The following are key facts about Afghanistan:

Capital: Kabul

Land area: Slightly smaller than Texas

Border countries: China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km, Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km

International disputes: 
Periodic disputes with Iran over Helmand water rights;
Iran supports clients in country, private Pakistani and Saudi sources also are active;
Support to Islamic fighters in Tajikistan's civil war;
Border dispute with Pakistan (Durand Line);
Support to Islamic militants worldwide by some factions

Climate: Arid to semi-arid; cold winters and hot summers

Terrain: Mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest

Population: 22,664,136 (July 1996 est.)

Birth rate: 43.03 births/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Death rate: 18.16 deaths/1,000 population (1996 est.)

Ethnic divisions: 
Pashtun 38%,
Tajik 25%,
Uzbek 6%,
Hazara 19%,
minor ethnic groups (Chahar Aimaks, Turkmen, Baloch, and others)

Sunni Muslim 84%,
Shi'a Muslim 15%,
other 1%

Pashtu 35%,
Afghan Persian (Dari) 50%,
Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%,
30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%,

Economic overview: Afghanistan is an extremely poor, land-locked country, highly dependent on farming (wheat especially) and livestock raising (sheep and goats).