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Central Asia and South Caucasus Affairs: 2006
Central Asia and South Caucasus Affairs: 2006
Regional Security Issues: 2006
Regional Security Issues: 2006
Between the Black and Caspian Seas: New Challenges and Opportunities for the South Caucasus
Between the Black and Caspian Seas: New Challenges and Opportunities for the South Caucasus
Regional Security Issues
Regional Security Issues
The South Caucasus as a Part of the Wider Europe
The South Caucasus as a Part of the Wider Europe
Kazakhstan   Last Updated ( Saturday, 16 September 2006 )

Prior to the Russian expansion into Central Asia native Kazakhs never formed a single nation. In the 19th century the contemporary territory of Kazakhstan was under Russian rule. In 1936 the soviet republic of Kazakhstan was created. During the 1950s and 1960s agricultural "Virgin Lands" program, Soviet citizens were encouraged to help cultivate Kazakhstan's northern pastures. At that time immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) started to settle down throughout Kazakhstan and gradually outnumbered natives. In 1991, after Kazakhstan became a sovereign country many of those newcomers had to leave. However Russians still comprise 30% of the population.
Today Kazakhstan is a constitutional republic with a strong presidency. Nursultan Nazarbayev had been elected the first president of Kazakhstan and had been twice re-elected afterwards. Kazakhstan has a bicameral Parliament, comprised of the lower house (the Majilis) and upper house (the Senate).

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  has also a large agricultural sector featuring livestock and grain. Agriculture accounted for 13.6% of Kazakhstan's GDP (2003).

Kazakhstan has stable relationships with all of its neighbors and is a member of the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and Organization of  Islamic Conference (OIC). It is an active participant in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Partnership for Peace program. Kazakhstan is also a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Official name: Republic of Kazakhstan

Area:  2,717,300 sq km

Borders: China 1,533 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,051 km, Russia 6,846 km, Turkmenistan 379 km, Uzbekistan 2,203 km

Capital:  Astana

Provinces: 14 provinces (oblystar, singular - oblys) and 3 cities* (qala, singular - qalasy) 

Population: 15,233,244 (July 2006 est.)

Ethnic groups:   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)

Birth rate:  16 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Language:   Kazakh (state language) 64.4%, Russian (official 95% (2001 est.))  

Religion:  Muslim 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestant 2%, other 7%

Currency:  Tenge (KZT)

GDP (purchasing power parity): $124.3 billion (2005 est.)

GDP per capita (PPP): $8,200 (2005 est.)

For further information see:

BBC Country Profile

The CIA World Factbook. The latest and the most updated country information.

The official website of the government of the republic of Kazakhstan. Detailed information about the government composition, ministries, reforms, etc.