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Afghanistan (34,656,032), which is a part of South Asia, is also sometimes included in Central Asia.populated by Eastern Iranian-speaking Bactrians, Sogdians, Chorasmians and the semi-nomadic Scythians and Dahae.In the center is the small but densely-populated Ferghana valley.
Major bodies of water include the Aral Sea and Lake Balkhash, both of which are part of the huge west-central Asian endorheic basin that also includes the Caspian Sea.
Since then, this has become the most common definition of Central Asia.
The UNESCO History of the Civilizations of Central Asia, published in 1992, defines the region as "Afghanistan, northeastern Iran, Pakistan, northern India, western China, Mongolia and the former Soviet Central Asian republics." An alternative method is to define the region based on ethnicity, and in particular, areas populated by Eastern Turkic, Eastern Iranian, or Mongolian peoples.
Central Asia has a population of about 105 million, consisting of five republics: Kazakhstan (pop.
17,987,736), Kyrgyzstan (5,955,734), Tajikistan (8,734,951), Turkmenistan (5,662,544), and Uzbekistan (31,446,795).