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Ethnic Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated to the region by 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 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.



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

Geographic coordinates

48.00° N, 68.00° E

Area 9/257

total: 2,724,900 sq km

land: 2,699,700 sq km

water: 25,200 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly less than four times the size of Texas

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


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)


continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid


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


mean elevation:

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

agricultural land: 77.4%

arable land 8.9%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 68.5%

forest: 1.2%

other: 21.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

20,660 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

107.5 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 21.14 cu km/yr (4%/30%/66%)

per capita: 1,304 cu m/yr (2010)

Natural hazards

earthquakes in the south; mudslides around Almaty

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; 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, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note

world's largest landlocked country; Russia leases approximately 6,000 sq km of territory enclosing the Baykonur Cosmodrome; in January 2004, Kazakhstan and Russia extended the lease to 2050

People and Society


noun: Kazakhstani(s)

adjective: Kazakhstani

Ethnic groups

Kazakh (Qazaq) 63.1%, Russian 23.7%, Uzbek 2.9%, Ukrainian 2.1%, Uighur 1.4%, Tatar 1.3%, German 1.1%, other 4.4% (2009 est.)


Kazakh (official, Qazaq) 74% (understand spoken language), Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 94.4% (understand spoken language) (2009 est.)


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

Population 61/238

18,157,122 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 25.41% (male 2,294,513/female 2,319,233)

15-24 years: 15.33% (male 1,417,344/female 1,366,655)

25-54 years: 42.59% (male 3,768,418/female 3,965,188)

55-64 years: 9.49% (male 753,011/female 970,569)

65 years and over: 7.17% (male 448,857/female 853,334) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 50.3%

youth dependency ratio: 40.1%

elderly dependency ratio: 10.1%

potential support ratio: 9.9% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 30 years

male: 28.7 years

female: 31.3 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 107/233

1.14% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 91/224

19.15 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 86/225

8.21 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 73/222

0.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 53.2% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 0.86% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

Almaty 1.523 million; ASTANA (capital) 759,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 0.94 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.78 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.53 male(s)/female

total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

25 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 107/184

12 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 84/224

total: 20.92 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 23.63 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 18.39 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 152/224

total population: 70.55 years

male: 65.3 years

female: 75.46 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 92/224

2.31 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

51% (2010/11)

Health expenditures 157/191

4.3% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

3.62 physicians/1,000 population (2013)

Hospital bed density

7.2 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source


urban: 99.4% of population

rural: 85.6% of population

total: 92.9% of population


urban: 0.6% of population

rural: 14.4% of population

total: 7.1% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access


urban: 97% of population

rural: 98.1% of population

total: 97.5% of population


urban: 3% of population

rural: 1.9% of population

total: 2.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.19% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

20,300 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

500 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 74/191

23.5% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 100/138

3.7% (2011)

Education expenditures 138/173

3.1% of GDP (2009)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 15 years

female: 15 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 128/134

total: 3.9%

male: 2.9%

female: 5.1% (2012 est.)


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" derives 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"

Government type

republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch


name: Astana

geographic coordinates: 51.10° N, 71.25° E

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

note: Kazakhstan has two time zones

Administrative divisions

14 provinces (oblystar, singular - oblys) and 3 cities* (qalalar, singular - qala); Almaty (Taldyqorghan), Almaty*, Aqmola (Kokshetau), Aqtobe, Astana*, Atyrau, Batys Qazaqstan [West Kazakhstan] (Oral), Bayqongyr [Baykonur]*, Mangghystau (Aqtau), Ongtustik Qazaqstan [South Kazakhstan] (Shymkent), Pavlodar, Qaraghandy, Qostanay, Qyzylorda, Shyghys Qazaqstan [East Kazakhstan] (Oskemen), Soltustik Qazaqstan [North Kazakhstan] (Petropavl), Zhambyl (Taraz)

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


16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday

Independence Day, 16 December (1991)


previous 1937, 1978 (preindependence); latest adopted 28 January 1993, approved by referendum 30 August 1995, effective 5 September 1995; amended several times, last in 2011 (2015)

Legal system

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

International law organization participation

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


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


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Nursultan Abishuly NAZARBAYEV (chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 22 February 1990, elected president 1 December 1991)

head of government: Prime Minister Karim MASIMOV (since 2 April 2014); First Deputy Prime Minister Bakytzhan SAGINTAYEV (since 16 January 2013); Deputy Prime Minister Dariga NAZARBAYEVA (since September 2015)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 April 2015 (next to be held in 2020); prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president, approved by the Mazhilis; note - constitutional amendments in May 2007 shortened the presidential term from 7 to 5 years and established a 2-consecutive-term limit; NAZARBAYEV has official status as the "First President of Kazakhstan" and is allowed unlimited terms

election results: Nursultan Abishuly NAZARBAYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Nursultan Abishuly NAZARBAYEV (Nur Otan) 97.8%, other 2.2%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (47 seats; 32 members indirectly elected by majority two-round vote by the oblast-level assemblies and 15 members appointed by the president; members serve 6-year terms, with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years) and the Mazhilis (107 seats; 98 members directly elected in a single national constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms and 9 indirectly elected by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, a 350-member, presidentially appointed advisory body designed to represent the country's ethnic minorities)

elections: Senate - last held on 1 October 2014 (next to be held in 2017); Mazhilis - last held on 15 January 2012 (next to be held by November 2016)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Nur Otan 16; Mazhilis - percent of vote by party - Nur Otan 81%, Ak Zhol 7.5%, Communist People's Party 7.2%, other 4.3%; seats by party - Nur Otan 83, Ak Zhol 8, Communist People's Party 7

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of the Republic (consists of 44 members); Constitutional Council (consists of 7 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; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Council - the president of the republic, the Senate chairperson, the Majilis chairperson each appoints 1 member for a 3-year term and each appoints 1 member for a 6-year term; chairperson of the Constitutional Council appointed by the president of the republic for a 6-year term

subordinate courts: regional and local courts

Political parties and leaders

Ak Zhol (Bright Path) Party or Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Ak Zhol [Azat PERUASHEV]

Auyl National Patriotic Party [Ali BEKTAYEV] (Auyl is a September 2015 merger of the Patriots’ Party and the Auyl Social Democratic Party)

Birlik (Unity) [Seril SULTANGALI] (Birlik is an April 2013 merger of Adilet (Justice; formerly Democratic Party of Kazakhstan) and Rukhaniyat (Spirituality))

Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan [Vladislav KOSAREV]

National Social Democratic Party or NSDP [Zharmakhan TUYAKBAY]

Nur Otan (Radiant Fatherland) Democratic People's Party [Nursultan NAZARBAYEV] (the Agrarian, Asar, and Civic parties merged with Otan)

Political pressure groups and leaders

Adil-Soz [Tamara KALEYEVA]

Confederation of Free Trade Unions [Larissa KHARKOVA]

Foundation for Support of Civil Initiatives [Nurul RAKHIMBEK]

International Legal Initiative [Aina SHORMANBAYEVA]

Kazakhstan International Bureau on Human Rights [Yevgeniy ZHOVTIS, Chairman of Bureau's Council, Roza AKYLBEKOVA, director]

Legal Media Centre (sometimes known as the North Kazakhstan Legal Media Centre) [Diana OKREMOVA]

Public Foundation for Parliamentary Development [Zauresh BATTALOVA]

Republican Network of International Monitors [Daniyar LIVAZOV]

Transparency International [Sergey ZLOTNIKOV]

International organization participation


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; blue and yellow are the national colors

National symbol(s)

golden eagle; national colors: blue, yellow

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


Economy - overview

Kazakhstan, geographically the largest of the former Soviet republics, excluding Russia, possesses substantial fossil fuel reserves and other minerals and metals, such as uranium, copper, and zinc. It also has a large agricultural sector featuring livestock and grain. The government realizes that its economy suffers from an overreliance on oil and extractive industries so it has embarked on an ambitious diversification program, aimed at developing targeted sectors like transport, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, petrochemicals and food processing.

Kazakhstan is landlocked, with restricted access to the high seas, and it depends on Russia to export its oil to Europe. In 2010 Kazakhstan joined Russia and Belarus to establish a Customs Union in an effort to boost foreign investment and improve trade. The Customs Union evolved into a Single Economic Space in 2012 and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in January 2015.

The economic downturn in its EEU partner, Russia, and the decline in global commodity prices have contributed to the economic slowdown in Kazakhstan, which is experiencing its slowest economic growth since the financial crises of 2008-09. Kazakhstan devalued its currency, the tenge, by 19% in February 2014 and in November 2014, the government announced a stimulus package to cope with the economic challenges. In spring 2015, Kazakhstan embarked on an ambitious reform agenda to modernize its economy and improve its institutions. In the face of further decline in the ruble, oil prices, and the regional economic slowdown, Kazakhstan announced in August 2015 that it would cancel its currency band in favor of a floating exchange rate that sparked further devaluation of the tenge.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 43/230

$430.5 billion (2015 est.)

$424.1 billion (2014 est.)

$406.6 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$195 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 160/225

1.5% (2015 est.)

4.3% (2014 est.)

6% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 75/230

$24,700 (2015 est.)

$24,300 (2014 est.)

$23,300 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 30/179

27.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

26.6% of GDP (2014 est.)

24.3% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 56.1%

government consumption: 13.7%

investment in fixed capital: 24%

investment in inventories: 1.2%

exports of goods and services: 30.9%

imports of goods and services: -25.9%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 4.8%

industry: 35.3%

services: 59.9% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

grain (mostly spring wheat and barley), potatoes, vegetables, melons; livestock


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

Industrial production growth rate 151/202

0.8% (2015 est.)

Labor force 55/233

8.965 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 25.8%

industry: 11.9%

services: 62.3% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate 53/207

5% (2015 est.)

5% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

5.3% (2011 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.9%

highest 10%: 23.7% (2011 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 125/144

28.9 (2011)

31.5 (2003)


revenues: $34.1 billion

expenditures: $38.08 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 176/219

17.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 71/220

-2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 154/176

17.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

15.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 177/226

5.3% (2015 est.)

6.6% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 71/156

5.5% (31 December 2012)

7.5% (31 December 2011)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 75/184

10.9% (31 December 2015 est.)

7.24% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 78/192

$9.802 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$16.35 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 67/193

$52.89 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$56.49 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 61/191

$50.51 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$78.46 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 62/121

$23.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

$43.3 billion (31 December 2011)

$60.74 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 172/197

-$5.911 billion (2015 est.)

$4.643 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 54/224

$45.37 billion (2015 est.)

$80.28 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

oil and oil products, natural gas, ferrous metals, chemicals, machinery, grain, wool, meat, coal

Exports - partners

China 15.9%, Russia 12.1%, Germany 9.5%, France 8.5%, Italy 5.3%, Greece 5.3%, Romania 5% (2014)

Imports 63/223

$31.64 billion (2015 est.)

$43.58 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and equipment, metal products, foodstuffs

Imports - partners

Russia 32.2%, China 29%, Germany 5% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 50/170

$29.31 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$28.92 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 40/206

$157.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$149.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 38/120

$142.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$136.6 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 51/105

$33.46 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$31.46 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

tenge (KZT) per US dollar -

214.1 (2015 est.)

179.19 (2014 est.)

179.19 (2013 est.)

149.11 (2012 est.)

146.62 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 36/220

90.53 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 37/219

80.29 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 35/218

2.933 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 44/219

4.252 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 43/214

17.84 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 83/214

87.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 124/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 108/214

12.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 191/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 15/214

1.632 million bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 9/214

1.365 million bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 41/214

118,400 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 12/215

30 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 44/214

294,800 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 49/212

248,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 40/214

142,800 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 80/213

51,600 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 33/216

20.4 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 42/215

15.7 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 19/215

11.2 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 32/214

6.5 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 14/212

2.407 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 28/212

224.2 million Mt (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 39/219

total subscriptions: 4.34 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 24 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 45/217

total: 28 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 156 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: inherited an outdated telecommunications network from the Soviet era requiring modernization

domestic: intercity by landline and microwave radio relay; number of fixed-line connections is gradually increasing and fixed-line teledensity now roughly 25 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage has increased rapidly and the subscriber base now exceeds 140 per 100 persons

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 Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic cable; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (2008)

Broadcast media

state owns nearly all radio and TV transmission facilities and operates national TV and radio networks; nearly all nationwide TV networks are wholly or partly owned by the government; 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 (2015)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 60, FM 18, shortwave 9 (2008)

Television broadcast stations

12 (plus 9 repeaters) (1998)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 90/232

67,464 (2012)

Internet users 45/217

total: 10.6 million

percent of population: 59.3% (2014 est.)


Airports 59/236

96 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 63

over 3,047 m: 10

2,438 to 3,047 m: 25

1,524 to 2,437 m: 15

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 8 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 33

over 3,047 m: 5

2,438 to 3,047 m: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 13 (2013)


3 (2013)


condensate 658 km; gas 12,432 km; oil 11,313 km; refined products 1,095 km; water 1,465 km (2013)

Railways 18/136

total: 14,184 km

broad gauge: 14,184 km 1.520-m gauge (4,056 km electrified) (2014)

Roadways 46/223

total: 97,418 km

paved: 87,140 km

unpaved: 10,278 km (2012)

Waterways 25/107

4,000 km (on the Ertis (Irtysh) River (80%) and Syr Darya (Syrdariya) River) (2010)

Merchant marine 109/156

total: 11

by type: cargo 1, petroleum tanker 8, refrigerated cargo 1, specialized tanker 1

foreign-owned: 3 (Austria 1, Ireland 1, Turkey 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

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

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

Military and Security

Military branches

Kazakhstan Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Navy, Air Mobile Forces, Air Defense Forces (2013)

Military service age and obligation

18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 2 years, but Kazakhstan may be transitioning to a contract force; 19 is the legal minimum age for voluntary service; military cadets in intermediate (ages 15-17) and higher (ages 17-21) education institutes are classified as military service personnel (2012)

Military expenditures 81/132

1.21% of GDP (2012)

0.97% of GDP (2011)

1.21% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Kyrgyzstan has yet to ratify the 2001 boundary delimitation with Kazakhstan; field demarcation of the boundaries commenced with Uzbekistan in 2004 and with Turkmenistan in 2005; ongoing demarcation with Russia began in 2007; demarcation with China was completed in 2002; creation of a seabed boundary with Turkmenistan in the Caspian Sea remains under discussion; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the sea

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 7,038 (2014)

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; significant consumer of opiates