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This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Half of Tajikistan’s population is under 18 years of age; two thirds live in rural areas. Economic growth averaging 8 per cent annually has reduced poverty over the past five years, and social reform has become a national priority.

Issues facing children in Tajikistan

  • Poverty has forced a million Tajiks to work abroad. Such migration has financial benefits for workers’ families, but also social costs, leading to abandonment or institutionalization of children; some are forced into prostitution. More than 80 per cent of Tajikistan’s 11,000 institutionalized children are not orphans.
  • Mortality rates for infants (92 per 1,000) and children under five (118 per 1,000) are disturbing. Inadequate pre- and postnatal care, malnutrition and poor recognition of danger signs for childhood illnesses are leading causes of death.
  • Tajikistan spends just $12 per capita on health care, one of the lowest rates in the world. Education’s share of GDP is 2.8 per cent, also low, even for a low-income country.
  • Anaemia rates for women and children under five are high; goitre afflicts more than one in ten people; and vitamin A deficiency affects around a quarter of children.
  • One fifth of Tajikistan’s schools were destroyed during the civil wars of the 1990s, and many others lack sanitary facilities or heat. Low teacher pay has induced many teachers to seek other jobs, and there are widespread shortages of textbooks and other materials. 
  • There is no separate juvenile justice system. 

Activities and results for children

  • The president has decreed a doubling of health-care workers’ salaries in 2005; the government has promised to increase teacher pay 25 per cent and raise the share of GDP spent on education in 2005.
  • Tajikistan has been polio-free since 2002. A government campaign to eradicate measles reached 3 million children in 2004. Universal salt iodization legislation has made iodized salt available to a greatly increased proportion of households.
  • Malnutrition rates declined between 2003 and 2004.  UNICEF and its partners have provided iron pills and vitamin A supplements to 2.7 million women.
  • UNICEF lent support to the government’s National Action Plan, which seeks to forestall an HIV/AIDS epidemic by publicizing accurate information about transmission risks and by improving the reliability and availability of testing.
  • Conditions for hundreds of thousands of children have improved thanks to efforts by UNICEF and its partners to bring heat and sanitary facilities to schools.
  • When the Varzob River flooded the capital city of Dushanbe in summer 2004, UNICEF and its partners helped the government respond to issues such as water shortages, water contamination and typhoid.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012


U5MR by sex 2012, male


U5MR by sex 2012, female


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012


Neonatal mortality rate 2012


Total population (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012


GNI per capita (US$) 2012


Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012


Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*


Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*


Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

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