Facts about Kazakhstan
|Population||15,340,533 (July 2008 est|
|Time zone||UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
note: Kazakhstan is divided into|
Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural River in eastern-most Europe
General info about Kazakhstan
Native Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century, were rarely united as a single nation. The area was conquered by Russia in the 18th century, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1936. During the 1950s and 1960s agricultural "Virgin Lands" program, Soviet citizens were encouraged to help cultivate Kazakhstan's northern pastures. This influx of immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-Kazakhs to outnumber natives. Independence in 1991 caused many of these newcomers to emigrate. Kazakhstan's economy is larger than those of all the other Central Asian states combined, largely due to the country's vast natural resources and a recent history of political stability. Current issues include: developing a cohesive national identity; expanding the development of the country's vast energy resources and exporting them to world markets; achieving a sustainable economic growth; diversifying the economy outside the oil, gas, and mining sectors; enhancing Kazakhstan's competitiveness; and strengthening relations with neighboring states and other foreign powers.
Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 95% (2001 est.)
What about drugs?
significant illicit cultivation of cannabis for CIS markets, as well as limited cultivation of opium poppy and ephedra (for the drug ephedrine); limited government eradication of illicit crops; transit point for Southwest Asian narcotics bound for Russia and the rest of Europe; significant consumer of opiates
Kazakh (Qazaq) 53.4%, Russian 30%, Ukrainian 3.7%, Uzbek 2.5%, German 2.4%, Tatar 1.7%, Uygur 1.4%, other 4.9% (1999 census)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
0.2% (2001 est.)
continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid
major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium
Kazakhstan, the largest of the former Soviet republics in territory, excluding Russia, possesses enormous fossil fuel reserves and plentiful supplies of other minerals and metals. It also has a large agricultural sector featuring livestock and grain. Kazakhstan's industrial sector rests on the extraction and processing of these natural resources. Kazakhstan enjoyed double-digit growth in 2000-01 and 8% or more per year in 2002-07 - thanks largely to its booming energy sector, but also to economic reform, good harvests, and increased foreign investment; growth slowed to 5% in 2008, however, as a result of declining oil prices and a softening world economy. Inflation reached 10% in 2007 and 18% in 2008. In the energy sector, the opening of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium in 2001, from western Kazakhstan's Tengiz oilfield to the Black Sea, substantially raised export capacity. In 2006 Kazakhstan completed the Atasu-Alashankou portion of an oil pipeline to China that is planned in future construction to extend from the country's Caspian coast eastward to the Chinese border. The country has embarked upon an industrial policy designed to diversify the economy away from overdependence on the oil sector by developing its manufacturing potential. The policy changed the corporate tax code to favor domestic industry as a means to reduce the influence of foreign investment and foreign personnel. The government has engaged in several disputes with foreign oil companies over the terms of production agreement, most recently, in regards to the Kashagan project in 2007-08. Since 2007, Astana has provided financial support to the banking sector which has been struggling with poor asset quality and large foreign loans.
radioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with former defense industries and test ranges scattered throughout the country pose health risks for humans and animals; industrial pollution is severe in some cities; because the two main rivers that flowed into the Aral Sea have been diverted for irrigation, it is drying up and leaving behind a harmful layer of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then picked up by the wind and blown into noxious dust storms; pollution in the Caspian Sea; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices
Cities in Kazakhstanabay achisay aksay aksu aktas aktau alekseyevka almaty aqtobe arys astana atasu atbasar atyrau ayagoz balkhash balykshi batamshinskiy belousovka bestobe beyneu boralday borovskoy bulaevo chardara chingirlau derzhavinsk dossor dzhusaly ekibastuz emba energeticheskiy ereymentau esik esil fort-shevchenko georgiyevka glubokoe gulshat ilyich inderborskiy kachiry karabulak karatau karaton karkaralinsk kazalinsk kentau khromtau kirovskiy komsomolets krasnoarmeysk kurchum kuryk kushmurun lenger lisakovsk makat makinsk mamlyutka maykain merke mikhaylovka novodolinskiy osakarovka oskemen oytal pavlodar petropavl qostanay sarkand saryagash saryozek saryshagan semey serebryansk sergeyevka shakhtinsk shar shemonaikha shetpe shieli shu shubarkuduk shubarshi shymkent stepnogorsk stepnyak talgar taraz tasbuget tekeli temir temirtau tobol turkistan urdzhar ushtobe zachagansk zaysan zhanakorgan zhanaozen zhanatas zharkent zhetybay zhetysay zhezkazgan zhitikara zholymbet zyryanovsk