Afghanistan is a landlocked state located in Central Asia. The geography of Afghanistan is quite diverse with plains, caves valleys and mountains. It borders with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan to the north, China to the east, Pakistan to the south and east and with Iran to the west.  Below, the geographic features will be displayed that show the following features:


  • The total surface (in square kilometers and miles)
  • The surface of internal bodies of water as a share of the total surface
  • The average temperature (median, highest and lowest)
  • The average rainfall
  • The distance of the Afghan capital to the rest of the world.

Afghanistan (officially called the Islamic republic of Afghanistan) means land of the Afghanis. Historically, Afghanistan has been a gateway for the silk road, which connected trade between the European continent to China. At present, Afghanistan is taking part in a similar project, the Belt and Road initiative, initiated by China.


Since its existence, Afghanistan has been subjected to governmental overthrows, coups and civil wars. The most recent of which is the military invasion of the United States as a response to the 9/11 attacks which were instigated by Osama bin Laden, a Saudi national who was protected from extradition by the taliban.


Afghanistan is the 40th largest state in the world. The current size of Afghanistan is 655.491 km2 (253089 mi2) which makes it slightly larger than France. From the east to the west of Afghanistan spans a width of about 1300 kilometers (807 miles) and from the north to the south measures around 1000 kilometers (621 miles)

Below, the surface of Afghanistan is displayed


Surface (in square kilometers)

Surface (in square miles)

There is no data of Afghanistan having a significant amount of water that permanently resides within its border. The river Amu Dayra is the largest river in Afghanistan and also a demarcation for its border with Tajikistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. 


Below, a graph is shown which displays the absolute amount of water of each state in square kilometers and square miles.

Surface (water)

Water Surface (in square kilometers)

Water Surface (in square miles)

Share of water (%)

About 80 percent of drinking water in Afghanistan is polluted and access to water is among the lowest in the world. The main source of water comes from the mountains where melting snow forms small rivers. Other than that, Afghanistan has no surface water that resides within its border.


Afghanistan's share of water, as well as the other states are displayed below.

Humidity, distance to the equator and elevation are some of the factors that affect the temperature of a state. Being located close to the equator, as well as being a mountainous state, the temperature of Afghanistan is prone to high fluctuation. Being a steppe climate, Afghanistan's temperature is relatively volatile. The average temperature of Afghanistan is 13,3 degrees celcius (or 55,94 degrees farenheit) which ranks Afghanistan as the 137th warmest state.


Below the average temperature is displayed.


 The average highest temperature of afghanistan is 22°C (71,6°F) which ranks Afghanistan as the 131th warmest state. This means that Afghanistan's highest temperature is 8,7°C (47.66°F) above the average temperature of Afghanistan. Below the average temperature is displayed.

Average temperature (in Celcius)

Average temperature (in Farenheit)

Average high temperature (in Celcius)

Average high temperature (in Farenheit)

The average lowest temperature of Afghanistan is 7,8°C (46,04°F) which ranks Afghanistan as the 49th coldest state. This means that Afghanistan's average lowest temperature is 5,5°C (41,9°F) below the average temperature of Afghanistan. Below, the average low temperature of all states is  displayed.

Average low temperature (in Celcius)

Average low temperature (in Farenheit)


Rainfall in Afghanistan is scarce. With an average of 352,9 cm (13,89 in), Afghanistan ranks 170th of the global rang of most rainfall. The rainfall season in Afghanistan is mainly in the spring and in autumn.

Average rainfall (mm)

Average rainfall (inch)

Distance to other capitals (kilometers)

Distance to other capitals (miles)


The capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, is located in the east of Afghanistan. Its nearest capital is Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan with a distance of 344.7 kilometers (214.2 miles). While the capital that is located furthest from Kabul is Santiago, Chile with a distance of 16359.2 kilometers (10165.4 miles). Below, the distances from Kabul to other capitals is displayed.

The official economy of Afghanistan is mainly based on agriculture as well as small based industries. However, a large amount of income is based in narcotics and drug trafficking. This is also shown in Afghanistan's global share of around 90 percent of the production of heroin.


With a vast amount of natural minerals residing within its territory, Afghanistan has the potential to become one of the most prosperous states in the region. This has sparked the interest of other states, with China becoming its main trading partner. Below, the economics of Afghanistan will be displayed with the analysis of the following features:


  • Number of memberships of economic organizations
  • Gross Domestic Product (US$)
  • Gross Domestic Product per capita (in US$)
  • GDP per square kilometer (in US$)
  • GDP per square mile (in US$)

Economic organizations

Gross Domestic Product (US$)

Gross Domestic Product per capita

Amount of memberships (economic organizations)

Absolute earnings for every 1$

Relative earnings

GDP in PPP per capita (in US$)


GDP in PPP per capita

Gross Domestic product (in million US$)

GDP per capita (in US$)

Afghanistan is a member of 13 international economic organizations. This ranks Afghanistan as the 41st of most economically internationally connected states. The international economic organizations of which Afghanistan is a member are:


  • Alliance for Financial Inclusion   
  • Asian Development Bank            
  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank    
  • International Development Law Organization     
  • International Monetary Fund     
  • Islamic Development Bank          
  • World Bank Group          

  • World Customs Organization      

  • World Trade Organization           

  • Economic Cooperation Organization       

  • Energy Charter Treaty   

  • International Renewable Energy Agency International Solar Alliance         

  • Group of 77

Below, you will find the graph that displays the states and their amount of memberships

With narcotics accounting for about half, the nominal GDP of 18.9 billion ranks Afghanistan as the 118th highest state internationally. In relative terms, Afghanistan represents 0.023% of the global GDP. Below, the GDP of all states is displayed.

The GDP representation above shows the total market value produced by a state. This is unfortunately only a representation of the market value within a specific territory. Since people are responsible for an increase of GDP, the more populous states are prone to have a higher GDP. The GDP per capita divides the nominal GDP by population count. Therefore, the GDP per capita gives a better representation of the economic value that individuals add within the state. 


The GDP per capita of Afghanistan is $517.54, which ranks it 186th globally. The map below shows the GDP per capita of every state.

The absolute earnings (GDP per capita) has shown that the average Afghani earns $517.54 per year. The figure below displays the average amount that inhabitant of other states earn for every 1$ that an average Afghan citizen makes.

Another interesting graph is the GDP that is produced per square kilometer or square mile of each state. A high GDP of states with a  large surface, as well as a low population, could be explained by the availability of a large amount of natural reserves as well as the means to extract these reserves. 


The GDP per square kilometer of Afghanistan is 28,878$ per square kilometer (74,793$ per square mile). Which ranks Afghanistan 180th of highest GDP per km2/mi2. 

The rest of the world is displayed below.


Surface GDP

GDP per square kilometer (in US$)

GDP per square mile(in US$)

Relative GDP in PPP

The Gross Domestic Product in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is another way to compare states. PPP researches the prices of several basic market products within each state and calculates the amount of goods a person within that state can buy within its borders. 


 The GDP PPP per capita of Afghanistan is $2043 which ranks it 178th globally. Other states will be shown on the right.

The relative Gross Domestic Product in Purchasing Power Parity compares the purchasing power of Afghanistan with the rest of the world.




The graph on the left displays the purchasing power parity of the rest of the world in relation to the purchasing power of 1$ in Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan is an ethnically mixed state. Due to this, the official languages Persian and Pashto are. Also, about a quarter of Afghanis live in Urban areas. Other demographics of Afghanistan are not up to date due to the absence of recent surveys amongst its population.


The demographics analyzed in this section are:


  • Population
  • Population per square kilometer
  • Population per square mile
  • Share of emigration


Afghanistan has 36,57 million inhabitants living in its 34 provinces. 50 percent of which are under the age of 18. Compared to  the rest of the world, Afghanistan is ranked 128th of the most populated states. 


Below, the population of each state is displayed.

Population density

With its surface area, which ranked Afghanistan 40th, divided by its population count (128th), the population density of Afghanistan is ranked as the 125th most populous state with a population of 56 people per square kilometer of 144 people per square mile.


Below, the population density of each state is displayed.


Due to the Afghan war against the Soviet Union and the ''War on terror " of the United States over the past four decades, there has been a large number of displaced Afghanis. Other factors of Afghan emigration are droughts, regime changes, economic motivation and socio-political reasons. Around 5.111.000 Afghans (16% of its population) have emigrated to neighboring states as well as overseas. 


Below, the states are displayed with the amount of Afhgani's that of emigrated to these states


With a total of 112.000 people that have immigrated to Afghanistan, immigration into Afghanistan has been rare. Afghanistan is ranked 118th of most states with the most immigrants. One assumption is that this is due to the war on terror. Other factors could be of socioeconomic nature. The people that immigrated to Afghanistan originate only from two states, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.


Afghanistan is ranked 186th highest in literacy rates with more than half of its population unable to read. One factor is that the Taliban within Afghanistan is limiting education, and especially education to women whom are disproportionally affected. The presence of war is also a factor that is contributing to illiteracy, The discrepancy between men and women is quite high with 30% of men and 15% of women that are literate. 


The life expectancy of Afghanistan is about 50 years for men and 53 years for women. Health is a difficult thing to measure. The quality of healthcare, genetics, and the environment are all factors that attribute to the health of a population. Based on these factors, Afghanistan is ranked 175th globally of the most healthy states globally.


Below, the global rank of each state is displayed

Population density (in km2)

Population density (in mi2)


Until the 7th century, Afghanistan was a multi religious state. From the 7th century onward, the spread of Islam has caused it to become a predominant Muslim state. Several attempts of secularization from the mid 20th century until the end of the 20th century have failed. Being a predominantly Muslim state, Afghanistan is one of the least multi religious states globally. With about ninety percent of Afghani inhabitants adhering to the Sunni branch of islam and about ten percent adhering to the Shia branch, little other religions exist within its borders. This ranks Afghanistan 189th of multi religious states.


Below, the global rate of mono or multi religious states is displayed. After that, the share of every major religion, remaining religious and non-religious inhabitants will be discussed.

Christianity, or the conversion to Christianity is not permitted for Afghan citizens. However, it is estimated that there are approximately 7000 Afghan Christians that practice their religion in hidden churches. Because of the ban on Christianity, many Afghan Christians practice their religion abroad.


On the right, the global share of Christians per state is displayed 

Christianity (share of the total population)

Islam (share of the total population)

Islam is Afghanistan's official state religion.


Consisting almost fully of adherents of Islam, the Islamic population of Afghanistan is mainly made up of the Sunni branch of Islam (90%) and the Shia branch of Islam (10%).


On the left, the global spread of Islam is displayed per state.

Buddhism played a major role as the main religion before the introduction of Islam. Remnants of this era are still present in Afghan language, as well as Afghan art. 


From the 11th century onward, Buddhism has not been practiced.


On the right, the global share of Buddhism of each state is displayed.

Buddhism (share of the total population)

Less than a thousand people practice Hinduism in Afghanistan. These practices are mostly located in urban areas.


The amount of Hindu's used to be around half a million before the introduction of Islam.


On the left, the share of adherents to Hinduism globally is displayed.

Hinduism (share of the total population)

Judaism (share of the total population)

There are virtually no Jews in Afghanistan. The current official data suggests that Afghanistan is host to one adherent to Judaism.


Around 1930, Afghanistan was host to about 45.000 Jews. After the Afghan war however, almost all fled to Israel or the United States.

The map on the right displays the spread of Judaism globally.

Other religions (share of the total population)

Other religions in Afghanistan do not represent a significant share of the population. 



The other religions known to be in Afghanistan are Baháʼí, Zoroastrians and Dharmic. 




On the left, the share of other religions in other states is displayed.

Non-religious (share of the total population)

Due to the fact that Afghan citizens are not allowed to have another fate than Islam, combined with the fact that denouncing Islam is punishable by death, the official share of non-religious persons in Afghanistan is zero.



On the right, other states and their share of non-religious citizens is displayed

Military spending (in % of GDP)

Military spending

With its GDP of 19.006 million dollar, Afghanistan spends about 1.2% (228.4 million dollar) on its military branch. This ranks Afghanistan as the 119th largest military spender on a global scale. In relative terms, this means that Afghanistan represents 0.01% of the total global military expenditure.


Below, the absolute and relative military expenditure is displayed.

Known as the graveyard of empires, Afghanistan has been an internationally contested state that withstood total subversion from major empires throughout its existence. Its most recent encounters with other empires were the British empire (1839-1842) the Soviet Union (1979-1989) and the United States (2001-present). Factors that attribute to this are the fact that the mountains limit the accessibility through Afghanistan. Aside from this, inter tribal wars have  regularly occurred which led to  the creation of a hostile environment as well as physically defensive structures of each village. 

Military membership

Afghanistan is a member of four international military organizations. This ranks Afghanistan as the 95th most interconnected state globally. The military organizations of which Afghanistan is a member are:


  • Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons   
  • Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty 
  • International Atomic Energy Agency 
  • Non-Aligned Movement


The membership of military organizations of each state is displayed below.

Military membership

International wars

Since its foundation, Afghanistan has fought ten wars with other states. The most recent international wars were with the Soviet Union (1979-1989) and with the United States (2001-present). Other notable wars were the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842), Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880), Afghanistan–Pakistan border clash 1949-present and the Civil war in Afghanistan 1996-2001.


Below, the amount of international wars of each state is displayed.

Number of international wars fought

Military spending (in US$ million)

Membership (international political organizations)

Afghanistan is a member of  ten political organizations. This ranks Afghanistan as the 127th most politically interconnected state globally. The political entities of which Afghanistan is a member are:


  • Member state of the United Nations                    
  • International Labour Organization                  
  • Asia Cooperation Dialogue                                                                          
  • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation 
  • Colombo Plan   



Below, the amount of political memberships of each state is displayed.

Political Membership

Democracy/dictatorship rating

Due to poverty, corruption and other undemocratic practices, the citizens of Afghanistan have a large amount of distrust toward the Afghan state. Aside from this, other fundamentalist groups within Afghanistan also threaten the democratic systems of the Afghan state. 

Globally, Afghanistan leans more towards a dictatorship rather than a democracy.  Based on its governmental structure, Afghanistan is ranked the 129th most democratic state globally.


The global rating of each state is displayed below.


The politics of the modern Afghan state has mainly focused on a centralized government with a strong military. This, however, has not been the case. With several ethnic, religious and political groups in Afghanistan, the Afghan government has not been able to fully influence its inhabitants. Several civil wars have ensued due to interfactional fighting. This has crippled the power of the Afghan state. 

  • The relative Gross Domestic product per capita (in US$)
  • Gross Domestic Product in Purchasing Power Parity  (in US$)
  • Gross Domestic Product in Purchasing Power Parity per capita (in US$)
  • The relative Gross Domestic Product in Purchacing Power Parity (in US$)
  • Share of immigration
  • Literacy rate
  • Health
  • Religion
  • International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property                          
  • Organization of Islamic Cooperation                              
  • International Criminal Court       
  • Interpol         
  • World Organization for Animal Health
The GDP is an estimate of the value that a state adds through its production of goods and services
The GDP per capita is the GDP of a state divided by its population
Microstates (les than 1000km2) are excluded from the maps

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The currency of Afghanistan is the "Afghan afghani"  (؋ )

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If you want to know more about other states, click on the flag on the right to discover Eswatini (Swaziland).