flag Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan: Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

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Landlocked Kyrgyzstan is a low-middle-income country and one of the poorest in Central Asia. Its economy is heavily dependent on gold exports (which account for one-tenth of the country's GDP and almost half of exports), as well as remittances from citizens working abroad, primarily in Russia (equating to more than one-fourth of GDP), which decreased in recent years due to the deterioration of the Russian economy (a trend that is likely to be exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict). The cumulative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the political tensions that characterized 2020 plunged Kyrgyzstan into its worst recession since 1994, with a decrease of 8.6% of GDP. The economy rebounded only marginally in 2021 (2.1% as per the IMF estimates); however, growth is expected to accelerate in 2022, thanks to a gradual recovery in tourism, transportation, and related services: the IMF forecasts an expansion of 5.6%, followed by 4.6% in 2023.

The budget deficit, which is mainly due to infrastructure financing, is 60% funded by concessional loans and foreign grants. It stood at an estimated 3.3% of GDP in 2021 and is expected to widen over the forecast period (4.7% in 2022 and 4.4% the following year - IMF). After increasing following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the debt-to-GDP ratio started following a downward trend since 2021 (67.6%); as activity increases and spending is consolidated it should decrease further this year (63.1%) and the next (61.3%). More than 80% of the external debt is denominated in foreign currency and is held by multilateral (IMF, ADB, World Bank, EFSD) and bilateral lenders as well as by China’s Eximbank (40%). Inflation spiked in 2021 (13%) but is expected to return towards the 5%-7% target set by the central bank (7.8% this year and 6.1% in 2023), thanks to cooler domestic demand and tighter monetary policy. Kyrgyzstan maintains close relations with China, which has helped the country finance infrastructure projects. The country has been trying to attract foreign investment to expand its export base, including the construction of hydroelectric dams, but a difficult business climate and disputes with foreign investors hindered the country’s attractiveness. After the protests that followed the 2020 parliamentary elections, Sadyr Japarov was elected in January 2021 with a huge majority. In April, the parliamentary system was transformed into a presidential one with a constitutional referendum. However, the political situation remains uncertain, especially following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which will destabilize the whole region.

Kyrgyzstan is one of the poorest countries in the region, but the poverty rate is expected to gradually decline. The Asian Development Bank estimates that 20.1% of the population lives below the poverty line. Income inequality in the country has been declining since 2006, and the Gini index stands at 29.7% (World Bank, latest data available). Unemployment was estimated at 8.7% in 2020 by the World Bank (latest data available).

Main Indicators 20202021202220232024
GDP (billions USD) 7.798.549.7510.8811.61
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -
GDP per Capita (USD) 1,1961,2831,4351,5701,640
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 67.661.160.460.560.7
Inflation Rate (%) 6.311.913.512.47.8
Current Account (billions USD) 0.38-0.74-1.22-1.05-0.92
Current Account (in % of GDP) 4.8-8.7-12.5-9.6-7.9

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - October 2021.

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Kyrgyzstani Som (KGS) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GHS 17.5215.8315.0113.4213.82

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Main Sectors of Industry

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 19.3 25.4 55.3
Value Added (in % of GDP) 14.7 26.7 48.4
Value Added (Annual % Change) -5.0 3.1 6.1

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

Socio-Demographic Indicators 20222023 (e)2024 (e)
Unemployment Rate (%)

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - Latest available data


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The Active Population in Figures

Labour Force 2,526,2022,565,0162,440,848

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

Total activity rate 63.64%62.45%62.35%
Men activity rate 78.35%77.74%77.70%
Women activity rate 49.27%47.51%47.34%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database


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Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Partly Free
Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

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Sources of General Economic Information

Main Online Newspapers and Portals
24 KG
Kabar Kyrgyz National News
AKIpress News Agency
Useful Resources
Ministry of Economy
Government of Kyrgyzstan (website in Russian and Kyrgyz only)
National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic

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Latest Update: February 2023