2005 Poll: Four Years After the Fall of the Taliban, Afghans Optimistic About the Future

But few Sunnis or Shiites alike view the Taliban favorably (9 percent and 6 percent, respectively). Their ratings on improved conditions are similar, as are their expectations for the future and their views on Karzai, the current Afghan government, the United Nations, the United States, the "DDR" disarmament program and women's rights.

Work and Possessions

A simple accounting of household possessions tells volumes about life in Afghanistan. Barely one in 10 households has a refrigerator or a car. Three in 10 have a mobile phone; almost no one has a landline telephone. Nearly everyone has a radio, but barely four in 10 have a TV. About half own a work animal.

Farming is the main occupation; nearly a third of working Afghans are farmers or farm laborers. As befits the low levels of education, illiteracy is high, 42 percent.

The population is largely rural, with 79 percent of Afghans residing in small villages. And it's a young country, with a median age (calculated among adults only) of 32 years, compared with 44 in the United States.

Methodology

This survey was conducted for ABC News by Charney Research of New York, with fieldwork by the Afghan Center for Social and Opinion Research in Kabul. Interviews were conducted in person, in Dari or Pashto, among a random national sample of 1,039 adults from Oct. 8-18, 2005. Sampling points were selected at random in 31 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, with households selected by random route/random interval procedures. The results have a 3.5-point error margin.

Click here for PDF version with full questionnaire and results.

Click here for a detailed methodological statement.

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