covered by deserts. These include the Karakum, the Kyslykum, the Taklamakan as the second largest sandy desert on earth and the Gobi Desert as the sixth largest desert worldwide.

The only sea that borders Central Asia is the Caspian Sea. Other important waters are the Aralsee and the Balchaschsee. The Amudarja, the Tarim, the Ili and the Serafschan are the largest rivers in Central Asia.

The population in Central Asia

The area of ​​Central Asia consisted of tribal societies in antiquity and in the Middle Ages. Over time, some great empires developed from this, such as the Mongols, the Timurids, the Huns, the Saken and the Scythians.

Today mainly Turkic people, Tajiks, Mongols and Tibetans live in Central Asia. The predominant religion is Islam, followed by Lamaist Buddhism, which can be found mainly in the eastern areas.


According to best-medical-schools, Kazakhstan has approximately 16,402,861 inhabitants and borders only Russia in the north. In the south to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan and in the southeast to the People’s Republic of China.

If you look at the area of ​​Kazakhstan it is the ninth largest country in the world. Kazakhstan has a lot of flora and fauna. The beautiful diverse natural treasures are protected in many national parks. The longest river in Kazakhstan is Irtysh, it is 4,248 km long, of which 1,700 are only in Kazakhstan. There are around 4,000 lakes in Kazakhstan.

It is mixed between small and large lakes. Most have salt water. The Balchaschsee is one of the most important lakes in the world. It is 620 kilometers long and 18,428 km² in size. The interesting thing about this lake is that half of it is fresh water and the other half is salt water.

The largest reservoirs are Buchtarma and Kaptschagei. Kazakhstan has a lot of oil and gas. Important waterways are Schajyq and Irtysch. The national dish of Kazakhstan is Beschbarmak, it is eaten with the fingers. Plow and shish kebab are also very popular. Plow is a rice dish with meat and shish kebab are pieces of meat roasted on a skewer over an open fire.

The capital is Astana and has 626,228 inhabitants. Astana is a university city. The city of Almaty, formerly called Alma-Ata, has 1,328,362 inhabitants. The largest airports are in the capital Astana and Almaty. Other larger cities also have airports, most of which also have flight connections to Germany.

You can see a train station in every major city. This is usually very nice, because it is said that the train station is the business card of the country and therefore usually the first thing travelers get to see. If you want, you can also travel to Kazakhstan by train. But it usually takes several days. Baiqongyr has the largest spaceport in the world. It will be rented from Russia until 2050. They pay $ 115 million a year for it.

Central Asia Overview