Uzbekistan people are represented by multiple nationalities and ethnic groups. Tens of nations and nationalities live in this country, and among them there are not only native nations of Central Asia – Uzbeks, Karakalpaks,Tajiks, Kazakhs, Kirghizes, Uygures, Dungans, but also representatives of Europe and East – Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians; also big diasporas of Koreans, Iranians, Armenians, Georgians, Azerbaijanis, Tatars, Bashkirs, Germans, Jews, Lithuanians, Greeks, Turks live in Uzbekistan.
Such ethnic diversity of Uzbek people is due to various historical events occured on the territory of Uzbekistan. Many representatives of ethnic nations of Soviet republics were evacuated here during the World War Second (Russians, Tatars, Armenians, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Germans, Jews and etc.). Representatives of certain nations were deported from their places of residence to Uzbekistan during Stalin’s repressions (Koreans, Crimean Tatars, Chechens and others). And even during the peace time, it was active migration. Especially it was concerned to youth, who participated in scaled constructions and projects on rising and development of new lands, and then settled on developed lands.
Today Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia and the third-largest state by population in CIS after Russia and Ukraine. Uzbekistan population exceeds 30.7 million people (June, 2014). About 80% of population are Uzbeks, more than 10% are representatives of Central Asian nations (Tajiks (4,5%), Kazakhs (2,5%), Karakalpaks (2%), Kirghizes (1%), Turkmens and others). Other largest ethnic groups include Russians (5%) and other Slavic nations.
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. Anthropologically it is the nation of mixed ethnogeny with Caucasoid and Mongoloid components. The formation of Uzbek nation is closely related with ancient nations of Central Asia: Soghdians, Bactrians, Sacks, Massagets and other tribes have been settling in Central Asian area and surrounding territories for many centuries.
But the name Uzbeks appeared only in the 15-16th centuries. Today Uzbeks comprise the majority of Uzbekistan population. Also large populations can be found in neighboring Central Asia’s republics, Afghanistan, countries of CIS. By religion, Uzbeks are Muslims, mostly Sunni.
The Uzbek language is the only official state language. Though the major part of population can speak Russian language. In some regions such as in Samarkand and Bukhara local people also speak Tajik language.
Due to the hot and dry climate, dominance of mountain and desert landscape in Uzbekistan, people mainly live in oases. In desert areas of the republic the population density is very low. So Karakalpakstan and Navoi regions number only 7-9 people per square kilometer and the most populous region the Ferghana Valley numbers about 500 people per square kilometer. It is the largest rate of population density among CIS countries. The urbanization process in Uzbekistan caused to the increase in the number of cities, and consequently to the increase in the urban population. Today in Uzbekistan cities live more than 42% of total population. The largest city is Tashkent. It is the capital of Uzbekistan and numbers over 2 millions of population. Tashkent is the administrative and business center of the republic. A lot of industrial enterprises and offices of large companies are located here. Tashkent is noted for its theatres, museums, parks and many others. Other major cities include Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Andijan, Ferghana.
The average Uzbek family consists of 5-6 people. According to centuries-old traditions and mentality of Uzbek people, family was and is one of the most important priorities in modern society.