Kazakhstan - KZ - KAZ - KAZ - Central Asia

Last updated: February 20, 2024
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Kazakhstan Factbook Data

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel N. ROSENBLUM (since 14 November 2022)

embassy: Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Avenue, No. 3, Astana 010010

mailing address: 2230 Astana, Washington DC  20521-2230

telephone: [7] (7172) 70-21-00

FAX: [7] (7172) 54-09-14

email address and website:
USAKZ@state.gov

https://kz.usembassy.gov/

consulate(s) general: Almaty

Age structure

0-14 years: 25.26% (male 2386022/female 2,551,575)

15-64 years: 65.29% (male 6,226,792/female 6,533,887)

65 years and over: 9.44% (2023 est.) (male 660,397/female 1,184,791)
2023 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Kazakhstan. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

48 00 N, 68 00 E

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.56 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Heliports

30 (2024)

Natural hazards

earthquakes in the south; mudslides around Almaty

Area - comparative

slightly less than four times the size of Texas
Area comparison map

slightly less than four times the size of Texas


Military service age and obligation

all men 18-27 are required to serve in the military for 12-24 months; women may volunteer (2023)

note: as of 2022, more than 10,000 women served in the Armed Forces and the National Guard

Background

Ethnic Kazakhs derive from a mix of Turkic nomadic tribes that migrated to the region in the 15th century. The Kazakh steppe was conquered by the Russian Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1925. Repression and starvation caused by forced agricultural collectivization led to more than a million deaths in the early 1930s. During the 1950s and 1960s, the agricultural "Virgin Lands" program led to an influx of settlers (mostly ethnic Russians, but also other nationalities) and at the time of Kazakhstan’s independence in 1991, ethnic Kazakhs were a minority. 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 (from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and the Xinjiang region of China) back to Kazakhstan. As a result of this shift, the ethnic Kazakh share of the population now exceeds two-thirds.

Kazakhstan's economy is the largest in Central Asia, mainly due to the country's vast natural resources. Current issues include: diversifying the economy, attracting foreign direct investment, enhancing Kazakhstan's economic competitiveness, and strengthening economic relations with neighboring states and foreign powers.

 


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 that 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; desertification; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Population below poverty line

4.3% (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4.2%

highest 10%: 23.3% (2016)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, gold, copper, iron alloys, natural gas (2021)

Exports - partners

China 13%, Italy 12%, Russia 10%, Netherlands 7%, France 6%, South Korea 5% (2019)

Administrative divisions

17 provinces (oblystar, singular - oblys) and 4 cities* (qalalar, singular - qala); Abay (Semey), Almaty (Qonaev), Almaty*, Aqmola (Kokshetau), Aqtobe, Astana*, Atyrau, Batys Qazaqstan [West Kazakhstan] (Oral), Bayqongyr*, Mangghystau (Aqtau), Pavlodar, Qaraghandy, Qostanay, Qyzylorda, Shyghys Qazaqstan [East Kazakhstan] (Oskemen), Shymkent*, Soltustik Qazaqstan [North Kazakhstan] (Petropavl), Turkistan, Ulytau (Zhezqazghan), Zhambyl (Taraz), Zhetisu (Taldyqorghan)

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 Baikonur space launch facilities and the city of Bayqongyr (Baikonur, formerly Leninsk); in 2004, a new agreement extended the lease to 2050

Agricultural products

wheat, milk, potatoes, barley, watermelons, melons, linseed, onions, maize, sunflower seed

Military and security forces

Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan: Land Forces, Naval Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces

Ministry of Internal Affairs: National Police, National Guard

Committee for National Security (KNB): Border Guard Service (2024)

note: the National Guard is a gendarmerie type force administered by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but also serves the Ministry of Defense; it is responsible for fighting crime, maintaining public order, and ensuring public safety; other duties include anti-terrorism operations, guarding prisons, riot control, and territorial defense in time of war

Budget

revenues: $29.955 billion (2020 est.)

expenditures: $41.994 billion (2020 est.)

Capital

name: Astana

geographic coordinates: 51 10 N, 71 25 E

time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

time zone note: Kazakhstan has two time zones

etymology: the name means "capital city" in Kazakh


note: on 17 September 2022, Kazakhstan changed the name of its capital city from Nur-Sultan back to Astana; this was not the first time the city had its name changed; founded in 1830 as Akmoly, it became Akmolinsk in 1832, Tselinograd in 1961, Akmola (Aqmola) in 1992, Astana in 1998, and Nur-Sultan in 2019; the latest name change occurred just three and a half years after the city was renamed to honor a long-serving (28-year) former president, who subsequently fell out of favor

Imports - commodities

packaged medicines, natural gas, cars, broadcasting equipment, aircraft (2019)

Climate

continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid

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)

Constitution

history: previous 1937, 1978 (preindependence), 1993; latest approved by referendum 30 August 1995, effective 5 September 1995

amendments: introduced by a referendum initiated by the president of the republic, on the recommendation of Parliament, or by the government; the president has the option of submitting draft amendments to Parliament or directly to a referendum; passage of amendments by Parliament requires four-fifths majority vote of both houses and the signature of the president; passage by referendum requires absolute majority vote by more than one half of the voters in at least two thirds of the oblasts, major cities, and the capital, followed by the signature of the president; amended several times, last in 2022

Exchange rates

tenge (KZT) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
425.908 (2021 est.)
412.953 (2020 est.)
382.747 (2019 est.)
344.706 (2018 est.)
326.001 (2017 est.)

Executive branch

chief of state: President Kasym-Zhomart TOKAYEV (since 20 March 2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Olzhas BEKTENOV (since 6 February 2024); note - Alikhan SMAILOV resigned on 5 February 2024

cabinet: the president appoints ministers based on the prime minister's recommendations; the president has veto power over all appointments and independently appoints the ministers of defense, internal affairs, and foreign affairs

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a single 7-year term (prior to September 2022, the president of Kazakhstan could serve up to two 5-year terms; legislation passed in September 2022 reduced the maximum number of terms to one 7-year term); election last held on 20 November 2022 (next to be held in 2029); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president, approved by the Mazhilis

election results:
2022
: Kasym-Zhomart TOKAYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Kassym-Jomart TOKAYEV (Amanat) 81.3%, Zhiguli DAYRABAEV (Auyl) 3.4%, Qaraqat or Karakat ÄBDEN (KÄQŪA) 2.6%, Meyram KAZHYKEN (Amanat) 2.5%, Nurlan AUYESBAYEV (NSDP) 2.2%, Saltanat TURSYNBEKOVA (QA-DJ) 2.1%, other 5.8%

2019: Kasym-Zhomart TOKAYEV elected president; percent of vote - Kasym-Zhomart TOKAYEV (Amanat) 71%, Amirzhan KOSANOV (Ult Tagdyry) 16.2%, Daniya YESPAYEVA (Ak Zhol) 5.1%, other 7.7%

Fiscal year

calendar year

Flag description

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

Illicit drugs

part of the "Northern Route," land drug trafficking route from Afghanistan to Russia and Europe; domestic manufacturing of synthetics increasing and domestic drug use trends to synthetic drugs outpacing heroin and cannabis;


Independence

16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

Industries

oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, uranium, iron and steel; tractors and other agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of the Republic (consists of 44 members); Constitutional Council (consists of the chairperson and 6 members)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges proposed by the president of the republic on recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council and confirmed by the Senate; judges normally serve until age 65 but can be extended to age 70; Constitutional Council - the president of the republic, the Senate chairperson, and the Mazhilis chairperson each appoints 2 members for a 6-year term; chairperson of the Constitutional Council appointed by the president for a 6-year term

subordinate courts: regional and local courts

Land boundaries

total: 13,364 km

border countries (5): China 1,765 km; Kyrgyzstan 1,212 km; Russia 7,644 km; Turkmenistan 413 km; Uzbekistan 2,330 km

Land use

agricultural land: 77.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 8.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 68.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 1.2% (2018 est.)

other: 21.4% (2018 est.)

Legal system

civil law system influenced by Roman-Germanic law and by the theory and practice of the Russian Federation

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan consists of:
Senate (50 seats); 40 members indirectly elected by 2-round majority vote by the oblast-level assemblies and 10 members appointed by decree of the president; members serve 6-year terms, with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years)
Mazhilis (98 seats; 69 members directly elected in a single national constituency by party list proportional representation vote (5% minimum threshold to gain seats) and 29 directly elected in single-seat constituencies to serve 5-year terms

elections: Senate - last held on 14 January 2023 (next to be held in 2026)
Mazhilis - last held on 19 March 2023 (next to be held in 2026)

election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition (as of April 2023) - men 39, women 11, percent of women 22%
Mazhilis - percent of vote by party - Amanat (formerly Nur Otan) 53.9%, Auvl 10.9%, Respublica 8.6%, Ak Zhol 8.4%, QHP 6.8%, NSDP 5.2%, Baytak 2.3%, Against all 3.9%; percent of vote by party (single-mandate districts) Amanat (formerly Nur Otan) 75.9%, Independent 24%; seats by party Amanat (formerly Nur Qtan) 62, Auvl 8, Respublica 6, Ak Zhol 6, QHP 5, NSDP 4, Independents 7; composition (as of March 2023) - men 80, women 18, percent of women 18.4%; note - total Parliament percent of women 19.6%

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.8%

male: 99.8%

female: 99.7% (2018)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

International organization participation

ADB, CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAEU, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EITI (compliant country), FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHRC, UNIDO, UN Security Council (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

National holiday

Independence Day, 16 December (1991)

Nationality

noun: Kazakhstani(s)

adjective: Kazakhstani

Natural resources

major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium

Geography - note

world's largest landlocked country and one of only two landlocked countries in the world that extends into two continents (the other is Azerbaijan); Russia leases approximately 6,000 sq km of territory enclosing the Baikonur Cosmodrome; in January 2004, Kazakhstan and Russia extended the lease to 2050

Economic overview

oil and gas giant, with growing international investment; domestic economy hit hard by COVID-19 disruptions; reforming civil society and improving business confidence; legacy state controls and Russian influence inhibit growth and autonomy

Pipelines

658 km condensate, 15,429 km gas (2020), 8,020 km oil (2020), 1,095 km refined products, 1,975 km water (2017) (2020)

Political parties and leaders

Ak Zhol (Bright Path) Party or Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Ak Zhol [Azat PERUASHEV]
Amanat Party [Yerlan KOSHANOV] (formerly Nur Otan (Radiant Fatherland))
Baytak (Boundless) Party [Azamatkhan AMIRTAY]
National Social Democratic Party or NSDP [Askhat RAKHIMZHANOV]
People's Democratic (Patriotic) Party or Auyl or AHDPP [Ali BEKTAYEV]
People's Party of Kazakhstan or QHP [Yermkhamet YERTYSBAYEV]
Respublica Party [Avdarbek KHODZHANAZAROV]

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Caspian Sea - Aqtau (Shevchenko), Atyrau (Gur'yev)

river port(s): Oskemen (Ust-Kamenogorsk), Pavlodar, Semey (Semipalatinsk) (Irtysh River)

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Kazakhstan has one of the most developed telecommunications sectors in the Central Asian region; this is especially true of the mobile segment; the principal telcos have successfully generated revenue growth on the back of value-added services and the extended each of LTE and fiber networks; this has resulted in strong growth in mobile fixed line traffic; the mobile segment dominates the telecom sector in Kazakhstan overall, there was a drop in the number of subscribers in 2020; these effects also limited growth in 2021, though the easing of restrictions in 2022 resulted in a stronger recovery; the extensive deployment of LTE networks across the country, and the launch of limited 5G services in mid-2023 will provide a steady increase mobile broadband services (2021)

domestic: fixed telephone subscriptions are 16 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscriber base 127 per 100 persons (2021)

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 TAE fiber-optic cable; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat

Terrain

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

Government type

presidential republic

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Kazakhstan

conventional short form: Kazakhstan

local long form: Qazaqstan Respublikasy

local short form: Qazaqstan

former: Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic

etymology: the name "Kazakh" may derive from the Turkic word "kaz" meaning "to wander," recalling the Kazakh's nomadic lifestyle; the Persian suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so the word Kazakhstan literally means "Land of the Wanderers"

Location

Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural (Oral) River in easternmost Europe

Map references

Asia

Irrigated land

18,099 sq km (2020)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Yerzhan ASHIKBAYEV (since 7 July 2021)

chancery: 1401 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 232-5488

FAX: [1] (202) 232-5845

email address and website:
washington@mfa.kz

https://www.gov.kz/memleket/entities/mfa-washington?lang=en

consulate(s) general: New York

Internet country code

.kz

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 7,558 (2022)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$181.194 billion (2019 est.)

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BBB (2016)

Moody's rating: Baa3 (2016)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB- (2016)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

Total renewable water resources

108.41 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 16 years

male: 15 years

female: 16 years (2020)

Urbanization

urban population: 58.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.19% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Broadcast media

the state owns nearly all radio and TV transmission facilities and operates national TV and radio networks; there are 96 TV channels, many of which are owned by the government, and 4 state-run radio stations; some former state-owned media outlets have been privatized; households with satellite dishes have access to foreign media; a small number of commercial radio stations operate along with state-run radio stations; recent legislation requires all media outlets to register with the government and all TV providers to broadcast in digital format by 2018; broadcasts reach some 99% of the population as well as neighboring countries (2018)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 93.8% of population

total: 97.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 6.2% of population

total: 2.6% of population (2020 est.)

National anthem

name: "Menin Qazaqstanim" (My Kazakhstan)

lyrics/music: Zhumeken NAZHIMEDENOV and Nursultan NAZARBAYEV/Shamshi KALDAYAKOV

note: adopted 2006; President Nursultan NAZARBAYEV played a role in revising the lyrics
This is an audio of the National Anthem for Kazakhstan. The national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.

Major urban areas - population

1.987 million Almaty, 1.291 million NUR-SULTAN (capital), 1.155 million Shimkent (2023)

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Physicians density

3.98 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

6.1 beds/1,000 population (2014)

National symbol(s)

golden eagle; national colors: blue, yellow

Mother's mean age at first birth

28.9 years (2019 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

53% (2018)

note: percent of women aged 18-49

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 53.2% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.1% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 22.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 4.8% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 35.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -27.1% (2017 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 60

youth dependency ratio: 47.2

elderly dependency ratio: 12.7

potential support ratio: 7.9 (2021 est.)

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kazakhstan

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Population distribution

most of the country displays a low population density, particularly the interior; population clusters appear in urban agglomerations in the far northern and southern portions of the country

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 12 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 84

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 7,143,797 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 50.22 million (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

UP

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99.9% of population

rural: 99.9% of population

total: 99.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population

rural: 0.1% of population

total: 0.1% of population (2020 est.)

Ethnic groups

Kazakh (Qazaq) 69.6%, Russian 17.9%, Uzbek 3.3%, Uyghur 1.5%, Ukrainian 1.3%,  Tatar 1%, other 5.3% (2022 est.)

Religions

Muslim 70.2%, Christian 26.2% (mainly Russian Orthodox), other 0.2%, atheist 2.8%, unspecified 0.5% (2009 est.)

Languages

Kazakh (official, Qazaq) 83.1% (understand spoken language) and trilingual (Kazakh, Russian, English) 22.3% (2017 est.); Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 94.4% (understand spoken language) (2009 est.)

major-language sample(s):
Әлемдік деректер кітабы, негізгі ақпараттың таптырмайтын көзі. (Kazakh)

Книга фактов о мире – незаменимый источник базовой информации. (Russian)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
Kazakh audio sample
Russian audio sample

Imports - partners

Russia 34%, China 24% (2019)

Disputes - international

Kazakhstan-China: in 1998, Kazakhstan and China agreed to split two disputed border areas nearly evenly; demarcation with China completed in 2002

Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan: in January 2019, Kyrgyzstan ratified the 2017 agreement on the demarcation of the Kyrgyzstan-Kazakhstan border

Kazakhstan-Russia: Russia boundary delimitation was ratified on November 2005; field demarcation commenced in 2007 and was expected to be completed by 2013

Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan: Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed a treaty on the delimitation and demarcation process in 2001; field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2005; Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan agreed to their border in the Caspian Sea in 2014

Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan: field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2004; disputed territory is held by Uzbekistan but the overwhelming majority of residents are ethnic Kazakhs; the two countries agreed on draft final demarcation documents in March 2022 and planned to hold another meeting in April 2022

Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan-Iran-Russia: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified a Caspian seabed delimitation treaty in 2018 based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the sea 


Elevation

highest point: Pik Khan-Tengri 7,010 m
note - the northern most 7,000 meter peak in the World

lowest point: Qauyndy Oyysy -132 m

mean elevation: 387 m

Current health expenditure

3.8% of GDP (2020)

Military - note

Kazakhstan’s armed forces were formed in 1992 following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the disbandment of the Soviet Turkestan Military District whose forces formed the core of the new Kazakh military; the military’s principal responsibilities are territorial defense while the National Police, National Guard, Committee for National Security, and Border Service have primary responsibility for internal security, although the military may provide assistance as required; the military also participates in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations; in 2008, Kazakhstan opened up Central Asia’s first peacekeeper training center for military personnel of Kazakhstan, NATO, and other partners 

in 2022, Kazakhstan initiated a wide-ranging effort to enhance the country’s security sector, including organizational changes such as establishing new National Guard units, enhancing existing ones, and forming a special operations force, spending increases for equipment acquisitions, a new doctrine with renewed emphasis on defense of the border, and reforms to improve professionalism in the military

the Land Forces are organized into combat brigades of air assault and mechanized infantry, tank, artillery, and surface-to-surface missile forces; the Naval Forces include a naval infantry brigade and patrol craft for operating on the Caspian Sea; the Air Defense Forces have over 100 combat aircraft, largely of Soviet-origin; the National Guard is organized into regions and deployed throughout the country

Kazakhstan has been a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) since 1994 and has obligated troops to CSTO's rapid reaction force; it also has a relationship with NATO focused on democratic, institutional, and defense reforms; relations with NATO started in 1992, and Kazakhstan joined NATO's Partnership for Peace program in 1995 (2023)

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 40,000 active-duty personnel (25,000 Land Forces; 3,000 Naval Forces; 12,000 Air and Air Defense Forces); approximately 30,000 National Guard (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Kazakh military's inventory is comprised of mostly older Russian and Soviet-era equipment, and Russia continues to be the leading supplier of arms (2023)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 4.62 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 4.54 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 15.4 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 4,659,740 tons (2012 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 136,064 tons (2012 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 2.9% (2012 est.)

Average household expenditures

on food: 44.9% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 1.7% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 26.5 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 247.21 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 45.03 megatons (2020 est.)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Tarim Basin (1,152,448 sq km), Amu Darya (534,739 sq km), Syr Darya (782,617 sq km), Lake Balkash (510,015 sq km)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Ozero Balkhash - 22,000 sq km; Ozero Zaysan - 1,800 sq km

salt water lake(s): Caspian Sea (shared with Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Russia) - 374,000 sq km; Aral Sea (north) - 3,300 sq km; Ozero Alakol - 2,650 sq km; Ozero Teniz 1,590 sq km; Ozero Seletytenzi - 780 sq km; Ozero Sasykkol - 740 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Syr Darya river mouth (shared with Kyrgyzstan [s], Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan) - 3,078 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 6 (3 cultural, 3 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (c); Petroglyphs at Tanbaly (c); Saryarka - Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan (n); Silk Roads: the Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor (c); Western Tien-Shan (n); Cold Winter Deserts of Turan (n)

Coal

production: 102.338 million metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 74.819 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 3.002 million metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 993,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 25.605 billion metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 88.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0.9% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0.7% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 10.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 25.786 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 14.557 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 16.418 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

imports: 7.714 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 2.407 trillion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 1,864,900 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 320,600 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 1,531,600 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 500 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 30 billion barrels (2021 est.)

Demographic profile

Nearly 40% of Kazakhstan’s population is under the age of 25.  Like many former Soviet states, Kazakhstan’s total fertility rate (TFR) – the average number of births per woman – decreased after independence amidst economic problems and fell below replacement level, 2.1.  However, in the late 2000s, as the economy improved and incomes rose, Kazakhstan experienced a small baby boom and TFR reached 2.5.  TFR has since fallen and is now just over 2.1.  Mortality rates are also decreasing and life expectancy is rising, signs that Kazakhstan’s demographic transition is progressing. 

Kazakhstan has a diverse population consisting of Asian ethnic groups (predominantly Kazakhs, as well as Uzbeks, Uighurs, and Tatars) and ethnic Europeans (mainly Russians but also Ukrainians and Germans).  Approximately two thirds of Kazakhstan’s population today is Kazakh.  During the mid-20th century, as Kazakhstan industrialized, waves of ethnic Russians and deportees from other parts of the Soviet Union arrived.  Eventually, the ethnic Russian population outnumbered the Kazakhs.  In the 1990s, following Kazakhstan’s independence, Russian and other ethnic Europeans began emigrating, while some ethnic Kazakhs (referred to as Oralmans) returned to their homeland from neighboring countries, China, and Mongolia.  As a result, the country’s ethnic make-up changed, and a Kazakh majority was reestablished.

In recent years, Kazakhstan has shifted from being mainly a migrant-sending country to a migrant-receiving country.  Due to its oil-driven economic boom, Kazakhstan has become a more popular destination.  The country needs highly skilled workers in the industrial, business, and education sectors and low-skilled labor in agriculture, markets, services, and construction.  Kazakhstan is increasingly reliant on migrant workers, primarily from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, to fill its labor shortage.  At the same time, highly skilled Kazakhs continue to emigrate, mostly to Russia, seeking higher salaries or further education.


Gross reproduction rate

1.25 (2023 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

61.8% (2023 est.)

Remittances

0.16% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.22% of GDP (2020 est.)
0.28% of GDP (2019 est.)

Nuclear energy

Number of operational nuclear reactors: 0

Number of nuclear reactors under construction: 0

Net capacity of operational nuclear reactors: 0GW

Percent of total electricity production: 0%

Percent of total energy produced: 0%

Number of nuclear reactors permanently shut down: 1

Space program overview

has an active and ambitious space program that originated with the former Soviet Union; focused on the acquisition and operation of satellites; builds (with foreign assistance) and operates communications, remote sensing (RS), and scientific satellites; building space infrastructure, such as launch and testing facilities, ground stations, and rocket manufacturing; has an astronaut (cosmonaut) program; has relations with a variety of foreign space agencies and industries, including those of China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, UAE, and the UK; has state-owned and private companies that assist in the development and building of the country’s space program, including satellites, satellite payloads, and associated capabilities; they also work closely with foreign commercial entities (2023)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S

Space launch site(s)

Baikonur Cosmodrome/Space Center (Baikonur; the cosmodrome and the surrounding area are leased and administered by Russia until 2050 for approximately $115 million/year; Baikonur cosmodrome was originally built by the Soviet Union in the mid-1950s; largest space launch facility in the World and site of the World’s first successful satellite launch in 1957); note – in 2018, Kazakhstan and Russia agreed that Kazakhstan would build, maintain, and operate a new space launch facility (Baiterek) at the Baikonur space center (estimated to be ready for operations in 2024) (2023)

Space agency/agencies

National Space Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KazCosmos; established 2007) (2023)

Labor force

9.248 million (2021 est.)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 3.7% (2021 est.)

male: 3.3%

female: 4.3%

Net migration rate

-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 31.7 years (2023 est.)

male: 29.9 years

female: 33.5 years

Debt - external

$159.351 billion (2019 est.)
$163.73 billion (2018 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

13 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$34.378 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$35.638 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$28.958 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

Waterways

43,983 km (2020) (on the Ertis (Irtysh) River (80%) and Syr Darya (Syrdariya) River)

Refined petroleum products - imports

39,120 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Public debt

26.63% of GDP (2020 est.)
18.48% of GDP (2019 est.)
21.99% of GDP (2018 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.59 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Military expenditures

0.7% of GDP (2022 est.)
1% of GDP (2021 est.)
1.1% of GDP (2020 est.)
1.1% of GDP (2019 est.)
0.9% of GDP (2018 est.)

Unemployment rate

4.9% (2021 est.)
4.89% (2020 est.)
4.8% (2019 est.)

Population

19,543,464 (2023 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Internet users

total: 17.29 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 91% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

263.689 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 195.926 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 39.205 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 28.557 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Area

total: 2,724,900 sq km

land: 2,699,700 sq km

water: 25,200 sq km

Taxes and other revenues

8.32% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$496.126 billion (2021 est.)
$475.672 billion (2020 est.)
$487.869 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Roadways

total: 96,167 km (2021)

paved: 83,813 km (2021)

unpaved: 12,354 km (2021)

Infant mortality rate

total: 8.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 9.1 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 7.1 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 24.323 million (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 127 (2021 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

27.8 (2018 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

6.75% (2020 est.)
5.25% (2019 est.)
6.02% (2018 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

105,900 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Current account balance

-$7.862 billion (2021 est.)
-$7.59 billion (2020 est.)
-$8.282 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$26,100 (2021 est.)
$25,400 (2020 est.)
$26,400 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 2,620,400 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 14 (2020 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 23.2% (2020 est.)

male: 39.6% (2020 est.)

female: 6.7% (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

21% (2016)

Energy consumption per capita

180.726 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

17.6 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 25.022 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 92,133,960,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 2.419 billion kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 1.935 billion kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 9.689 billion kWh (2019 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 122 (2023)

by type: general cargo 3, oil tanker 7, other 112

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

2% (2015)

Imports

$49.196 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$46.218 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$52.539 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

Exports

$66.132 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$52.355 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$65.919 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 2,887,900 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

290,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 3.73 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 2.52 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.16 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 1.05 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 73 years (2023 est.)

male: 68.7 years

female: 77.7 years

Real GDP growth rate

4.3% (2021 est.)
-2.5% (2020 est.)
4.5% (2019 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

5.1% (2021 est.)

Railways

total: 16,636 km (2021)

broad gauge: 16,636 km (2021) 1.520-m gauge (4,237 km electrified)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 4.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 34.1% (2017 est.)

services: 61.2% (2017 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0.99% of GDP (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

4.5% of GDP (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

0.9% (2023 est.)

Airports

132 (2024)