Kazakhstan 2003Kazakhstan

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Kazakhstan - Introduction 2003
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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.

Kazakhstan - Geography 2003
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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 referenceAsia

Total: 2,717,300 km²
Water: 47,500 km²
Land: 2,669,800 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 now split into two bodies of water (1070 km) and the Caspian Sea (1894 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

Extremes lowest point: Vpadina Kaundy -132 m
Extremes 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

Land use
Arable land: 11.23%
Permanent crops: 0.05%
Other: 88.72% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 23,320 km² (1998 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; Russia leases approximately 6,000 km² of territory enclosing the Baykonur Cosmodrome

Kazakhstan - People 2003
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Population: 16,763,795 (July 2003 est.)
Growth rate: 0.17% (2003 est.)
Below poverty line: 26% (2001 est.)

Noun: Kazakhstani
Adjective: Kazakhstani

Ethnic groups: Kazakh (Qazaq) 53.4% Russian 30% Ukrainian 3.7% Uzbek 2.5% German 2.4% Uighur 1.4% other 6.6% (1999 census)

Languages: Kazakh (Qazaq state language) 64.4% Russian (official used in everyday business designated the 'language of interethnic communication') 95% (2001 est.)

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

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 25.4% (male 2,161,510; female 2,089,780)
15-64 years: 66.8% (male 5,425,545; female 5,769,457)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 458,379; female 859,124) (2003 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age
Total: 28.2 years
Male: 26.6 years
Female: 29.7 years (2002)

Population growth rate: 0.17% (2003 est.)

Birth rate: 18.36 births/1000 population (2003 est.)

Death rate: 10.78 deaths/1000 population (2003 est.)

Net migration rate: -5.89 migrant(s)/1000 population (2003 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

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
International agreements party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
International agreements signed but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.03 male/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male/female
65 years and over: 0.53 male/female
Total population: 0.92 male/female (2003 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate
Total: 58.73 deaths/1000 live births
Female: 53.83 deaths/1000 live births (2003 est.)
Male: 63.41 deaths/1000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 63.48 years
Male: 58.16 years
Female: 69.06 years (2003 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.16 children born/woman (2003 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2001 est.)
People living with hivaids: 6,000 (2001 est.)
Deaths: less than 300 (2001 est.)

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: 98.4%
Male: 99.1%
Female: 97.7% (1999 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Kazakhstan - Government 2003
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Kazakhstan
Conventional short form: Kazakhstan
Local long form: Qazaqstan Respublikasy
Former: Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic
Local short form: none

Government type: republic

Capital: Astana; note - the government moved from Almaty to Astana in December 1998

Administrative divisions
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 Baykonur space launch facilities and the city of Bayqongyr (Baykonyr, formerly Leninsk)

Dependent areas

Independence: 16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday: Republic Day 25 October (1990)

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, elected president 1 December 1991)
Head of government: Prime Minister Daniyal AKHMETOV (since 13 June 2003)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers 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 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
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

Legislative branch
Election results: note - the election results are for the old Senate structure; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; 16 seats up for election in 1999, candidates nominated by local councils; Majilis - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Otan 23, Civic Party 13, Communist Party 3, Agrarian Party 3, People's Cooperative Party 1, independents 34; note - most independent candidates are affiliated with parastatal enterprises and other pro-government institutions
Elections: Senate - (indirect) last held 17 September 1999 (next to be held NA December 2005); Majilis - last held 10 and 24 October and 26 December 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)

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

Political parties and leaders
Note: only seven parties in Kazakhstan have been registered under the new political party law passed in July 2002


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Kanat B. SAUDABAYEV
In the us fax: [1] (202) 232-5,845
In the us consulates: New York
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 232-5,488
In the us chancery: 1401 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20,036
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Larry C. NAPPER
From the us embassy: 99/97A Furmanova Street, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan 480,091
From the us mailing address: use embassy street address
From the us telephone: [7] (3,272) 63-39-21, 63-13-75, 50-76-23, 50-76-27 (emergency number)
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 gold

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Kazakhstan - Economy 2003
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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 is a large agricultural - livestock and grain - producer. 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. 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.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 9.5% (2002 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: 9%
Industry: 40%
Services: 51% (2002 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% (2002 est.)

Labor force: 8.4 million (1999)
By occupation industry: 30%
By occupation agriculture: 20%
By occupation services: 50% (2002 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 8.8% (2002 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 26% (2001 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 2.8%
Highest 10: 27.3% (2001)

Distribution of family income gini index: 35.4 (1996)

Revenues: $4.2 billion
Expenditures: $5.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 6% (2002 est.)

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: $10.3 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: oil and oil products 58% ferrous metals 24% chemicals 5% machinery 3% grain wool meat coal (2001)
Partners: Russia 16.2% Bermuda 12.1% China 11.3% Germany 8.8% Italy 5.5% Ukraine 4.9% France 4% (2002)

Imports: $9.6 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: machinery and equipment 41% metal products 28% foodstuffs 8% (2001)
Partners: Russia 37.1% US 9.3% China 9.3% Germany 9.1% (2002)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $6.6 billion (2002 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: tenge per US dollar - 153.28 (2002) 146.74 (2001) 142.13 (2000) 119.52 (1999) 78.3 (1998)

Kazakhstan - Energy 2003
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 52.43 billion kWh (2001)
By source fossil fuel: 84.3%
By source hydro: 15.7%
By source other: 0% (2001)
By source nuclear: 0%

Electricity consumption: 48.36 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity exports: 3.6 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity imports: 3.2 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas
Production: 10.08 billion m³ (2001 est.)
Consumption: 14.3 billion m³ (2001 est.)
Exports: 4.1 billion m³ (2001 est.)
Imports: 8.3 billion m³ (2001 est.)
Proved reserves: 920.3 billion m³ (37,257)

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Kazakhstan - Communication 2003
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 400,000 (2001)

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: 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

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .kz

Internet users: 100,000 (2002)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Kazakhstan - Military 2003
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $221.8 million (Ministry of Defense expenditures) (FY02)
Percent of gdp: 0.9% (Ministry of Defense expenditures) (FY02)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Kazakhstan - Transportation 2003
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 488 (2002)
With paved runways total: 60
With paved runways over 3047 m: 7
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 26
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 14
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 4
With paved runways under 914 m: 9 (2002)
With unpaved runways total: 428
With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 11
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 19
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 44
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 103
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 251 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 60
Over 3047 m: 7
2438 to 3047 m: 26
15-24 to 2437 m: 14
914 to 1523 m: 4
Under 914 m: 9 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 428
Over 3047 m: 11
2438 to 3047 m: 19
15-24 to 2437 m: 44
914 to 1523 m: 103
Under 914 m: 251 (2002)


Pipelines: condensate 640 km; gas 10,527 km; oil 9,771 km; refined products 1187 km; water 1465 km (2003)

Total: 13,601 km
Broad gauge: 13,601 km 1.520-m gauge (3,661 km electrified) (2002)


Note: on the Syr Darya (Syrdariya) and Ertis (Irtysh) rivers

Merchant marine
Total: 1 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,064 GRT/646 DWT
Ships by type: roll on/roll off 1
Note: includes a foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience: US 1 (2002 est.)

Ports and terminals

Kazakhstan - Transnational issues 2003
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Disputes international: Kazakhstan and China have resolved their border dispute and are working to delimit their large open borders to control population migration illegal activities and trade; delimitation of boundary with Russia is scheduled for completion in 2003 - delimitations with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are complete with demarcations underway - delimitation with Kyrgyzstan is largely complete; equidistant seabed treaties have been signed 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; no resolution of Caspian seabed boundary with Turkmenistan

Refugees and internally displaced persons

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

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