- Introduction ::TurkmenistanBackground:Present-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. The area was ruled in antiquity by various Persian empires, and was conquered by Alexander the Great, Muslim crusaders, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. In medieval times Merv (today known as Mary) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Russia in the late 1800s, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic; it achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited, have begun to transform the country. Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects. The Government of Turkmenistan is actively working to diversify its gas export routes beyond the still important Russian pipeline network. In 2010, new gas export pipelines that carry Turkmen gas to China and to northern Iran began operating, effectively ending the Russian monopoly on Turkmen gas exports. President for Life Saparmurat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Turkmenistan held its first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy cabinet chairman under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president; he was chosen as president again in February 2012, in an election that the OSCE said lacked the freedoms necessary to create a competitive environment.Geography ::TurkmenistanLocation:Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and KazakhstanGeographic coordinates:40 00 N, 60 00 EArea:total: 488,100 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 53land: 469,930 sq kmwater: 18,170 sq kmArea - comparative:slightly larger than CaliforniaLand boundaries:total: 3,736 kmborder countries: Afghanistan 744 km, Iran 992 km, Kazakhstan 379 km, Uzbekistan 1,621 kmCoastline:0 km; note - Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km)Maritime claims:none (landlocked)Climate:subtropical desertTerrain:flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in westElevation extremes:lowest point: Vpadina Akchanaya -81 mnote: Sarygamysh Koli is a lake in northern Turkmenistan with a water level that fluctuates above and below the elevation of Vpadina Akchanaya (the lake has dropped as low as -110 m)highest point: Gora Ayribaba 3,139 mNatural resources:petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, saltLand use:arable land: 3.89%permanent crops: 0.12%other: 95.98% (2011)Irrigated land:19,910 sq km (2006)Total renewable water resources:24.77 cu km (2011)Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 27.95 cu km/yr (3%/3%/94%)per capita: 5,752 cu m/yr (2004)Natural hazards:NAEnvironment - current issues:contamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salination, water logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods; Caspian Sea pollution; diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river's inability to replenish the Aral Sea; desertificationEnvironment - international agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protectionsigned, but not ratified: none of the selected agreementsGeography - note:landlocked; the western and central low-lying desolate portions of the country make up the great Garagum (Kara-Kum) desert, which occupies over 80% of the country; eastern part is plateauPeople and Society ::TurkmenistanNationality:noun: Turkmen(s)adjective: TurkmenEthnic groups:Turkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6% (2003)Languages:Turkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%Religions:Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%Population:5,113,040 (July 2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 118Age structure:0-14 years: 26.7% (male 690,673/female 673,271)15-24 years: 20.8% (male 535,131/female 528,473)25-54 years: 41.8% (male 1,058,811/female 1,079,697)55-64 years: 6.5% (male 157,474/female 176,088)65 years and over: 4.2% (male 92,891/female 120,531) (2013 est.)Dependency ratios:total dependency ratio: 48.3 %youth dependency ratio: 42.2 %elderly dependency ratio: 6.1 %potential support ratio: 16.5 (2013)Median age:total: 26.2 yearsmale: 25.8 yearsfemale: 26.6 years (2013 est.)Population growth rate:1.15% (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 104Birth rate:19.53 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 91Death rate:6.18 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 159Net migration rate:-1.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 161Urbanization:urban population: 48.7% of total population (2011)rate of urbanization: 1.91% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)Major urban areas - population:ASHGABAT (capital) 637,000 (2009)Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/femaletotal population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2013 est.)Mother's mean age at first birth:24.6 (2006 est.)Maternal mortality rate:67 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)country comparison to the world: 90Infant mortality rate:total: 39.48 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world: 60male: 47.17 deaths/1,000 live birthsfemale: 31.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)Life expectancy at birth:total population: 69.16 yearscountry comparison to the world: 156male: 66.18 yearsfemale: 72.29 years (2013 est.)Total fertility rate:2.12 children born/woman (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 108Contraceptive prevalence rate:61.8% (2000)Health expenditures:2.5% of GDP (2010)country comparison to the world: 186Physicians density:2.44 physicians/1,000 population (2007)Hospital bed density:4 beds/1,000 population (2009)Drinking water source:improved:urban: 97% of populationrural: 72% of populationtotal: 83% of populationunimproved:urban: 3% of populationrural: 28% of populationtotal: 17% of population (2000 est.)Sanitation facility access:improved:urban: 99% of populationrural: 97% of populationtotal: 98% of populationunimproved:urban: 1% of populationrural: 3% of populationtotal: 2% of population (2010 est.)HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:less than 0.1% (2007 est.)country comparison to the world: 137HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:fewer than 200 (2007 est.)country comparison to the world: 156HIV/AIDS - deaths:fewer than 100 (2004 est.)country comparison to the world: 137Obesity - adult prevalence rate:13.2% (2008)country comparison to the world: 125Education expenditures:NALiteracy:definition: age 15 and over can read and writetotal population: 99.6%male: 99.7%female: 99.5% (2011 est.)Government ::TurkmenistanCountry name:conventional long form: noneconventional short form: Turkmenistanlocal long form: nonelocal short form: Turkmenistanformer: Turkmen Soviet Socialist RepublicGovernment type:defines itself as a secular democracy and a presidential republic; in actuality displays authoritarian presidential rule, with power concentrated within the presidential administrationCapital:name: Ashgabat (Ashkhabad)geographic coordinates: 37 57 N, 58 23 Etime difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)Administrative divisions:5 provinces (welayatlar, singular - welayat) and 1 independent city*: Ahal Welayaty (Anew), Ashgabat*, Balkan Welayaty (Balkanabat), Dashoguz Welayaty, Lebap Welayaty (Turkmenabat), Mary Welayatynote: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)Independence:27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)National holiday:Independence Day, 27 October (1991)Constitution:adopted 26 September 2008Legal system:civil law system with Islamic law influencesInternational law organization participation:has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCtSuffrage:18 years of age; universalExecutive branch:chief of state: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of governmenthead of government: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007)cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president(For more information visit the World Leaders website )elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term; election last held on 12 February 2012 (next to be held February 2017)election results: Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW reelected president; percent of vote - Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW 97.1%, Annageldi YAZMYRADOW 1.1%, other candidates 1.8%Legislative branch:unicameral parliament known as the National Assembly (Mejlis) (125 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)elections: last held on 14 December 2008 (next to be held in December 2013)election results: 100% of elected officials are members of the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan and are preapproved by the presidentnote: in 26 September 2008, a new constitution of Turkmenistan abolished a second, 2,507-member legislative body known as the People's Council and expanded the number of deputies in the National Assembly from 65 to 125; the powers formerly held by the People's Council were divided up between the president and the National AssemblyJudicial branch:highest court(s): Supreme Court of Turkmenistan (consists of the court president and 21 associate judges)judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president; judge tenure NAsubordinate courts: provincial, district, and city courts; High Commercial Court; military courtsPolitical parties and leaders:Democratic Party of Turkmenistan or DPT [Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, Chairman; Kasymguly BABAYEW, DPT Political Council First Secretary]Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs or PIE [Orazmammet MAMMEDOW] (party registered 21 August 2012)note: a law authorizing the registration of political parties went into effect in January 2012; unofficial, small opposition movements exist abroad; the three most prominent opposition groups-in-exile are the National Democratic Movement of Turkmenistan (NDMT), the Republican Party of Turkmenistan, and the Watan (Fatherland) Party; the NDMT was led by former Foreign Minister Boris SHIKHMURADOV until his arrest and imprisonment in the wake of the 25 November 2002 attack on President NYYAZOW's motorcadePolitical pressure groups and leaders:noneInternational organization participation:ADB, CIS (associate member, has not ratified the 1993 CIS charter although it participates in meetings and held the chairmanship of the CIS in 2012), EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMODiplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Mered Bairamovich ORAZOWchancery: 2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008telephone:  (202) 588-1500FAX:  (202) 280-1003Diplomatic representation from the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Robert E. PATTERSONembassy: No. 9 1984 Street (formerly Pushkin Street), Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 744000mailing address: 7070 Ashgabat Place, Washington, DC 20521-7070telephone:  (12) 94-00-45FAX:  (12) 94-26-14Flag description:green field with a vertical red stripe near the hoist side, containing five tribal guls (designs used in producing carpets) stacked above two crossed olive branches; five white stars and a white crescent moon appear in the upper corner of the field just to the fly side of the red stripe; the green color and crescent moon represent Islam; the five stars symbolize the regions or welayats of Turkmenistan; the guls reflect the national identity of Turkmenistan where carpet-making has long been a part of traditional nomadic lifenote: the flag of Turkmenistan is the most intricate of all national flagsNational symbol(s):Akhal-Teke horseNational anthem:name: ""Garassyz, Bitarap Turkmenistanyn"" (Independent, Neutral, Turkmenistan State Anthem)lyrics/music: collective/Veli MUKHATOVnote: adopted 1997, lyrics revised 2008; following the death of the President Saparmurat NYYAZOW, the lyrics were altered to eliminate references to the former presidentEconomy ::TurkmenistanEconomy - overview:Turkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and sizeable gas and oil resources. The two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for roughly 8% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Turkmenistan's authoritarian regime has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton export revenues to sustain its inefficient and highly corrupt economy. Privatization goals remain limited. From 1998-2005, Turkmenistan suffered from the continued lack of adequate export routes for natural gas and from obligations on extensive short-term external debt. At the same time, however, total exports rose by an average of roughly 15% per year from 2003-08, largely because of higher international oil and gas prices. Additional pipelines to China, that began operation in early 2010, and increased pipeline capacity to Iran, have expanded Turkmenistan''s export routes for its gas. Overall prospects in the near future are discouraging because of endemic corruption, a poor educational system, government misuse of oil and gas revenues, and Ashgabat''s reluctance to adopt market-oriented reforms. The majority of Turkmenistan''s economic statistics are state secrets. The present government established a State Agency for Statistics, but GDP numbers and other publicized figures are subject to wide margins of error. In particular, the rate of GDP growth is uncertain. Since his election, President BERDIMUHAMEDOW unified the country''s dual currency exchange rate, ordered the redenomination of the manat, reduced state subsidies for gasoline, and initiated development of a special tourism zone on the Caspian Sea. Although foreign investment is encouraged, and some improvements in macroeconomic policy have been made, numerous bureaucratic obstacles impede international business activity.GDP (purchasing power parity):$49.75 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 97$44.84 billion (2011 est.)$39.11 billion (2010 est.)note: data are in 2012 US dollarsGDP (official exchange rate):$33.68 billion (2012 est.)GDP - real growth rate:11% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 614.7% (2011 est.)9.2% (2010 est.)GDP - per capita (PPP):$8,900 (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 126$8,100 (2011 est.)$7,200 (2010 est.)note: data are in 2012 US dollarsGross national saving:14.6% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 10511.6% of GDP (2011 est.)12% of GDP (2010 est.)GDP - composition, by end use:household consumption: 50%government consumption: 12.9%investment in fixed capital: 10.6%investment in inventories: 0%exports of goods and services: 62.7%imports of goods and services: -36.2%(2012 est.)GDP - composition, by sector of origin:agriculture: 7.5%industry: 24.4%services: 68.1% (2012 est.)Agriculture - products:cotton, grain, melons; livestockIndustries:natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processingIndustrial production growth rate:6.5% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 36Labor force:2.3 million (2008 est.)country comparison to the world: 117Labor force - by occupation:agriculture: 48.2%industry: 14%services: 37.8% (2004 est.)Unemployment rate:60% (2004 est.)country comparison to the world: 198Population below poverty line:30% (2004 est.)Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 2.6%highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)Distribution of family income - Gini index:40.8 (1998)country comparison to the world: 56Budget:revenues: $26.4 billionexpenditures: $26.9 billion (2012 est.)Taxes and other revenues:78.4% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 2Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):-1.5% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 72Fiscal year:calendar yearInflation rate (consumer prices):8.5% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 18612% (2011 est.)Stock of narrow money:$813 million (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 153$723.9 million (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of broad money:$1.652 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 155$1.41 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of domestic credit:$8.702 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 104$3.193 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Market value of publicly traded shares:$NACurrent account balance:$1.496 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 39$1.005 billion (2011 est.)Exports:$15.4 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 79$13.84 billion (2011 est.)Exports - commodities:gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiberExports - partners:China 66%, Ukraine 7%, Italy 4.5% (2012)Imports:$10.19 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 96$9.368 billion (2011 est.)Imports - commodities:machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffsImports - partners:China 20.1%, Turkey 17.5%, Russia 13%, UAE 6.9%, Germany 4.8%, UK 4.4% (2012)Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$20.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 59$18.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Debt - external:$428.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 177$451.5 million (31 December 2011 est.)Exchange rates:Turkmen manat (TMM) per US dollar -2.85 (2012 est.)2.85 (2011 est.)2.85 (2010 est.)2.85 (2009)14,250 (2008)Energy ::TurkmenistanElectricity - production:15.02 billion kWh (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 81Electricity - consumption:11.22 billion kWh (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 85Electricity - exports:1.568 billion kWh (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 45Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 143Electricity - installed generating capacity:2.852 million kW (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 89Electricity - from fossil fuels:100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 41Electricity - from nuclear fuels:0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 190Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 203Electricity - from other renewable sources:0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 194Crude oil - production:222,200 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 37Crude oil - exports:67,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 41Crude oil - imports:0 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 131Crude oil - proved reserves:600 million bbl (1 January 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 45Refined petroleum products - production:160,300 bbl/day (2008 est.)country comparison to the world: 63Refined petroleum products - consumption:145,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 68Refined petroleum products - exports:74,430 bbl/day (2008 est.)country comparison to the world: 48Refined petroleum products - imports:2,542 bbl/day (2008 est.)country comparison to the world: 174Natural gas - production:59.5 billion cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 16Natural gas - consumption:25 billion cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 32Natural gas - exports:34.5 billion cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 11Natural gas - imports:0 cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 138Natural gas - proved reserves:24.3 trillion cu m (June 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 4Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:62.05 million Mt (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 54Communications ::TurkmenistanTelephones - main lines in use:547,000 (2011)country comparison to the world: 94Telephones - mobile cellular:3.511 million (2011)country comparison to the world: 120Telephone system:general assessment: telecommunications network remains underdeveloped and progress toward improvement is slow; strict government control and censorship inhibits liberalization and modernizationdomestic: Turkmentelekom, in cooperation with foreign partners, has installed high-speed fiber-optic lines and has upgraded most of the country's telephone exchanges and switching centers with new digital technology; combined fixed-line and mobile teledensity is about 80 per 100 persons; Russia's Mobile Telesystems, the only foreign mobile-cellular service provider in Turkmenistan, had its operating license suspended in December 2010 but was able to resume operations in September 2012international: country code - 993; linked by fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and to other countries by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; an exchange in Ashgabat switches international traffic through Turkey via Intelsat; satellite earth stations - 1 Orbita and 1 Intelsat (2012)Broadcast media:broadcast media is government controlled and censored; 7 state-owned TV and 4 state-owned radio networks; satellite dishes and programming provide an alternative to the state-run media; officials sometimes limit access to satellite TV by removing satellite dishes (2007)Internet country code:.tmInternet hosts:714 (2012)country comparison to the world: 176Internet users:80,400 (2009)country comparison to the world: 166Transportation ::TurkmenistanAirports:26 (2013)country comparison to the world: 126Airports - with paved runways:total: 21over 3,047 m: 12,438 to 3,047 m: 91,524 to 2,437 m: 9914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 51,524 to 2,437 m: 1under 914 m:4 (2013)Heliports:1 (2013)Pipelines:gas 7,500 km; oil 1,501 km (2013)Railways:total: 2,980 kmcountry comparison to the world: 56broad gauge: 2,980 km 1.520-m gauge (2008)Roadways:total: 58,592 kmcountry comparison to the world: 74paved: 47,577 kmunpaved: 11,015 km (2002)Waterways:1,300 km (Amu Darya and Kara Kum canal are important inland waterways) (2011)country comparison to the world: 56Merchant marine:total: 11country comparison to the world: 112by type: cargo 4, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 1 (2010)Ports and terminals:TurkmenbasyMilitary ::TurkmenistanMilitary branches:Turkmenistani Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2013)Military service age and obligation:18-27 years of age for compulsory male military service; 2-year conscript service obligation, or 1 year for university students; 20 years of age for voluntary service; males may enroll in military schools from age 15 (2013)Manpower available for military service:males age 16-49: 1,380,794females age 16-49: 1,387,211 (2010 est.)Manpower fit for military service:males age 16-49: 1,066,649females age 16-49: 1,185,538 (2010 est.)Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:male: 53,829female: 52,988 (2010 est.)Military expenditures:1.6% of GDP (2011)country comparison to the world: 90Transnational Issues ::TurkmenistanDisputes - international:cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2005, but Caspian seabed delimitation remains stalled with Azerbaijan, Iran, and Kazakhstan due to Turkmenistan's indecision over how to allocate the sea's waters and seabed; bilateral talks continue with Azerbaijan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the CaspianRefugees and internally displaced persons:stateless persons: 8,947 (2012)Trafficking in persons:current situation: Turkmenistan is a source, and to a much lesser degree, destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Turkmen in search of work in other countries are forced to work in textile sweatshops, construction, and domestic service; some Turkmen women and girls are sex trafficked abroad; Turkey is the primary trafficking destination, followed by Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and, to a lesser extent, the UK, Kazakhstan, and Cyprus; labor trafficking occurs within Turkmenistan, particularly in the construction industry, with victims identified from Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Azerbaijantier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Turkmenistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government continues to convict trafficking offenders under its anti-trafficking statute; it employs no formal victim identification procedures and does not provide services or fund NGOs to provide services to victims; authorities punish some victims for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked; there continues to be no governmental coordinating body for anti-trafficking efforts or a national anti-trafficking action plan (2013)Illicit drugs:transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and Western European markets; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan"
The World Factbook. 2014.
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Turkmenistan — [tərk men′i stan΄, tərk men′istän΄] 1. TURKMEN SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC 2. country in central Asia, on the Caspian Sea, north of Iran: became independent upon the breakup of the U.S.S.R. (1991): 186,400 sq mi (482,774 sq km); pop. 3,523,000; cap … English World dictionary
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