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Map of Kazakhstan
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 has 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
Geographic coordinates:
48 00 N, 68 00 E
Map references:
Asia
Area:
total: 2,717,300 sq km
water: 47,500 sq km
land: 2,669,800 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: 11%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 89% (1998 est.)
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 its former defense industries and test ranges 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, 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
People Kazakhstan
Population:
16,741,519 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 26% (male 2,212,985; female 2,141,392)
15-64 years: 66.5% (male 5,393,281; female 5,731,288)
65 years and over: 7.5% (male 434,879; female 827,694) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.1% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
17.83 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
10.69 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-6.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)