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Kazakhstan[Country flag of Kazakstan]
[Country map of Kazakstan]
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Introduction Kazakhstan
Background:
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. 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 outside the oil, gas, and mining sectors; and strengthening relations with neighboring states and other foreign powers.
Geography Kazakhstan
Location:
Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural River in eastern-most Europe
Geographic coordinates:
48 00 N, 68 00 E
Map references:
Asia
Area:
total: 2,717,300 sq km
land: 2,669,800 sq km
water: 47,500 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly less than four times the size of Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 12,012 km
border countries: China 1,533 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,051 km, Russia 6,846 km, Turkmenistan 379 km, Uzbekistan 2,203 km
Coastline:
0 km (landlocked); note - Kazakhstan borders the Aral Sea, now split into two bodies of water (1,070 km), and the Caspian Sea (1,894 km)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Climate:
continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid
Terrain:
extends from the Volga to the Altai Mountains and from the plains in western Siberia to oases and desert in Central Asia
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Vpadina Kaundy -132 m
highest point: Khan Tangiri Shyngy (Pik Khan-Tengri) 6,995 m
Natural resources:
major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium
Land use:
arable land: 7.98%
permanent crops: 0.05%
other: 91.97% (2001)
Irrigated land:
23,320 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
earthquakes in the south, mudslides around Almaty
Environment - current issues:
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 which 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
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:
landlocked; Russia leases approximately 6,000 sq km of territory enclosing the Baykonur Cosmodrome; in January 2004, Kazakhstan and Russia extended the lease to 2050
People Kazakhstan
Population:
15,185,844 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 23.7% (male 1,834,535/female 1,758,988)
15-64 years: 68.4% (male 5,075,243/female 5,312,536)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 424,341/female 780,201) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 28.52 years
male: 26.92 years
female: 30.25 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.3% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
15.78 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
9.46 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
-3.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.54 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 29.21 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 33.85 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 24.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.55 years
male: 61.21 years
female: 72.2 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.89 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
16,500 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Kazakhstani(s)
adjective: Kazakhstani
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)
Religions:
Muslim 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestant 2%, other 7%
Languages:
Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 95% (2001 est.)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.4%
male: 99.1%
female: 97.7% (1999 est.)
Government Kazakhstan
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Kazakhstan
conventional short form: Kazakhstan
local long form: Qazaqstan Respublikasy
local short form: none
former: Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic
Government type:
republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch
Capital:
Astana; note - the government moved from Almaty to Astana in December 1998
Administrative divisions:
14 provinces (oblystar, singular - oblys) and 3 cities* (qala, singular - qalasy); Almaty Oblysy, Almaty Qalasy*, Aqmola Oblysy (Astana), Aqtobe Oblysy, Astana Qalasy*, Atyrau Oblysy, Batys Qazaqstan Oblysy (Oral), Bayqongyr Qalasy*, Mangghystau Oblysy (Aqtau), Ongtustik Qazaqstan Oblysy (Shymkent), Pavlodar Oblysy, Qaraghandy Oblysy, Qostanay Oblysy, Qyzylorda Oblysy, Shyghys Qazaqstan Oblysy (Oskemen), Soltustik Qazaqstan Oblysy (Petropavlovsk), Zhambyl Oblysy (Taraz)
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses); in 1995, the Governments of Kazakhstan and Russia entered into an agreement whereby Russia would lease for a period of 20 years an area of 6,000 sq km enclosing the Baykonur space launch facilities and the city of Bayqongyr (Baykonur, formerly Leninsk); in 2004, a new agreement extended the lease to 2050
Independence:
16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 16 December (1991)
Constitution:
first post-independence constitution adopted 28 January 1993; new constitution adopted by national referendum 30 August 1995
Legal system:
based on civil law system
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV (chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 22 February 1990, elected president 1 December 1991)
head of government: Prime Minister Daniyal AKHMETOV (since 13 June 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Akhmetzhan YESIMOV (since 14 May 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 10 January 1999, a year before it was previously scheduled (next to be held NA 2006); note - President NAZARBAYEV's previous term was extended to 2000 by a nationwide referendum held 30 April 1995; prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV 81.7%, Serikbolsyn ABDILDIN 12.1%, Gani KASYMOV 4.7%, Engels GABBASSOV 1.5%
note: President NAZARBAYEV arranged a referendum in 1995 that expanded his presidential powers: only he can initiate constitutional amendments, appoint and dismiss the government, dissolve Parliament, call referenda at his discretion, and appoint administrative heads of regions and cities
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (39 seats; 7 senators are appointed by the president; other members are popularly elected, two from each of the 14 oblasts, the capital of Astana, and the city of Almaty, to serve six-year terms; note - formerly composed of 47 seats) and the Majilis (77 seats; 10 out of the 77 Majilis members are elected from the winning party's lists; members are popularly elected to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - (indirect) last held 17 September 1999 (next to be held December 2005); Majilis - last held 19 September and 3 October 2004 (next to be held September 2009)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; candidates nominated by local councils; Majilis - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Otan 42, AIST 11, ASAR (All Together) 4, Ak Zhol (Bright Path) 1, Democratic Party 1, independent 18; note - most independent candidates are affiliated with parastatal enterprises and other pro-government institutions
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (44 members); Constitutional Council (7 members)
Political parties and leaders:
Agrarian Party [Romin MADINOV]; Ak Zhol Party "Bright Path" [Bulat ABILOV, Uraz ZHANDOSOV, Lyudmila ZHULANOVA, Alikhan BAYMENOV, Altynbek SARSENBAYEV, co-chairs]; ASAR "All Together" [Dariga NAZARBAYEVA, chairwoman]; AUL "Village" [Gani KALIYEV]; Civic Party [Azat PERUASHEV, first secretary]; Communist Party or KPK [Serikbolsyn ABDILDIN, first secretary]; Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan [Vladislav KOSAREV]; Democratic Party of Kazakhstan [Maksut NARIKBAEV]; Otan "Fatherland" [Bakhytzhan ZHUMAGULOV, acting chairman]; Patriots' Party [Gani KASYMOV]; Rukhaniyat [Altynshash JAGANOVA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Adil-Soz [Tamara KALEYEVA]; Almaty Helsinki Group [Ninel FOKINA]; Confederation of Free Trade Unions [Sergei BELKIN]; Kazakhstan International Bureau on Human Rights [Yevgeniy ZHOVTIS, executive director]; Pensioners Movement or Pokoleniye [Irina SAVOSTINA, chairwoman]; Republican Network of International Monitors [Dos KUSHIM]; Transparency International [Sergei ZLOTNIKOV]
International organization participation:
AsDB, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Kanat B. SAUDABAYEV
chancery: 1401 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 232-5488
FAX: [1] (202) 232-5845
consulate(s): New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John M. ORDWAY
embassy: 99/97A Fumanova, Samal-2, Almaty, 480099
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [7] (3272) 50-48-02
FAX: [7] (3272) 50-48-84
Flag description:
sky blue background representing the endless sky and a gold sun with 32 rays soaring above a golden steppe eagle in the center; on the hoist side is a "national ornamentation" in gold
Economy Kazakhstan
Economy - overview:
Kazakhstan, the largest of the former Soviet republics in territory, excluding Russia, possesses enormous fossil fuel reserves as well as 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 and also on a growing machine-building sector specializing in construction equipment, tractors, agricultural machinery, and some defense items. The breakup of the USSR in December 1991 and the collapse in demand for Kazakhstan's traditional heavy industry products resulted in a short-term contraction of the economy, with the steepest annual decline occurring in 1994. In 1995-97, the pace of the government program of economic reform and privatization quickened, resulting in a substantial shifting of assets into the private sector. Kazakhstan enjoyed double-digit growth in 2000-01 - and a solid 9.5% in 2002 - thanks largely to its booming energy sector, but also to economic reform, good harvests, and foreign investment. Growth remained at the high 9% level in 2003 and 2004. The opening of the Caspian Consortium pipeline in 2001, from western Kazakhstan's Tengiz oilfield to the Black Sea, substantially raised export capacity. The country has embarked upon an industrial policy designed to diversify the economy away from overdependence on the oil sector, by developing light industry. Additionally, the policy aims 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 agreements, and tensions continue.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$118.4 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
9.1% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $7,800 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 7.4%
industry: 37.8%
services: 54.8% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
7.95 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 20%, industry 30%, services 50% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate:
8% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
19% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.3%
highest 10%: 26.5% (2004 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
31.5 (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.9% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
23.9% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $8.67 billion
expenditures: $8.968 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Public debt:
13.7% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
grain (mostly spring wheat), cotton; livestock
Industries:
oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, iron and steel; tractors and other agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate:
10.6% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:
66.82 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 84.3%
hydro: 15.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
62.21 billion kWh (203)
Electricity - exports:
4.975 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
2.506 billion kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
1.2 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
189,400 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
890,000 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - imports:
47,000 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - proved reserves:
26 billion bbl (1 January 2004)
Natural gas - production:
11.6 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
14.3 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
11.01 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
8.696 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
1.8 trillion cu m (1 January 2004)
Current account balance:
$-39.02 million (2004 est.)
Exports:
$18.47 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
oil and oil products 58%, ferrous metals 24%, chemicals 5%, machinery 3%, grain, wool, meat, coal (2001)
Exports - partners:
Russia 15.1%, Bermuda 13.8%, Germany 11%, China 9.9%, France 6.6%, Italy 4% (2004)
Imports:
$13.07 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment 41%, metal products 28%, foodstuffs 8% (2001)
Imports - partners:
Russia 34.6%, China 15.4%, Germany 8.2%, France 5.7%, Ukraine 4.6% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$14.35 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$26.03 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$74.2 million in US assistance programs, 1992-2000 (FY2004)
Currency (code):
tenge (KZT)
Currency code:
KZT
Exchange rates:
tenge per US dollar - 136.04 (2004), 149.58 (2003), 153.28 (2002), 146.74 (2001), 142.13 (2000)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Kazakhstan
Telephones - main lines in use:
2,081,900 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
1.027 million (2002)
Telephone system:
general assessment: service is poor; equipment antiquated
domestic: intercity by landline and microwave radio relay; mobile cellular systems are available in most of Kazakhstan
international: country code - 7; international traffic with other former Soviet republics and China carried by landline and microwave radio relay and with other countries by satellite and by the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic cable; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 60, FM 17, shortwave 9 (1998)
Radios:
6.47 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
12 (plus nine repeaters) (1998)
Televisions:
3.88 million (1997)
Internet country code:
.kz
Internet hosts:
21,984 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
10 (with their own international channels) (2001)
Internet users:
250,000 (2002)
Transportation Kazakhstan
Railways:
total: 13,700 km
broad gauge: 13,700 km 1.520-m gauge (3,700 km electrified) (2004)
Highways:
total: 82,980 km
paved: 77,918 km
unpaved: 5,062 km (2002)
Waterways:
4,000 km
note: on the Syr Darya (Syrdariya) and Ertis (Irtysh) rivers (2004)
Pipelines:
condensate 18 km; gas 10,370 km; oil 10,158 km; refined products 1,187 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Aqtau (Shevchenko), Atyrau (Gur'yev), Oskemen (Ust-Kamenogorsk), Pavlodar, Semey (Semipalatinsk)
Merchant marine:
total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,064 GRT/646 DWT
by type: cargo 2, refrigerated cargo 1
foreign-owned: 2 (United Kingdom 2) (2005)
Airports:
314 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 67
over 3,047 m: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 26
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 11 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 247
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 27
under 914 m: 197 (2004 est.)
Heliports:
1 (2004 est.)
Military Kazakhstan
Military branches:
Ground Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces, Naval Force, Republican Guard
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 2 years; minimum age for volunteers NA (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 3,758,255 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 2,473,529 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males: 173,129 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$221.8 million (Ministry of Defense expenditures) (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.9% (Ministry of Defense expenditures) (FY02)
Transnational Issues Kazakhstan
Disputes - international:
in 2005, Kazakhstan agreed with Russia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to commence demarcating their boundaries; delimitation with Kyrgyzstan is complete; creation of a seabed boundary with Turkmenistan in the Caspian Sea remains unresolved; equidistant seabed treaties have been ratified with Azerbaijan and Russia in the Caspian Sea, but no resolution has been made on dividing the water column among any of the littoral states
Illicit 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

This page was last updated on 1 November, 2005


 

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