Tajikistan's population has been characterized as primarily rural, with a relatively high birth rate and substantial ethnic tensions. Substantial forced relocation has occurred, first as a result of various Soviet programs and then because of the civil war.
By the time Tajikistan became independent, its social structure reflected some of the changes that Soviet policy had consciously promoted, including urbanization, nearly universal adult literacy, and the increased employment of women outside the home. However, the changes were not as far-reaching as the central government had intended, nor did they take the exact form the government wanted. Tajikistan's cities grew, but the republic remained predominantly rural. More women had wage-paying jobs, but society still held traditional women's roles in higher regard. Tajikistan had an especially high birth rate and the highest rate of population increase of all the former Soviet republics.
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