Tajikistan is a landlocked, mountainous country in central Asia. It has an area of 143 100 km2 (55 300 mi2), with a population (1989 estimate) of approximately 6 million people. Tajikistan is bordered on the W by Uzbekistan, on the N by Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, on the E by China and on the S by Afghanistan. The country's name dates from the 1920s, when the region was established as a Soviet administrative unit. Tajikistan declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. Approximately 65% of people are ethnic Tajiks, closely related to Iranians, who speak Farsi, the principal language of Iran. Minorities include Uzbeks (approximately 25%), Russians (approximately 7%) and Tartars and Kyrgyz (approximately 3% total).
More than 90% of Tajikistan is mountainous; only the Tajik Depression in the W includes any lowland. The E part of the country includes part of the Trans-Alai Range, which represents the west continuation of the Tien Shan, and much of the Pamir Mountains (the word Pamir...
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