The Human Truth Foundation

Turkmenistan

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

#turkmenistan

Turkmenistan
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index131st best
CapitalAshgabat
Land Area 469 930km21
LocationAsia
Population5.9m2
Life Expectancy65.73yrs (2017)3
GNI$14 026 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesTM, TKM, 7955
Internet Domain.tm6
CurrencyManat (TMM)7
Telephone+9938

1. Overview

Present-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. The area was ruled in antiquity by various Persian empires, and was conquered by Alexander the Great, Muslim crusaders, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. In medieval times Merv (today known as Mary) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Russia in the late 1800s, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic; it achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited, have begun to transform the country. Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects. The Government of Turkmenistan is actively working to diversify its gas export routes beyond the still important Russian pipeline network. In 2010, new gas export pipelines that carry Turkmen gas to China and to northern Iran began operating, effectively ending the Russian monopoly on Turkmen gas exports. President for Life Saparmurat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Turkmenistan held its first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy cabinet chairman under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president; he was chosen as president again in February 2012, in an election that the OSCE said lacked the freedoms necessary to create a competitive environment.

CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9

Book CoverIsolated and long dominated by an eccentric president, Turkmenistan is one of the oddest corners of Central Asia yet boasts its own distinctive attractions. By far the most mysterious and unexplored of Central Asia´s ´stans, Turkmenistan became famous for the truly bizarre dictatorship of Saparmyrat Niyazov, who ruled as `Turkmenbashi´ (`leader of the Turkmen´) until his death in 2006 and covered this little-known desert republic with golden statues of himself.

The result is a fascinating fiefdom of oddball sights and quirky historical remains. But it is also far more than the totalitarian theme park it´s often portrayed as; Turkmenistan is an ancient land of great spirituality, tradition and natural beauty.

The fabled cities of Merv and Konye-Urgench inspire visions of caravans plodding along the ancient Silk Road, while the stark and haunting beauty of the Karakum desert and other quirky natural phenomena are less expected but equally mesmerising sights. The full Turkmen experience is ultimately about mingling with the warm and fascinating Turkmen themselves, whose hospitality is the stuff of legend.

"The World" by Lonely Planet (2014)10

2. Turkmenistan National and Social Development

#economics #human_development

UN HDI (2016)11
Pos.Lower is better
Rank11
1Norway1
2Australia2
3Switzerland2
...
109Gabon109
110Paraguay110
111Egypt111
112Turkmenistan111
113Indonesia113
114Palestine114
115Vietnam115
116Philippines116
World Avg94.3
q=188.
Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)12
Pos.Higher is better
PPP $12
1Qatar$129 916
2Singapore$78 162
3Kuwait$76 075
...
76Thailand$14 519
77Libya$14 303
78Brazil$14 145
79Turkmenistan$14 026
80Costa Rica$14 006
81Palau$13 771
82Algeria$13 533
83China$13 345
World Avg$17 240
q=193.
Social & Moral
Development Index
13,14
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank13,14
1Taiwan30.2
2Denmark30.5
3Norway30.9
...
128Uganda99.3
129Bangladesh99.3
130Venezuela99.4
131Turkmenistan99.5
132Zambia100.3
133Namibia100.8
134Botswana101.4
135Rwanda101.5
World Avg86.4
q=195.

The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others..

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: Which are the Best Countries in the World? The Social and Moral Development Index.

3. Turkmenistan's Demographics

#birth_control #demographics #health #immigration #life_expectancy #longevity #migration #overpopulation #population

Population:

Turkmenistan's population is predicted to rise to 6.165 million by 2030. This country has a fertility rate of 2.33. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.

Population (2018)2
Pos.
Population2
1China1.4b
2India1.4b
3USA327.1m
...
109Nicaragua6.5m
110El Salvador6.4m
111Kyrgyzstan6.3m
112Turkmenistan5.9m
113Singapore5.8m
114Denmark5.8m
115Finland5.5m
116Slovakia5.5m
World Avg39.0m
q=195.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
139Pakistan66.37
140Kiribati66.23
141Myanmar (Burma)66.12
142Turkmenistan65.73
143Madagascar65.52
144Tanzania65.51
145Namibia65.06
146Gabon64.94
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
51Colombia2.31
52Maldives1.67
53Luxembourg1.67
54Turkmenistan2.33
55Trinidad & Tobago1.63
56Montenegro1.63
57S. Africa2.39
58Iran1.60
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Old-Age Dependency Ratio (2016)16
Pos.Lower is better
Per 10016
1Uganda04.3
2Mali04.5
3Chad04.7
...
77Bhutan10.8
78Micronesia10.8
79Honduras11.0
80Turkmenistan11.0
81Maldives11.0
82Mongolia11.8
83Uzbekistan11.9
84Tonga11.9
World Avg18.3
q=185.

Migration:

Immigrants (2017)17
Pos.
%17
1UAE88.4%
2Kuwait75.5%
3Qatar65.2%
...
100Rwanda3.6%
101Moldova3.5%
102Slovakia3.4%
103Turkmenistan3.4%
104Iran3.3%
105Kyrgyzstan3.3%
106Chad3.3%
107Tajikistan3.1%
World Avg9.4%
q=195.
Emigrants (2010)18
Pos.
%18
1Dominica104.8%
2Palestine68.4%
3Samoa67.3%
...
107Switzerland5.4%
108Malaysia5.3%
109Guinea5.2%
110Turkmenistan5.0%
111Mozambique5.0%
112Senegal5.0%
113Iraq4.9%
114Denmark4.7%
World Avg11.5%
q=192.

4. Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #tolerance #turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is amongst the worst places in the world at ensuring human rights and freedom, and it has severe cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. Turkmenistan does worse than average in terms of speed of uptake of HR treaties19 and in LGBT equality20. And finally, it sits amongst the bottom 20 when it comes to commentary in Human Rights Watch reports21 and in supporting press freedom22 (amongst the worst in Asia). Turkmenistan is one of the world´s most closed and oppressively governed countries; the government, led by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov controls all aspects of public life and "effectively bans all forms of religious and political expression not approved by authorities", tightly controls the media and disallows any human rights monitoring23. Anyone who questions or criticizes government policies (or even simply tells outsiders about them) faces a "constant threat of reprisal"23. Torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners is widespread and the justice system is so closed that the true scale of issues cannot be determined23.

For tables, charts and commentary, see:

5. Turkmenistan's Health

#alcohol #birth_control #demographics #health #life_expectancy #longevity #obesity #overpopulation #parenting #population #smoking #Turkmenistan #vaccines

Health (2020)24,25
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank24,25
1Hong Kong18.0
2Singapore41.5
3Maldives43.3
...
63Bosnia & Herzegovina83.1
64St Lucia84.4
65Solomon Islands84.7
66Turkmenistan85.1
67Australia85.3
68Estonia85.3
69Turkey85.6
70Tajikistan86.4
71Guyana86.5
World Avg92.3
q=187.

The countries with the best overall approach to public health, in terms of both public policy and individual lifestyle choices, are Hong Kong, Singapore and The Maldives24. These countries are worth emulating. And, although often through no fault of the average citizen, the worst countries are S. Sudan, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea24.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are its average life expectancy, its alcohol consumption rate, its fertility rate, its smoking rate, its suicide rate, its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance, the prevalence of overweight adults, its adolescent birth rate and its immunizations take-up. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Asia and Europe24, whereas the worst are Africa, Micronesia and Polynesia24.

Health:

Turkmenistan does relatively well in encouraging good health, compared to many other countries. Turkmenistan does better than average when it comes to its immunizations take-up26, its adolescent birth rate27 and in its alcohol consumption rate28 (but bad for Asia). Turkmenistan does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average in its fertility rate15, its smoking rate29 and in its average life expectancy12 (one of the lowest in Asia). The number of overweight adults has increased by 14% during the last 40 years.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
139Pakistan66.37
140Kiribati66.23
141Myanmar (Burma)66.12
142Turkmenistan65.73
143Madagascar65.52
144Tanzania65.51
145Namibia65.06
146Gabon64.94
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Alcohol Consumption (2016)28
Pos.Lower is better
Per Capita28
1Bangladesh0.0
2Kuwait0.0
3Libya0.0
...
80Lesotho5.0
81Suriname5.1
82Nicaragua5.2
83Turkmenistan5.4
84Armenia5.5
85Venezuela5.6
86Sierra Leone5.7
87India5.7
World Avg6.2
q=189.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
51Colombia2.31
52Maldives1.67
53Luxembourg1.67
54Turkmenistan2.33
55Trinidad & Tobago1.63
56Montenegro1.63
57S. Africa2.39
58Iran1.60
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Smoking Rates (2014)29
Pos.Higher is worse29
182Montenegro4 125
181Belarus3 831
180Lebanon3 023
...
118Australia 956
117Ireland 954
116Chile 930
115Turkmenistan 92530
114Thailand 895
113Iran 869
112Laos 836
111Sweden 831
World Avg 819
q=182.
Overweight Adults (2016)31
Pos.Lower is better
%31
1Vietnam18.3
2India19.7
3Bangladesh20.0
...
77Yemen48.8
78Guyana49.4
79Grenada51.4
80Turkmenistan51.8
81Moldova51.8
82St Kitts & Nevis52.3
83Barbados52.4
84Papua New Guinea52.9
World Avg49.0
q=191.

Children's Health:

Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)27
Pos.Lower is better
Per 100027
1N. Korea0.5
2S. Korea1.6
3Switzerland2.9
...
50Micronesia15.0
51Tonga15.2
52Mongolia15.7
53Turkmenistan16.4
54Myanmar (Burma)16.5
55Malta16.6
56Kiribati17.2
57Macedonia17.6
World Avg47.9
q=185.
Infant Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)26
Pos.Higher is better
Avg %26
1Hungary99.0
2China99.0
3Uzbekistan98.9
...
25Monaco97.3
26Cook Islands97.3
27Greece97.3
28Turkmenistan97.2
29St Vincent & Grenadines97.2
30Dominica97.1
31Kazakhstan97.1
32Albania97.1
World Avg88.3
q=194.

6. Turkmenistan's Modernity and Learning

#education #intelligence #it_security #modernity #religion #technology #the_internet

Modernity and Learning (2020)32
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank32
1Finland8.0
2Belgium9.1
3Denmark10.0
...
150Angola101.3
151Myanmar (Burma)103.8
152Burundi104.2
153Turkmenistan104.4
154Bangladesh104.4
155Tanzania105.3
156Honduras105.3
157Yemen105.7
158Iraq106.6
World Avg69.0
q=180.

Modernity and Education:

Length of Schooling (2018)33
Pos.Higher is better
Years33
1Australia22.1
2Belgium19.7
3Finland19.3
...
153Kenya11.1
154Laos11.1
155Malawi11.0
156Turkmenistan10.9
157N. Korea10.8
158Lesotho10.7
159Guatemala10.6
160Guinea-Bissau10.5
World Avg13.2
q=193.
Religiosity (2009)34
Pos.Lower is better
%34
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
...
45Bosnia & Herzegovina77
46Venezuela79
47Costa Rica79
48Turkmenistan80
49Georgia81
50Turkey82
51Ecuador82
52Colombia83
World Avg75.1
q=114.
IQ (2006)35
Pos.Higher is better35
1Hong Kong108
2Singapore108
3S. Korea106
...
65Iraq87
66Azerbaijan87
67Indonesia87
68Turkmenistan87
69Uzbekistan87
70Kuwait86
71Philippines86
72Yemen85
World Avg85.6
q=138.

Technology and Information:

Internet Users (2016)36
Pos.Higher is better36
1Iceland100%
2Faroe Islands99%
3Norway98%
...
163Gambia17%
164Laos16%
165Namibia16%
166Turkmenistan15%
167Bangladesh13%
168Iraq13%
169Kiribati13%
170Rwanda12%
World Avg48.1%
q=201.
IT Security (2013)37
Pos.Lower is better37
1Ireland0.11
2Luxembourg0.11
3Belize0.11
...
55Belarus1.22
56Armenia1.22
57Malawi1.23
58Turkmenistan1.23
59Kazakhstan1.23
60Djibouti1.29
61UK1.34
62Mongolia1.42
World Avg0.98
q=81.
IPv6 Uptake (2017)38
Pos.Higher is better
Ratio38
1Belgium55.4
2Germany41.8
3Switzerland35.1
...
104Yemen0.0
105Laos0.0
106Malta0.0
107Turkmenistan0.0
108Bangladesh0.0
109Qatar0.0
110Kuwait0.0
111Guernsey0.0
World Avg3.82
q=176.

7. National Culture

#charity #corruption #happiness #morals #politics

Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
39
Pos.Lower is better39
1Myanmar (Burma)1.25
2USA1.5
3New Zealand3.5
...
34Cyprus31
35Iran32
36Sweden33
37Turkmenistan33.75
38Philippines34.75
39Nigeria35
40Dominican Rep.35.75
41Northern Cyprus37
World Avg68.1185897435897
q=156.
Corruption (2012-2016)40
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score40
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
166Yemen18.4
167Venezuela18.4
168Uzbekistan18.4
169Turkmenistan18.2
170Libya16.8
171Iraq16.6
172S. Sudan13.8
173Sudan12.2
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Happiness (2018)41
Pos.Higher is better41
1Finland7.6
2Norway7.6
3Denmark7.6
...
65Peru5.7
66Kosovo5.7
67Moldova5.6
68Turkmenistan5.6
69Hungary5.6
70Libya5.6
71Philippines5.5
72Honduras5.5
World Avg5.38
q=156.

8. Peace Versus Instability

#human_development #peace #politics

Global Peace Index (2012)42
Pos.Lower is better42
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
113Benin2.23
114Armenia2.24
115Niger2.24
116Turkmenistan2.24
117Bahrain2.25
118Rwanda2.25
119Kenya2.25
120Algeria2.26
World Avg2.02
q=157.

9. The Natural Environment

#biodiversity #climate_change #over-exploitation #the_environment

Forest Area Change 1990-2015 (2015)43
Pos.Higher is better
%43
1Iceland205.6
2Bahrain144.4
3Uruguay131.3
...
85Tonga00.0
86Maldives00.0
87Vanuatu00.0
88Turkmenistan00.0
89Djibouti00.0
90S. Africa00.0
91Kiribati00.0
92Andorra00.0
World Avg02.8
q=184.
Environmental Performance (2018)44
Pos.Higher is better44
1Switzerland87.4
2France84.0
3Denmark81.6
...
35Trinidad & Tobago67.4
36St Vincent & Grenadines66.5
37Latvia66.1
38Turkmenistan66.1
39Seychelles66.0
40Albania65.5
41Croatia65.5
42Colombia65.2
World Avg56.4
q=180.
Convention on Biological Diversity
Pos.Earlier is better
Signed
1China1993 Dec 29
2Guinea1993 Dec 29
3Cook Islands1993 Dec 29
...
158Mauritania1996 Nov 14
159Qatar1996 Nov 19
160Bahrain1996 Nov 28
161Turkmenistan1996 Dec 17
162Laos1996 Dec 19
163Haiti1996 Dec 24
164Croatia1997 Jan 05
165Belgium1997 Feb 20
World Avg1899 Dec 30
q=197.
Rational Beliefs on the Environment (2011)45
Pos.Higher is better
%45
1Argentina78.3%
2Greece77.6%
3Brazil77.1%
...
138Denmark14.9%
139Libya14.6%
140Iceland13.1%
141Uzbekistan11.3%
142Tajikistan11.1%
143Haiti10.0%
144Albania9.4%
145Turkmenistan8.6%
World Avg39.9%
q=145.

10. Economic Inequality and Poverty

#capitalism #economics #health #inequality #life_expectancy #poverty #social_development

Inequality in Life Expectancy (2019)46
Pos.Higher is worse46
184Chad40.90
183Central African Rep.40.10
182Sierra Leone39.00
...
147Zimbabwe24.20
146Ghana24.20
145Papua New Guinea24.10
144Turkmenistan23.40
143Djibouti23.40
142Gabon22.80
141Myanmar (Burma)22.80
140Congo, (Brazzaville)22.80
World Avg14.59
q=184.
Multidimensional Poverty (2018)47
Pos.Lower is better
Severity47
1Armenia.001
2Ukraine.001
3Serbia.001
4Turkmenistan.001
5Jordan.002
6Kazakhstan.002
7Montenegro.002
8Trinidad & Tobago.002
9Maldives.003
10Albania.003
11Thailand.003
12Moldova.004
World Avg.154
q=101.

11. Religion and Beliefs

#belief #buddhism #christianity #god #hinduism #islam #judaism #religion #turkmenistan

Religiosity (2009)34
Pos.Lower is better
%34
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
...
45Bosnia & Herzegovina77
46Venezuela79
47Costa Rica79
48Turkmenistan80
49Georgia81
50Turkey82
51Ecuador82
52Colombia83
World Avg75.1
q=114.
Disbelief In God (2007)48
Pos.Higher is better
%48
1Vietnam81
2Japan65
3Sweden64
...
68Chile2
69Central African Rep.2
70Tajikistan2
71Turkmenistan2
72Indonesia2
73Paraguay1
74Nicaragua1
75Bolivia1
World Avg9.9
q=137.

Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below49:

Christian6.4%
Muslim93%
Hindu0.1%
Buddhist0.1%
Folk Religion0.1%
Jew0.1%
Unaffiliated0.5%

It appears that when asked "What religion are you" many give pollsters the 'correct' answer despite how they actually feel, and despite what they actually believe. Although 99.8% of the populace say they belong to a religion, only 80% say that they are religious when the question is phrased as "Is religion an important part of your daily life?".

For more on this phenomenon, see:

The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states simply: Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%50.

Freedom of Religion and Belief: The government "effectively bans all forms of religious and political expression not approved by authorities" and severely punishes any gathering or activity that seems religious in nature but is not pre-approved by the state23.

Links: