The only city in Afghanistan with over 1 million population is its capital, Kabul. The rest are smaller cities and towns. According to the National Statistic and Information Authority of Afghanistan (NSIA), an estimated total number of people living inside Afghanistan was 32,225,560 in 2020. Of this, around 7.8 million were reported to be living in urban areas and the rest in rural or countryside.
The chart below shows 18 cities of Afghanistan with a population over 100,000, by order of population.
|Name||Province||Population estimate as of January 1, 2020|
|Sar-e Pol||Sar-e Pol||173,719|
Ancient names of places or cities in Afghanistan:
|Current city and region||Ancient name|
|Kabul||Kophene, Gaofū, Kābūrā|
|Balkh||Bakhlo, Bactra, Bokhdī|
|Herat||Haraiva, Harī, Aria|
|Zaranj||Zranka, Zarangia, Drangiana|
Kabul is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan, located in the eastern section of the country. It is also a municipality, forming part of the greater Kabul Province, and divided into 22 districts. According to estimates in 2020, the population of Kabul is 4.222 million, which includes all the major ethnic groups of Afghanistan. Afghanistan's only city with a population of over 1 million, Kabul serves as its political, cultural and economical center. Rapid urbanization has made Kabul the world's 75th largest city.
The population of Afghanistan is around 37,466,414 as of 2021, which includes the roughly 3 million Afghan citizens living as refugees in both Pakistan and Iran. The nation is composed of a multi-ethnic and multilingual society, reflecting its location astride historic trade and invasion routes between Central Asia, Southern Asia, and Western Asia. Ethnic groups in the country include Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbeks, Nuristanis, Aimaq, Turkmen, Baloch and a number of others which are less known.
Gardez is the capital of the Paktia Province of Afghanistan. The population of the city was estimated to be ca. 10,000 in the 1979 census and was estimated to be 70,000 in 2008. The majority of the city's native population is Tajik. But recently, with the migration of Pashtun tribes from different parts of Paktia to this city, Pashtuns have taken over the majority of the population of this city. The city of Gardez is located at the junction between two important roads that cut through a huge alpine valley. Surrounded by the mountains and deserts of the Hindu Kush, which boil up from the valley floor to the north, east and west, it is the axis of commerce for a huge area of eastern Afghanistan and has been a strategic location for armies throughout the country's long history of conflict. Observation posts built by Alexander the Great are still crumbling on the hilltops just outside the city limits. The city of Gardez has a population of 70,641. It has 13 districts and a total land area of 6,174 hectares (23.84 sq mi). The total number of dwellings in this city is 7,849.
Ghazni, historically known as Ghaznin (غزنين) or Ghazna (غزنه), is a city in southeastern Afghanistan with a population of around 270,000 people. The city is strategically located along Highway 1, which has served as the main road between Kabul and Kandahar for thousands of years. Situated on a plateau at 2,219 metres (7,280 ft) above sea level, the city is 150 km south of Kabul and is the capital of Ghazni Province.
Bamyan Province is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the central highlands of the country. Its terrain is mountainous or semi-mountainous, at the western end of the Hindu Kush mountains concurrent with the Himalayas. The province is divided into eight districts, with the town of Bamyan serving as its capital. The province has a population of about 495,557 and borders Samangan to the north, Baghlan, Parwan and Wardak to the east, Ghazni and Daykundi to the south, and Ghor and Sar-e Pol to the west. It is the largest province in the Hazarajat region of Afghanistan, and is the cultural capital of the Hazara ethnic group that predominates in the area.
Ghazni is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in southeastern Afghanistan. The province contains 19 districts, encompassing over a thousand villages and roughly 1.3 million people, making it the 5th most populous province. The city of Ghazni serves as the capital. It lies on the important Kabul–Kandahar Highway, and has historically functioned as an important trade center. The Ghazni Airport is located next to the city of Ghazni and provides limited domestic flights to Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.
Kābul, situated in the east of the country, is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. The capital of the province is Kabul city, which is also Afghanistan's capital and largest city. The population of the Kabul Province is over 5 million people as of 2020, of which over 85 percent live in urban areas. The current governor of the province is Muhammad Yaqub Haidari.
Kandahār is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the southern part of the country, sharing a border with Balochistan, Pakistan to the south. It is surrounded by Helmand in the west, Uruzgan in the north and Zabul Province in the east. Its capital is the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan's second largest city, which is located on the Arghandab River. The greater region surrounding the province is called Loy Kandahar.
Khost is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. To the east, Khost Province is bordered by North Waziristan and Kurram in Pakistan. Khost Province used to be part of Paktia Province in the past, and the larger region surrounding Khost is still called Loya Paktia.
Laghman is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. It has a population of about 493,500, which is multi-ethnic and mostly a rural society. The city of Mihtarlam serves as the capital of the province. In some historical texts the name is written as "Lamghan" or as "Lamghanat".
Paktika is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. Forming part of the larger Loya Paktia region, Paktika has a population of about 413,800, mostly ethnic Pashtuns. The town of Sharana serves as the provincial capital, while the most populous city is Urgun.
Parachinar or Pāṛačinār is a small town which is the capital of Kurram District in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Parachinar is situated on a neck of Pakistani territory west of Peshawar, that juts into the Logar and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan. With a distance of 110 kilometres (68 mi) from the Afghan capital Kabul, Parachinar is the closest point in Pakistan to Kabul. It is one of two urban areas in Kurram District, the other one being Sadda, and has shrank considerably in population over the past few decades, becoming the least populous urbanized area in Kohat Division.
Chaghcharān, also called Firozkoh, is a town and district in central Afghanistan, which serves as the capital of Ghor Province. It is located on the southern side of the Hari River, at an altitude of 2,230 m above sea level. Chaghcharan is linked by a 380 kilometres (240 mi) long highway with Herat to the west, and a 450 kilometres (280 mi) long highway with Kabul to the east. The town is served by Chaghcharan Airport.
Dushi district is located in the central part of Baghlan Province, Afghanistan. It lies on the major Kabul-Kunduz highway. The population of the district was estimated to be around 57,160 in 2004. Hazaras are around 60% of the population and make up the majority in the district, followed by Tajiks (39%). The centre of the district is Dushi. Dushi was considered contested between the Afghan Government and the Taliban in late 2018.
Bäk District is situated in the northern part of Khost Province, Afghanistan. It borders Tere Zayi District to the south, Sabari District to the west, Zazi Maydan District to the north, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan to the east. According to Afghanistan's National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA), the 2020 estimated population of the district was 24,977 people. The district center is the village of Bäk, located in the southern part close to the border with Tere Zayi District.
Gurbuz District is situated in the southeast part of Khost Province, Afghanistan. It borders Tani District to the west, Mando Zayi and Khost districts to the north and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan to the southeast. Governor of Gurbuz District is Abdulhai Zazi. The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are responsible for all law enforcement activities in the district.
Zazi Maidan District, or Jaji Maidan or Dzadzi Maidan, is located in the northeastern part of Khost Province, Afghanistan. It borders Bak District to the west, Paktia Province to the north, and the Kurram Agency of Pakistan to the north and east. According to Afghanistan's National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA), the 2020 estimated population of the district was 26,236 people. The district center is the village of Zazi Maidan, situated in the eastern part of the district.
Nadir Shah Kot District is situated in the western part of Khost Province, Afghanistan. It borders Paktia Province and Shamal District to the west, Qalandar District to the north, Musa Khel District to the northeast, Khost (Matun) District to the east, Mandozayi District to the southeast and Tani and Spera districts to the south.
Football is one of the two most popular sports in Afghanistan; the other one being cricket. Formed in 1922 and affiliated to FIFA since 1948, the Afghanistan Football Federation and the Afghanistan national football team lay dormant for many years. Afghanistan took part in the 1948 Summer Olympics, playing just once in a 6–0 defeat to Luxembourg. The Afghans also appeared twice at the Asian Games.
Sabari District is situated in the northwest part of Khost Province, Afghanistan. It borders Musa Khel District to the west, Paktia Province to the north, Bak District to the east and Tere Zayi and Khost districts to the south. Sabari District has its own governor, who is appointed by the serving governor of Khost Province, and the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are responsible for all law enforcement activities.
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