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- Total population: 16,731,303 (Ranked 55th in the world by the US Census Bureau).
- National GDP: (1998 est.) US $52.9 billion.
- GDP per capita: US $3,100.
- Median Age: 27.7.
- Infant Mortality: 59.39 per 1,000 live births.
- Location: Central Asia.
- Borders: Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turmenistan and the Caspian Sea.
- Area: 1,049,200 square miles.
- Climate: continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid.
- Capital: Astana.
- Major cities and population: Alma-Ata 1,248,000, Astana (1997 est.) 270,400.
- Administrative divisions: 14 oblystar (singular—oblysy): Almaty, Aqmola (Astana), Aqtobe, Atyrau, Batys Qazaqstan (Oral), Mangghystau (Aqtau; formerly Shevchenko), Ongtustik Qazaqstan (Shymkent), Pavlodar, Qaraghandy, Qostanay, Qyzylorda, Shyghys Qazaqstan (Oskemen; formerly Ust’-Kamenogorsk), Soltustik Qazaqstan (Petropavl), Zhambyl (Taraz; formerly Dzhambul). 3 cities (qala, singular—qalasy) Almaty, Astana, Bayqongyr.
- Population: 16,731,303 (Ranked 55th in the world by the US Census Bureau).
- Population density: 16 per square mile.
- Children 0-14: 26.7%—4,471,944.
- Teenage 10-19: 20.2%—3,377,419.
- Youth between 15-24: 18.8%—3,139,438.
- Seniors Over 70: 4.8%—800,004.
- Male to female ratio: 92.6 males per 100 females.
- Birth rate: 16.78 per 1,000 people.
- Life expectancy at birth: 57.73 for males and 68.93 for females.
- Infant mortality rate: 59.39 per 1,000 live births.
- Official Languages: Kazakh and Russian.
- Ethnic Groups: 46% Kazakh (Qazaq), 34.7% Russian, 4.9% Ukrainian, 3.1% German, 2.3% Uzbek, 1.9% Tatar, 7.1% other. (1996).
- Religious affiliations: 42.7% Muslim (6,920,715), 29.3% Nonreligious (4,758,637), 16.7% Christian (2,709,980), and 10.9% Atheist (1,771,219). Less than 1% is comprised of Ethnoreligionist, Buddhist, Jew, and Zorastrian.
- Education: Compulsory from 7-18 years.
- Literacy rate: 98%.
- Currency: Tenge.
- GDP per capita: US $3,100.
- National GDP: US $52.9 billion.
- Major Industries: Oil, steel, mining, agricultural machinery.
- Chief crops: Grain, cotton.
- Electricity production: 49.299 billion kWh (1998).
- TV Sets: 275 per 1,000 people.
- Telephones: 1,759,800 main lines.
- Government type: Republic.
- Head of state: President Nursultan A. Nazarbayev.
- Head of government: Prime Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev.
- International organization memberships: United Nations (UN), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
- Historical Background: In the 13th century, the area became part of the Mongols’ Empire. From 1730-1853, Russia gradually took control of the region and in 1936, Kazakhstan was admitted to the USSR. December 1991 marks the beginning of Kazakhstan as an independent state. Since its independence, Nazarbayev has been its sole president, winning Kazakhstan’s first and second elections in 1994 and 1999. Kazakhstan has relocated its capital from Almaty to Astana, and developed tight economic, military, and political relations with Russia. From an outsider’s perspective, an important issue in the coming months for Kazakhstan’s developing economy will be the development and export of its large oil reserves.
TRENDS AND SOCIAL ISSUES
Understanding the trends and social issues of a particular country should always take into consideration the opinions of persons within the country. The Center for Youth Studies is looking for contributors from each country to add to our appreciation and understanding of Kazakhstan’s culture, potential, trends and critical issues.
Issues that the world press has highlighted in the past involve Kazakhstan’s nuclear disarmament, the development of its oil reserves, the plight of children with birth defects traceable to the former Soviet Union’s nuclear testing and the establishment of private land ownership. We look forward to the feedback as we develop informative relationships with those in Kazakhstan.
Barrett, D., Kurian, G., & Johnson, T. (2001). World Christian Encyclopedia 2nd Edition: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World. Oxford: University Press.
Turner, B. (2000). The World Today: Essential Facts in an Ever Changing World 2000. New York, NY: St. Marten’s Press.
McGeveran, Jr., W. (Ed.). (2001). The World Almanac and Book of Facts. Mahwah, NJ: World Almanac Books.
"Kazakhstan," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001 © 1997-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
US Census Bureau, International Database.
US Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
- How important do you see Kazakhstan’s role in Europe and in Asia?
- What most impresses you about the above information?
- Do you take issue with any of the above? If so, how would you express it differently?
- What strikes you most about the population of Kazakhstan and the birthrate? Why?
- What do you see as the historical and cultural contributions of the Kazakhstanis to the world?
- How has Kazakhstan handled its part in dissolution of the former Soviet Union?
- What can we learn from Kazakhstan and the Kazakhstani people?
Tammy Smith cCYS
The Library of Congress - Country Studies
Through the Federal Research Division, this site provides customized research and analytical services on foreign and domestic topics to the United States Government and District of Columbia agencies.
Furgus, Michael & Jandosova, Janar (2004). Kazakhstan: Coming of Age. Stacey International Publishers. Presents authoritative coverage of the country's place in the world, bridging West and East: its spectacular landscape and ecological challenges; its people and their patterns of life; its turbulent history and astonishing heritage of material culture; its governmental structures; contemporary society; and Kazakhstan's highly significant economy and prospects.