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Kazakhstan: Demographic Factors
Country Study > Chapter 3 > Population and Society > Demographic Factors


The birth rate, which is declining slowly, was estimated at 19.4 births per 1,000 population in 1994 Province, eleven per 1,000; and Almaty Province, 11.3 deaths per 1,000. The cause of nearly half of these deaths is cardiovascular disease.

Because of declining life expectancy and decreases in the size of the Russian population, which is demographically older and has a low birth rate, the republic's residents are a relatively young group; in 1991 there were only 149 pensioners per 1,000 population, as opposed to 212 per 1,000 in the former Soviet Union as a whole. The republic is experiencing a pronounced outflow of citizens, primarily non-Kazaks moving to other former Soviet republics. Although figures conflict, it seems likely that as many as 750,000 non-Kazaks left the republic between independence and the end of 1995. Official figures indicate that in the first half of 1994 some 220,400 people left, compared with 149,800 in the same period of 1993. In 1992 and 1993, the number of Russian emigrants was estimated at 100,000 to 300,000. Such out-migration is not uniform. Some regions, such as Qaraghandy, have lost as much as 10 percent of their total population, resulting in shortages of technicians and skilled specialists in that heavily industrial area.

To some extent, the outflow has been offset by in-migration, which has been of two types. Kazakhstan's government has actively encouraged the return of Kazaks from elsewhere in the former Soviet Union and from China and Mongolia. Unlike other ethnic groups, ethnic Kazaks are granted automatic citizenship. More than 60,000 Kazaks emigrated from Mongolia in 1991-94, their settlement -- or resettlement -- eased by government assistance. Most were moved to the northern provinces, where the majority of Kazakhstan's Russian population lives. Because these "Mongol Kazaks" generally do not know Russian and continue to pursue traditional nomadic lifestyles, the impact of their resettlement has been disproportionate to their actual numbers.

The other major source of in-migration has been non-Kazaks arriving from other parts of Central Asia to avoid inhospitable conditions; most of these people also have settled in northern Kazakhstan. Although officially forbidden and actively discouraged, this in-migration has continued. In a further attempt to control in-migration, President Nazarbayev decreed that no more than 5,000 families would be permitted to take up residence in the republic in 1996.

Data as of March 1996

Last Updated: March 1996

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Kazakhstan was first published in 1996. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 20 of 65


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