Kazakhstan Country Overview
Where is Kazakhstan located? Kazakhstan is a country located mostly in Central Asia but also has a portion in Eastern Europe. Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world. On the time zone map of the world, countries are divided into world time zones along the lines of longitude. The allocation to a specific time zone defines the extent of the time shift from the official world time (also called UTC). Two time zones can be found in Kazakhstan because of its geographical spread. In the region where “Western Kazakhstan Standard Time” applies, the regional time is 5 hours ahead of the world clock (UTC +5) and in “Eastern Kazakhstan Standard Time” 6.
As of 2023, the latest population of Kazakhstan is 19,091,949, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||0.89%|
|Birth rate||18.10 births per 1,000 people|
|65 years and above||7.90%|
|Median age||30.00 years|
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)||0.92|
|Population density||7.01 residents per km²|
|63.1% Kazakhs, 23.7% Russians, 2.8% Uzbeks, 2.1% Ukrainians, 1.4% Uyghurs, 1.3% Tatars, 1.1% Germans; 4.5% Chechens, Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Kyrgyz, Greeks, Koreans, Turks and others|
|Muslims 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestants 2%, others 7%|
|Human Development Index (HDI)||0.817|
|HDI ranking||50th out of 194|
People in Kazakhstan
18.3 million people live in Kazakhstan. 55 out of 100 live in the city. The proportion of city dwellers is increasing. The population consists mainly of Kazakhs (65 out of 100) and Russians (22 out of 100).
Uzbeks (3 out of 100), Ukrainians (2 out of 100), Uyghurs (1.4 percent), Tatars (1.2 percent) and Germans (1.1 percent) are minorities. 50 ethnic groups live in the country. Many did not come to Kazakhstan voluntarily, but were deported to Kazakhstan during the reign of dictator Stalin, often to work in labor camps there.
The Kazakhs themselves are a people of Turkic origin and used to live mostly as nomads. They roamed the country with their herds of cattle and lived on the income that was left over from keeping the animals.
One fifth of the country’s population are Russians. They live mainly in the north and east of the country. Incidentally, “Kazakhs” only refer to those who were not only born in Kazakhstan, but also belong to the Kazakh people. All other citizens are correctly described as “Kazakhstan”. This can also be Russians or Germans who live in Kazakhstan but whose ancestors come from other countries.
Low population growth rate
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan’s population declined. Many people left the country because they did not know what to expect in the future. Especially Russians and Germans turned their backs on Kazakhstan to find a home in the homeland of their ancestors. There are only seven residents per square kilometer in Kazakhstan. The population density is one of the lowest in the world. In the meantime, however, the population is growing again.
What are Russian Germans?
Perhaps you will meet someone in Germany who is from Kazakhstan. It’s not that rare. During the time of the Soviet Union, many Germans, most of whom lived on the Volga, were forcibly resettled from Russia. Namely to Kazakhstan. These so-called “Russian Germans” had only limited rights in the former Soviet Union. They were also not allowed to speak German. At the end of the 1980s, many Kazakh Germans emigrated to Germany. The designation “Russian Germans” can be misunderstood, correctly it concerns people with German ancestors who came back to Germany from Russia (or Kazakhstan). They see themselves less as Russians than as Germans.
Languages in Kazakhstan
The national language is Kazakh and, in addition to Kazakh, Russian is the official language in government organizations and administration. More people in Kazakhstan speak Russian than Kazakh. There are schools that teach in Russian, but also schools that speak Kazakh. In the north, more people speak Russian as this is where most of the Russians live.
The land of the Kazakhs
The name of Kazakhstan means translates to “land of the Kazakhs”. The name Kazakh comes from the Turkic languages. You can translate it as “steppe rider” or “independent”. It refers to the great freedoms that the Kazakhs used to enjoy in their vast steppe country. There they roamed the country with their herds of cattle as independent nomads.
Religions in Kazakhstan
Most of the Kazakhs belong to Sunni Islam, there are also Russian Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Christians, the Jewish religion and other religious communities. The predominant religion are Islam and Orthodox Christianity.