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Kazakhstan Country Guide

Explore Kazakhstan in Asia

Kazakhstan with the capital city Astana is located in Asia (Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural (Zhayyq) River in eastern-most Europe). It covers some 2,717,300 square kilometres (slightly less than four times the size of Texas) with 15,340,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Kazakhstan

The topography includes vast flat steppe extending from the Volga in the west to the Altai Mountains in the east and from the plains of western Siberia in the north to oases and deserts of Central Asia in the south. The average density of population is approximately 6 per km². The notable climate conditions in Kazakhstan can be described as continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid. Possible natural disasters include earthquakes in the south or mudslides around Almaty.

To reach someone in Kazakhstan dial +7 prior to a number. There are 3,763,000 installed telephones. And there are 14,995,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".kz". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan Flag Icon

A gold sun with 32 rays above a soaring golden steppe eagle, both centered on a sky blue background; the hoist side displays a national ornamental pattern "koshkar-muiz" (the horns of the ram) in gold; the blue color is of religious significance to the Turkic peoples of the country, and so symbolizes cultural and ethnic unity; it also represents the endless sky as well as water; the sun, a source of life and energy, exemplifies wealth and plenitude; the sun's rays are shaped like grain, which is the basis of abundance and prosperity; the eagle has appeared on the flags of Kazakh tribes for centuries and represents freedom, power, and the flight to the future.

Ethnic 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-ethnic Kazakhs to outnumber natives. Non-Muslim ethnic minorities departed Kazakhstan in large numbers from the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s and a national program has repatriated about a million ethnic Kazakhs thus far back to Kazakhstan. These trends have allowed Kazakhs to become the titular majority again. This dramatic demographic shift has also undermined the previous religious diversity and made the country more than 70 percent Muslim. Kazakhstan''s economy is larger than those of all the other Central Asian states largely due to the country''s vast natural resources. Current issues include: developing a cohesive national identity; managing Islamic revivalism; expanding the development of the country''s vast energy resources and exporting them to world markets; diversifying the economy outside the oil, gas, and mining sectors; enhancing Kazakhstan''s economic competitiveness; developing a multiparty parliament and advancing political and social reform; and strengthening relations with neighboring states and other foreign powers.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Asia
Neighbours: Turkmenistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Russia
Capital: Astana
Size2,717,300 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 1,049,155 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly less than four times the size of Texas
CurrencyName Tenge, Currency Code:KZT
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).kz
Telephone Country Prefix+7
Mobile Phone Connections14,995,000
Landline Phone Connections3,763,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area2,724,900 (sq km)9

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population17,736,896 61
Population growth rate1.20 (%)97
Birth rate20.03 (births/1,000 population)87
Death rate8.43 (deaths/1,000 population)83
Net migration rate0.42 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)68
Maternal mortality rate51.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)106
Infant mortality rate22.32 (deaths/1,000 live births)83
Life expectancy at birth69.94 (years)151
Total fertility rate2.38 (children born/woman)90
Health expenditures4.30 (% of GDP)160
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.10 (%)140
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS13,000 89
HIV/AIDS - deaths500 87
Obesity - adult prevalence rate23.70 (%)74
Children under the age of 5 years underweight4.90 (%)89
Education expenditures3.10 (% of GDP)139
Unemployment, youth ages 15-244.60 (%)134


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)235,600,000,000 54
GDP - real growth rate5.00 (%)64
GDP - per capita (PPP)14,100 95
Labor force8,540,000 55
Unemployment rate5.20 (%)49
Distribution of family income - Gini index28.90 119
Investment (gross fixed)17.30 (% of GDP)122
Taxes and other revenues21.90 (% of GDP)147
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.50 (% of GDP)97
Public debt12.00 (% of GDP)140
Inflation rate (consumer prices)5.20 (%)146
Central bank discount rate7.50 (%)33
Commercial bank prime lending rate6.71 (%)133
Stock of narrow money25,900,000,000 63
Stock of broad money70,360,000,000 63
Stock of domestic credit75,550,000,000 59
Market value of publicly traded shares43,300,000,000 53
Industrial production growth rate0.50 (%)139
Current account balance12,690,000,000 23
Exports88,610,000,000 43
Imports42,820,000,000 58
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold28,290,000,000 51
Debt - external137,100,000,000 38
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home105,500,000,000 38
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad20,290,000,000 47


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production90,530,000,000 (kWh)36
Electricity - consumption88,110,000,000 (kWh)34
Electricity - exports1,800,000,000 (kWh)43
Electricity - imports3,700,000,000 (kWh)42
Electricity - installed generating capacity18,730,000 (kW)38
Electricity - from fossil fuels88.20 (% of total installed capacity)80
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants11.80 (% of total installed capacity)111
Crude oil - production1,635,000 (bbl/day)18
Crude oil - exports1,078,000 (bbl/day)14
Crude oil - imports122,600 (bbl/day)46
Crude oil - proved reserves30,000,000,000 (bbl)12
Refined petroleum products - production301,500 (bbl/day)45
Refined petroleum products - consumption244,200 (bbl/day)53
Refined petroleum products - exports92,880 (bbl/day)43
Refined petroleum products - imports94,430 (bbl/day)51
Natural gas - production20,200,000,000 (cu m)33
Natural gas - consumption10,200,000,000 (cu m)47
Natural gas - exports8,100,000,000 (cu m)26
Natural gas - imports3,700,000,000 (cu m)37
Natural gas - proved reserves2,407,000,000,000 (cu m)15
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy184,500,000 (Mt)29


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use4,266,000 39
Telephones - mobile cellular25,240,000 41
Internet hosts67,464 90
Internet users5,299,000 44


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports97 62
Railways15,079 (km)19
Roadways93,612 (km)47
Waterways4,000 (km)26
Merchant marine11 109


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures1.10 (% of GDP)121

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi
The Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, in the town of Yasi, now Turkestan, was built at the time of Timur (Tamerlane), from 1389 to 1405. In this partly unfinished building, Persian master builders experimented with architectural and structural solutio ...
Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly
Set around the lush Tamgaly Gorge, amidst the vast, arid Chu-Ili mountains, is a remarkable concentration of some 5,000 petroglyphs (rock carvings) dating from the second half of the second millennium BC to the beginning of the 20th century. Distribu ...
Saryarka – Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan
Saryarka - Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan comprises two protected areas: Naurzum State Nature Reserve and Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve totalling 450,344 ha. It features wetlands of outstanding importance for migratory water birds, includi ...