After declaring independence from the Soviet Union, Tajikistan almost immediately became involved in a civil war between the Russian-backed government and Islamist opposition groups. The country has yet to recover and is the poorest country in the region.

Tajikistan is a mountainous, land-locked country situated in Central Asia, between China , Pakistan , Iran and Afghanistan. Its most important crop is cotton. Russian soldiers guard the borders to keep out Islamic extremists, drugs and weapons.

Map of  Tajikistan

Fun Facts

  • 7 million people live in Tajikistan.
  • The country has 55,251 square miles of land.
  • Tajik is the official language.
  • The life expectancy in Tajikistan is 67 years.


  1. Civil war: war fought within a country between conflicting parties
  2. Recover: bounce back; regain former state of health or well-being
  3. Land-locked: surrounded on all sides by land
  4. Extremist: person with extreme religious, political or cultural views who may use force to uphold those views

Learn More

Visit National Geographic to learn more about Tajikistan.

Extra Credit

Question: What are the main industries in this country?

Answer: About 50 percent of the country’s income – or gross domestic product – comes from migrant workers who are working in other countries. Many people are farmers, raising fruit, cotton, grapes and sheep. Tajikistan has close ties with China. Investors in China have helped build roads and infrastructures.