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Introduction: Ethnic 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-ethnic Kazakhs to outnumber natives. Independence in 1991 drove many of these newcomers to emigrate. Kazakhstan's economy...

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Economic Overview: Kazakhstan's economy has performed strongly over the last decade, powered by booming energy and minerals exports, and facilitated by some economic reform, foreign investment and (mostly) good harvests. According to the World Bank, Kazakhstan sustained an average annual GDP growth of 10 per cent from 2001 to 2007, which slowed during the Global Financial Crisis to 3.2 per cent in 2008 and 1.2 per cent in 2009. In 2010, there were signs of recovery with International Monetary Fund forecast GDP growth of 4 per cent and some private forecasts even higher. Kazakhstan's estimated nominal GDP per capita of US$8,108 for 2010 far exceeds those of its ...

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Government and Political Conditions: Kazakhstan is a constitutional republic with a strong presidency. It is divided into 14 oblasts and the two municipal districts of Almaty and Astana. Each is headed by an akim (provincial governor) appointed by the president. Municipal akims are appointed by oblast akims. The Government of Kazakhstan transferred its capital from Almaty to Astana on June 10, 1998.

The president ...

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History: Recent History

The Kazakh Republic was formed as an autonomous Republic within the Russian Federation in August 1920 and became a Republic of the Soviet Union in December 1936. Kazakhstan declared its independence on 16 December 1991 - the last Soviet Republic to do ...

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Until the arrival of Russians in the eighteenth century, the history of Kazakhstan was determined by the movements, conflicts, and alliances of Turkic and Mongol tribes. The nomadic tribal society of what came to be the Kazak people then suffered increasingly frequent incursions by the Russian Empire, ultimately being included in that empire and the Soviet Union that followed ...

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Area Handbook Series
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