|a republic in central Asia: annexed by Russia in the 19th century, it became a separate Soviet Socialist republic in 1924 and gained independence in 1991. Official language: Uzbek. Religion: believers are mainly Muslim. Currency: sum. Capital: Tashkent. Pop: 26 479 000 (2004 est). Area: 449 600 sq km (173 546 sq miles)|
Republic located in central-west Asia, bounded by Kazakhstan to the west and north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, Afghanistan to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southwest. Its capital and largest city is Tashkent.
Note: This former member of the Soviet Union declared its independence in 1991.