The Republic of Uzbekistan is a landlocked country in central Asia.
It has an area of 172,242 square miles (447,400 square kilometers.)
The Kyzylkum Desert makes up most of Uzbekistan.
There are high mountains and valleys in the southeast, where the country borders Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan
The climate is hot and dry.
Uzbekistan was once an Islamic republic of the Soviet Union. It became independent in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed. The other Islamic republic of the USSR - Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, also became independent at that time.
The capital of Uzbekistan is Tashkent.
27,488,000 people live in Uzbekistan. Most live in the fertile Fergana Basin.
90% are Uzbek, 6% are Russian, 5% are Tajik and 3% are Kazakh.
The official language is Uzbek. Russian, Tajik and Kazakh are also spoken.
88% of the people are Sunni Muslim and 9% are Christian Orthodox.
Most economic activity centers around irrigated agriculture.
Water shortages have created restrictions on agricultural development.
Cotton is the main crop.
Uzbekistan has large reserves of gold, copper, uranium, zinc and lead.
The manufacture of textiles, cotton harvesting machinery and fertilizers are important industries.
As industry has grown, pollution has become a serious problem.
The official currency of Uzbekistan is the som, which is equal to 100 tiyin.
Uzbekistan has a presidential system of government.