Regions of Kyrgyzstan

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"Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes, Edition 2" (GENC), a U.S. standard that's supposed to correspond to ISO 3166-2, was issued on 2014-03-31. It gives Osh [City] the code KG-GO. Its codes for all the other regions match the ISO codes. Subsequently, on 2014-10-31, ISO assigned that same code to Osh [City].

Update 14 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2013-12-31. It defines a code for Osh city, alongside the one for Osh province. On investigation, I find that the Wikipedia article Provinces of Kyrgyzstan  was edited on 2005-03-25 to state that Osh city, like Bishkek, had "shaar" status. News travels very slowly from the Tian Shan.

Serhii Tymofiiev wrote me (in 2004-11) that Tokmok had become the new capital of Chüy region. The news item announcing that the change had taken place was dated 2003-08-05. The inaugural ceremony was held on 2003-08-23.

Change Notice 7 to FIPS PUB 10-4 is dated 2002-01-10. It lists new codes resulting from the splitting of Batken region from Osh. ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number I-4, dated 2002-12-10, shows the creation of Batken and also of Bishkek city.

Erratum: In "Administrative Divisions of Countries", page 211, some of the ISO codes for the regions of Kyrgyzstan were incorrect or misplaced. The correct codes appear in this table.

Country overview: 

ISO codeKG
LanguageKirghiz (ky)
Time zone+6


Under the Russian Empire, Kyrgyzstan was in the eastern part of the governor-generalship of Turkestan. During the Russian Revolution, the status of the Central Asian lands was unresolved for a time. The Turkestan A.S.S.R. was formed in 1921. In 1924, the Central Asian part of the Soviet Union was reorganized to correspond to the distribution of nationalities. The Kara-Kirghizskaya Autonomous Oblast was created then, on 1924-10-14. In subsequent changes, it became the Kirghizskaya Associated Soviet Socialist Republic on 1926-02-01; the Kirghizskaya Soviet Socialist Republic, one of the fifteen constituent republics of the U.S.S.R., on 1936-12-05; and finally, Kyrgyzstan, an independent country, on 1991-08-31, with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Kirgisistan, Kirgizistan, Den Kirgisiske Republik (formal)
  2. Dutch: Kirgiezië, Kirgizië, Kirgizische Republiek (formal), Kirgizstan
  3. English: Republic of Kyrgyzstan (formal)
  4. Finnish: Kirgisia
  5. French: Kirghizie, Kirguizie, Kirguizistan, Kirghizistan, Kirghizstan m
  6. German: Kirgisistan n
  7. Icelandic: Kirgisistan
  8. Italian: Kirghizistan m
  9. Kirghiz: Kyrgyz Respublikasy (formal)
  10. Norwegian: Kirgisistan, Republikken Kirgisistan (formal)
  11. Portuguese: Quirguistão m, Quirguizistão m, Quirguízia f, República f Quirguize (formal)
  12. Russian: Киргизия, Киргизская Республика (formal), Кыргызская Республика (variant)
  13. Spanish: Kirguistán, Kirguizistán m
  14. Swedish: Kirgizistan
  15. Turkish: Kırgızistan, Kırgız Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

land of the Kirghiz, ethnic name from Turkish kir: steppe, gis: nomad

Primary subdivisions: 

Kyrgyzstan is divided into seven oblasty (regions) and two shaar (cities).

Osh [City]KG.OCGOKG10258,000Osh
9 divisions5,348,300199,90077,250


Note: other sections of the 1999 census reports give a total population of 4,850,700 or 4,850,800 for Kyrgyzstan.

Postal codes: 

Kyrgyzstan appears still to be using Soviet-era postal codes, six-digit numbers always beginning with '7'.

Further subdivisions:

See the Districts of Kyrgyzstan page.

The regions are divided into rayony (districts). There were a total of 43 districts in 1994-08.

Territorial extent: 

Kyrgyzstan possesses an enclave in Uzbekistan, situated between Fergana and Margilan, and containing the village of Barak.

The UN LOCODE page  for Kyrgyzstan lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Batken: land of bat (a plant which gives off a poisonous vapor).
  2. Bishkek: Kirghiz for "whisk used to stir kumiss". Said  to have been chosen because it was the closest Kirghiz word to the historical name Pishpek.
  3. Ysyk-Köl: from Lake Ysyk-Köl, from Kirghiz ysyk: hot, köl: lake.

Change history: 

  1. 1921-04-11: Turkestan A.S.S.R. formed from Amu-Darya, Ferghana, Pamir, Samarkand, Semirechensk, and Syr Darya regions, and the southern part of Transcaspian.
  2. 1924-10-14: Kara-Kirghizskaya autonomous region, consisting of parts of Ferghana, Semirechensk, and Syr Darya, separated from Turkestan and became part of the Russian S.F.S.R.
  3. 1926: Name of capital of region changed from Pishpek to Frunze in honor of Mikhail Frunze (1885-1925).
  4. 1926-02-01: Status and name of Kara-Kirghizia changed to Kirghizskaya A.S.S.R.
  5. 1936-12-05: Status of Kirghizia changed to S.S.R.
  6. 1950: The regions of the Kirghizskaya Sovyetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika were Dzhalal-Abad, Frunze (modern Chüy), Issyk-Kul', Osh, Talas, and Tien-Shan (modern Naryn). The borders were similar to the modern ones, differing only in sparsely inhabited regions.
  7. ~1953: Talas region merged with Frunze.
  8. ~1959: Dzhalal-Abad region merged with Osh; Frunze and Issyk-Kul' merged with Tien-Shan.
  9. ~1969: Frunze region, consisting approximately of modern Chüy, Talas, and Ysyk-Köl, split from Tien-Shan.
  10. ~1973: Tien-Shan region split into Naryn and Issyk-Kul'.
  11. ~1981: Talas region split from Frunze.
  12. ~1990: Dzhalal-Abad region formed from parts of Osh and Talas.
  13. 1991-02: Capital of Kyrgyzstan, and of Chüy region, renamed from Frunze to Bishkek.
  14. 1991-08-31: Kirghizstan became an independent country. Westerners began to use the Kirghiz, rather than the Russian, version of place names (e.g., Kyrgyzstan). At this time Kyrgyzstan was divided into these six regions:
6 regions3,838,400199,81877,150
  1. 1999-10-12: Batken region split from Osh.
  2. ~2000: Bishkek city split from Chüy region.
  3. 2003-08-05: Capital of Chüy region moved from Bishkek to Tokmok.
  4. ~2005: Osh city split from Osh region (former HASC code KG.OS).

Other names of subdivisions: 

Before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, western sources normally used transliterations from Russian names rather than Kirghiz names. There are various methods for transliterating from the Cyrillic to the Roman alphabet. The most common variant uses h instead of kh, c for ts, j for consonantal y, č for ch, š for sh, and ž for zh.

  1. Bishkek: Biskek (Spanish)
  2. Chüy: Chu, Chui, Čüj (variant); Frunze (obsolete)
  3. Jalal-Abad: Джалал-Абад, Джалал-Абадская область (Russian); Žalal-Abad (Kirghiz)
  4. Naryn: Тянь-Шань (Russian-obsolete)
  5. Ysyk-Köl: Иссык-Куль (Russian)

Population history:

Region 1959-01-151970-01-151979-01-171989-01-121999-03-242009-01-01
Batken 149,412 200,328 237,469 311,761 382,426427,100
Bishkek 263,924 436,459 535,450 619,903 762,308832,500
Chüy 459,001 621,004 700,063 796,692 770,811801,500
Jalal-Abad348,135 481,691 586,602 743,279 869,2591,006,800
Naryn 128,055 176,451 214,459 247,931 249,115257,200
Osh 379,150 563,071 734,663 941,763 1,175,9981,359,200
Talas 103,603 140,747 163,492 192,509 199,872226,300
Ysyk-Köl 233,729 314,386 350,634 403,917 413,149437,700
Total 2,065,0092,934,1373,522,8324,257,7554,822,9385,348,300


  1. [1] Census report of the National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic had 1959 to 1999 data. These figures were apparently proleptic to the present-day areas of the regions, rather than the regions as of the census dates. (Dead link, retrieved 2003-02-10.)
  2. [2] Language Hat  linguistics blog entry dated 2004-09-25, retrieved 2006-10-24.
  3. [3] Demograficheskiy Ezhegodnik Kyrgyzskoy Respubliki 2008-2012 gg. . National Statistical Committee, Bishkek, 2013. Page 19. Footnote explains that data for 2009 were moved from the 2009-03-24 census of population and housing to 2009-01-01. I suppose that means that they were reduced to cancel out the presumed population growth from January to March, in order to be compatible with projected populations for subsequent years shown in the same table.
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