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Tajikistan, The People of Tajikistan

The population of Tajikistan (2002 estimate) is 6,719,567, giving the republic an average population density of 47 persons per sq km (122 per sq mi). The lowlands of northern and western Tajikistan are the most densely populated areas. Large cities include Dushanbe, the capital, a modern city located in the Hisor Valley of western Tajikistan; and Khujand (named Leninabad from 1936 to 1991), an important cotton-processing center located in northern Tajikistanís Fergana Valley.

Tajikistan was the least urbanized republic of the former USSR. In 2000 only 28 percent of the population lived in urban areas. From the late 1950s strong urban growth, fed by immigrants from other republics, was matched by rapid growth in the rural population. Between 1959 and 1989, the population of the republic increased by more than 100 percent due to a high birthrate and improvements in medical care. During the early 1990s, however, the growth rate began to decline due to civil war and emigration.

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