|Official name: Republic of Kazakhstan
Short form: Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is situated in Central Asia, deep in the Eurasian continent. It stretches on from the low reaches of the Volga river in the West to the foothills of the Altai mountains in the East - for some 3,000 km (a distance that spans two time zones), from West Siberian lowland in the North to the desert of Kyzylkum and the mountain range of Tien Shan in the South for some 2,000 km.
The northernmost point in Kazakhstan - 55བ'' NL - corresponds to the southern latitude of the central part of the East-European plain and to the southern part of the British Isles (the latitude of Moscow). As to the southernmost point - 40ུ'' NL - it corresponds to latitudes of Transcaucasis and Mediterranean countries of Southern Europe (the latitude of Madrid, Istanbul and Baku).
Kazakhstan occupies 2.724.900 sq km (i.e. 1.049.150 sq miles) thus being the 9th largest country of the world after Russian Federation, Canada, People's Republic of China, the U.S., Brazil, Australia, India and Argentine. Kazakhstan is also the biggest landlocked country in the world.
The Kazakhstan's position in the center of the Eurasian continent is its distinctive feature, and is reflected in the entire physical and geographical make-up of the territory, its hydro-geography, and its plant and animal life.
The highest elevation is Khan Tengri Mountain in the Tian Shan range, is 6,995 meters
The lowest point is Karagiye hollow in the Caspian Depression in the west, is 132 meters below sea level.
Territory of Kazakhstan, located between two different regions of Eurasia - Central Asia and Siberia, is affected by torrid south and cold north air masses. That is why the basic feature of Kazakhstan climate is its sharp continentality and differentiated distribution of precipitation. In the north, the average temperature in summer reaches 18C (64.4F), and 30C (86F) in the south. In winter it varies from minus 20C (-4F) in the north to minus 1C (30.2F) in the south. Minimum winter temperature may drop to minus 45o C, maximum summer temperature climb up to 43o C. The average precipitation varies from 50 mm in arid regions of the country up to 1500 mm in the foothills. In one year 200 to 300 days are sunny.
Total length is 13,393 km.
The borderline between Kazakhstan and Russia - 7,591 km - is the longest land border in the world. Kazakhstan also borders China to the east for 1,783 km, to the south - Turkmenistan for 426 km, Uzbekistan for 2,351 km. and Kyrgyzstan for 1,242 km. Kazakhstan has long coastline - it borders the Aral Sea, now split into two bodies of water, for 1,070 km, and the Caspian Sea for 1,894 km.
Population: 16,675,392 people (January 2012, est.); density is 5,6 people per 1 km. Proportion of urban population is 56.8%, while rural population makes up 43.2%. The birth rate in 2007 was 16,44 per 1000 residents while the mortality rate reached 9,39 per 1000 residents.
Official language is Kazakh, which belongs to the Turk language family. Russian is the language of interethnic communication and is widely used in everyday life. Languages of different ethnic groups are spoken and understood in the places of their habitation.
There are over 100 nationalities: Kazakh 53,4%, Russian 30%, Other: Ukrainian 3,7%, Uzbek 2,5%, German 2,4%, Tatar 1,7 %, Uigur 1,4%, Byelorussian 0,7%, Korean 0,7%, etc. (According to the last population census in 1999).
Kazakhstan is officially a secular state, but Sunni Islam is the major religion (47% of believers). Russian Orthodox Church is the dominant Christian church (44%). There are also Protestant (2%), Roman Catholic (1%) and other communities.
Administratively Kazakhstan is comprised of 14 oblasts and 2 cities of republican subordination. In 1994 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 (Baykonyr, formerly Leninsk). This agreement was further prolonged untill 2050 during the official visit of President Vladimir Putin to Kazakhstan on 9 Januray 2004.
Astana (formerly Akmola) is a capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan since October 20, 1997. It is located in the center of Kazakhstan, with the population of 600,200 people (December 1, 2007).
The largest city of Kazakhstan is Almaty (former capital), where 1129,4 thousands residents live, remains the country’s important business and cultural center. The cities where population is more than 500,000 residents are Karaganda, Shymkent, Taraz, Ust Kamenogorsk, Pavlodar; the cities with population of to 300,000 people are Semei, Aktobe, Kostanai, Petropavlovsk; and those to 200,000 residents are Uralsk, Temirtau, Atyrau, Kyzylorda, Aktau, Ekibastuz, Kokshetau, Rudnyi. Other cities have population less than 100,000 people.
Type of government:
Kazakhstan is a constitutional republic with strong presidency.
The constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan was adopted by national referendum on 30 August 1995; first post-independence constitution was adopted on 28 January 1993.
Head of State: President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Government: The Government of Kazakhstan consists of Prime-Minister, three Deputy Prime-Ministers and 17 ministers and is responsible before the Parliament.
Head of the Government: Prime Minister Karim Masimov (sinceJanuary 2007)
The Parliament consists of two Chambers: Senate and Mazhilis acting on a constant basis.
Senate is formed by the deputies elected on two persons from each region, cities of the republican importance and capitals of the Republic of Kazakhstan on a joint meeting of the deputies of all representative bodies according to the region, city of the republican importance and capital of the Republic. Seven deputies are designated by the President of the Republic for the term of Senate authorities. The half of elected Senate deputies is re-elected each three years. The term of authorities of the Senate deputies is six years.
The Chair person leading the Chamber, elected by the Senate from the number of deputies with a fluent speaking state language, and by the secret voting majority from the total number of deputies of the Chamber. The candidature on a post of the Chair person of Senate is nominated by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Mazhilis consists of seventy seven deputies. Sixty seven deputies are elected on one-mandate territorial electoral district formed with taking into account administrative-territorial division of the Republic and with approximately equal number of the voters. Ten deputies are elected on the basis of party tickets on a system of proportional representation and on a territory of united national electoral district. The term of authorities of the Mazhilis deputies is five years. The Chair person leading the Chamber, elected by the Mazhilis from the number of deputies with a fluent speaking state language, and by the secret voting majority from the total number of deputies of the Chamber. The candidature on a post of the Chair person of the Mazhilis is nominated by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (44 members); Constitutional Council (7 members)
'Tenge' (KZT) was introduced on 15 November 1993.
1 Tenge = 100 tyin
1 USD = 147 KZT (approx. Dec 2011)
Main Zone: GMT + 6