Kazakhstan 1998Kazakhstan

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Kazakhstan - Introduction 1998
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Background: As a republic within the USSR (1920-91), Kazakhstan suffered greatly from Stalinist purges, from environmental damage, and saw the ethnic Russian portion of its population rise to 37% while other non-Kazakhs made up almost 20%. Current issues include the pace of market reform and privatization; fair and free elections and democratic reform; ethnic differences between Russians and Kazakhs; environmental problems; and how to convert the country's abundant energy resources into a better standard of living.

Kazakhstan - Geography 1998
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Location: Central Asia, northwest of China

Geographic coordinates: 48 00 N, 68 00 E

Map referenceCommonwealth of Independent States

Total: 2,717,300 km²
Land: 2,669,800 km²
Water: 47,500 km²
Comparative: slightly less than four times the size of Texas

Land boundaries
Total: 12,012 km
Border countries: (5) 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 (1,015 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 oasis and desert in Central Asia

Extremes lowest point: Vpadina Kaundy -132 m
Extremes highest point: Zhengis Shingy (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

Land use
Arable land: 12%
Permanent crops: 11%
Permanent pastures: 57%
Forests and woodland: 4%
Other: 16% (1996 est.)

Irrigated land: 22,000 km² (1996 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: earthquakes in the south, mudslides around Almaty

Note: landlocked

Kazakhstan - People 1998
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Population: 16,846,808 (July 1998 est.)
Growth rate: -0.17% (1998 est.)

Noun: Kazakhstani(s)
Adjective: Kazakhstani

Ethnic groups: Kazakh (Qazaq) 46%, Russian 34.7%, Ukrainian 4.9%, German 3.1%, Uzbek 2.3%, Tatar 1.9%, other 7.1% (1996)

Languages: Kazakh (Qazaq) official language spoken by over 40% of population, Russian official language spoken by two-thirds of population and used in everyday business

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

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 29% (male 2,486,607; female 2,413,207)
15-64 years: 64% (male 5,243,028; female 5,523,199)
65 years and over: 7% (male 393,950; female 786,817) (July 1998 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: -0.17% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 17.24 births/1000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 10.15 deaths/1000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -8.79 migrant(s)/1000 population (1998 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: radioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with its former defense industries and test ranges are found throughout the country and 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 salinization from faulty irrigation practices
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Ship Pollution
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.5 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 58.25 deaths/1000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 63.59 years
Male: 58.12 years
Female: 69.33 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.12 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 98%
Male: 99%
Female: 96% (1989 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Kazakhstan - Government 1998
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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

Capital: Astana (Akmola)
Note: the government has recently moved from Almaty to Astana

Administrative divisions: 14 oblystar (singular_oblys) and 1 city (qalalar, singular_qala)*; Almaty Qalasy*, Almaty Oblysy, Aqmola Oblysy (Astana), Aqtobe Oblysy, Atyrau Oblysy, Batys Qazaqstan Oblysy (Oral), Mangghystau Oblysy (Aqtau; formerly Gur'yev), Ongtustik Qazaqstan Oblysy (Shymkent), Pavlodar Oblysy, Qaraghandy Oblysy, Qostanay Oblysy, Qyzylorda Oblysy, Shyghys Qazaqstan Oblysy (Oskemen; formerly Ust'-Kamenogorsk), Soltustik Qazaqstan Oblysy (Petropavl), Zhambyl Oblysy (Taraz; formerly Dzhambul)
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 km² enclosing the Bayqongyr (Baykonur) space launch facilities and the city of Bayqongyr (Leninsk)

Dependent areas

Independence: 16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 October (1991; Republic Day, 16 December (1991)

Constitution: adopted by national referendum 30 August 1995; first post-independence constitution was adopted 28 January 1993

Legal system: based on civil law system

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV (chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 22 February 1990-91, president since 1 December 1991): ead of
Government: Prime Minister Nurlan BALGIMBAYEV (since 10 October 1997) and First Deputy Prime Minister Uraz ZHANDOSOV (since 20 February 1998)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 1 December 1991 (next to be held NA 2000); note_President NAZARBAYEV's term was extended to the year 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 elected president without opposition; percent of vote_NA
Note: President NAZARBAYEV has expanded his presidential powers by decree: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 (47 seats; 7 senators are appointed by the president; other members are popularly elected, two each from each oblast and Almaty, to serve four-year terms) and the Majilis (67 seats; members are popularly elected to serve four-year terms); note_with the oblasts being reduced to 14, the Senate will eventually be reduced to 37
Elections: Senate_(indirect) last held 5 December 1995 (next to be held NA 1999); Majilis_last held 9 December and 23 December 1995 (next to be held NA 1999)
Election results: Senate_percent of vote by party_NA; seats by party_party members 13, no party affiliation 34, of which "independent" state officials 25, nominated by the president 7, elected by popular vote 15; Majilis_percent of vote by party_NA; seats by party_PUP 24, December National Democratic Party 12, Kazakh Agrarian Union 5, Confederation of Kazakh Trade Unions 5, KPK 2, independents and others 19

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (44 members; Constitutional Council (7 members)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: AsDB, CCC, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, OIC, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Bolat K. NURGALIYEV
In the us chancery: (temporary) 3,421 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 333-4,504 through 4,507
In the us fax: [1] (202) 333-4,509
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador A. Elizabeth JONES
From the us embassy: 99/97 Furmanova Street, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan 480,012
From the us mailing address: use embassy street address
From the us telephone: [7] (3,272) 63-39-05, 63-13-75, 63-24-26
From the us fax: [7] (3,272) 63-38-83

Flag descriptionflag of Kazakhstan: 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 yellow

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Kazakhstan - Economy 1998
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Economy overview: Kazakhstan, the second largest of the former Soviet republics in territory, possesses enormous untapped fossil fuel reserves as well as plentiful supplies of other minerals and metals. It also has considerable agricultural potential with its vast steppe lands accommodating both livestock and grain production. Kazakhstan's industrial sector rests on the extraction and processing of these natural resources and also on a relatively large machine building sector specializing in construction equipment, tractors, agricultural machinery, and some defense items. The breakup of the USSR and the collapse of demand for Kazakhstan's traditional heavy industry products have resulted in a sharp contraction of the economy since 1991, 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. The December 1996 signing of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium agreement to build a new pipeline from western Kazakhstan's Tengiz oil field to the Black Sea increases prospects for substantially larger oil exports in several years. The emigration of large numbers of skilled Slavic managers and technicians from the northern industrial areas will hold back future growth.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2.1% (1997 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 12%
Industry: 25%
Services: 63% (1996 est.)

Agriculture products: grain, mostly spring wheat, cotton; wool, meat

Industries: oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, iron and steel, nonferrous metal, tractors and other agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials; much of industrial capacity is shut down and/or is in need of repair

Industrial production growth rate: 3% (1997 est.)

Labor force
Total: 6.9 million
By occupation industry: 27%
By occupation agriculture and forestry: 23%
By occupation other: 50% (1996)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 2.6% includes only officially registered unemployed; also large additional numbers of unemployed and underemployed workers (December 1996 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $3 billion
Expenditures: $4.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $40 million (1996 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: total value:$5.6 billion (1996)
Commodoties: oil, ferrous and nonferrous metals, chemicals, grain, wool, meat, coal
Partners: Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Netherlands, China

Imports: total value:$6 billion (1996)
Commodoties: machinery and parts, industrial materials, oil and gas
Partners: Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Germany

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $3.3 billion (1996)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: tenges per US$1_76.4 (February 1998), 75.55 (January 1998), 75.44 (1997), 67.30 (1996), 60.95 (1995), 35.54 (1994)

Kazakhstan - Energy 1998
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 61.7 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 3,800 kWh (1996 est.)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Kazakhstan - Communication 1998
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: service is poor
Domestic: landline and microwave radio relay
International: international traffic with other former Soviet republics and China carried by landline and microwave radio relay and with other countries by satellite and through 8 international telecommunications circuits at the Moscow international gateway switch; satellite earth stations_1 Intelsat and a new satellite earth station established at Almaty of unknown type

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Kazakhstan - Military 1998
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: 18.9 billion tenges (1995; note_conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the current exchange rate could produce misleading results
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Kazakhstan - Transportation 1998
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 10 (1997 est.)
With paved runways total: 9
With paved runways over 3047 m: 4
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 3
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2 (1997 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 9
Over 3047 m: 4
2438 to 3047 m: 3
15-24 to 2437 m: 2 (1997 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 1
914 to 1523 m: 1 (1997 est.)


Pipelines: crude oil 2,850 km; refined products 1,500 km; natural gas 3,480 km (1992)

Total: 13,841 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
Broad gauge: 13,841 km 1.520-m gauge (3,299 km electrified) (1992)


Waterways: 4,002 km on the Syr Darya and Ertis Darya

Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Kazakhstan - Transnational issues 1998
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Disputes international: Caspian Sea boundaries are not yet determined among Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: significant illicit cultivation of cannabis and limited cultivation of opium poppy and ephedra (for the drug ephedrone; limited government eradication program; cannabis consumed largely in the CIS; used as transshipment point for illicit drugs to Russia, North America, and Western Europe from Southwest Asia

Fidel Crest

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