In 2019, Kyrgyzstan had a population density of 32
residents per km2. About 34 percent of the
population lives in cities, of which the capital Bishkek (1
million residents, 2019) is the largest. Kyrgyzstan had a
rapid population increase during the 20th century, and
annual population growth is still relatively high.
Since Kyrgyzstan became independent, the ethnic
composition has changed. The majority consists of Kyrgyz (69
percent), followed by the UzB Cup (14 percent). In addition,
there are smaller minorities of Dungans, Kazakhs, Koreans,
meshkets, Tajiks and Uighurs. Other previously significant
minorities have fallen sharply in number due to emigration
in recent decades.
The proportion of Russians since independence has more
than halved (21 percent in 1989 versus 9 percent in 2007),
as well as the proportion of Ukrainians (from 2.5 to 0.5
percent) and Tatars (from 2 to 0.7 percent). The
German-caste minority, which still reached 110,000 in the
early 1990s, was estimated by the German authorities to be
only 12,000 in 2007; most have emigrated to Germany. For
further information on Kyrgyzstan's ethnography, see Kyrgyz.
Countryaah, Kyrgyzstan and Russian have official status in
Kyrgyzstan. About 65% of the population has Kyrgyz as their
mother tongue. Other major languages are Uzbek, Ukrainian,
Tatar and German.
Kyrgyzstan is a secular state, with a constitution that
guarantees religious freedom. Islam has played a historical
and identity-creating role for the majority population.
During the Soviet era, religion was strongly repressed. With
independence, Islam has been given a more prominent role in
society. In 2007, there were over 1,600 mosques. At the same
time, there is widespread religious spread, but Islam is
considered to have a stronger role in the southern parts of
the country, especially around the city of Osh. The majority
are Sunnis. According to the authorities, several radical
Islamic groups in the south appear to be behind terrorist
acts. Christians are estimated at 20%. The majority are
Russian Orthodox, but there are also Seventh-day Adventists,
Catholics, Old Faithful, Baptists, and Presbyterians. In
addition, there are smaller groups of Jews and Buddhists.oroz
ait (Id al-fitr) and the sacrificial feast kurban
ait (Id al-adha) as official holidays. Foreign
missionaries, including Swedish, operate in the country.