Photos of Kazakhstan

Introduction

Background

Ethnic Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes with additional Persian cultural influences, migrated to the region in the 15th century. The area was conquered by Russia in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1925. Repression and starvation associated with forced agricultural collectivization led to a massive number of deaths in the 1930s. During the 1950s and 1960s, the agricultural "Virgin Lands" program led to an influx of settlers (mostly ethnic Russians, but also other nationalities) and at the time of Kazakhstan’s independence in 1991, ethnic Kazakhs were a minority. 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 (from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and the Xinjiang region of China) back to Kazakhstan. As a result of this shift, the ethnic Kazakh share of the population now exceeds two-thirds.

Kazakhstan's economy is the largest in the Central Asian states, mainly due to the country's vast natural resources. Current issues include: diversifying the economy, obtaining membership in global and regional international economic institutions, enhancing Kazakhstan's economic competitiveness, and strengthening relations with neighboring states and foreign powers.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

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

total: 2,724,900 sq km

land: 2,699,700 sq km

water: 25,200 sq km

country comparison to the world: 10

Area - comparative

slightly less than four times the size of Texas

Land boundaries

total: 13,364 km

border countries (5): China 1765 km, Kyrgyzstan 1212 km, Russia 7644 km, Turkmenistan 413 km, Uzbekistan 2330 km

Coastline

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)

Climate

continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid

Terrain

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

Elevation

mean elevation: 387 m

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% (2018 est.)

arable land: 8.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 68.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 1.2% (2018 est.)

other: 21.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

20,660 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

most of the country displays a low population density, particularly the interior; population clusters appear in urban agglomerations in the far northern and southern portions of the country

Natural hazards

earthquakes in the south; mudslides around Almaty

Geography - note

world's largest landlocked country and one of only two landlocked countries in the world that extends into two continents (the other is Azerbaijan); 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

Nationality

noun: Kazakhstani(s)

adjective: Kazakhstani

Ethnic groups

Kazakh (Qazaq) 68%, Russian 19.3%, Uzbek 3.2%, Ukrainian 1.5%, Uighur 1.5%, Tatar 1.1%, German 1%, other 4.4% (2019 est.)

Languages

Kazakh (official, Qazaq) 83.1% (understand spoken language) and trilingual (Kazakh, Russian, English) 22.3% (2017 est.); Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 94.4% (understand spoken language) (2009 est.)

Religions

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

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.13% (male 2,438,148/female 2,550,535)

15-24 years: 12.97% (male 1,262,766/female 1,212,645)

25-54 years: 42.23% (male 3,960,188/female 4,102,845)

55-64 years: 10.25% (male 856,180/female 1,099,923)

65 years and over: 8.43% (male 567,269/female 1,041,450) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 58.8

youth dependency ratio: 46.3

elderly dependency ratio: 12.6

potential support ratio: 8 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 31.6 years

male: 30.3 years

female: 32.8 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 114

Birth rate

15.87 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 108

Death rate

8.14 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 83

Net migration rate

0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 70

Population distribution

most of the country displays a low population density, particularly the interior; population clusters appear in urban agglomerations in the far northern and southern portions of the country

Urbanization

urban population: 57.7% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 1.29% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

1.928 million Almaty, 1.212 million NUR-SULTAN (capital), 1.093 million Shimkent (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 0.94 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

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

25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

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

65 years and over: 0.54 male(s)/female

total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

28.5 years (2017 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

10 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 146

Infant mortality rate

total: 19.59 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 22.18 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 17.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 88

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 72.25 years

male: 67.12 years

female: 77.06 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 155

Contraceptive prevalence rate

53% (2018)

note: percent of women aged 18-49

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 93.8% of population

total: 97.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 6.2% of population

total: 2.6% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

3.98 physicians/1,000 population (2014)

Hospital bed density

6.1 beds/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99.9% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 99.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0.1% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

<500 (2019 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.8%

male: 99.8%

female: 99.8% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 16 years

male: 15 years

female: 16 years (2019)

Government

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

presidential republic

Capital

name: Nur-Sultan

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

etymology: on 20 March 2019, Kazakhstan changed the name of its capital city from Astana to Nur-Sultan in honor of its long-serving, recently retired president, Nursultan NAZARBAYEV; this was not the first time the city had its name changed; founded in 1830 as Akmoly, it became Akmolinsk in 1832, Tselinograd in 1961, Akmola (Aqmola) in 1992, and Astana in 1998

Administrative divisions

14 provinces (oblyslar, singular - oblys) and 4 cities* (qalalar, singular - qala); Almaty (Taldyqorghan), Almaty*, Aqmola (Kokshetau), Aqtobe, Atyrau, Batys Qazaqstan [West Kazakhstan] (Oral), Bayqongyr*, Mangghystau (Aqtau), Nur-Sultan*, Pavlodar, Qaraghandy, Qostanay, Qyzylorda, Shyghys Qazaqstan [East Kazakhstan] (Oskemen), Shymkent*, Soltustik Qazaqstan [North Kazakhstan] (Petropavl), Turkistan, 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 Baikonur space launch facilities and the city of Bayqongyr (Baikonur, formerly Leninsk); in 2004, a new agreement extended the lease to 2050

Independence

16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday

Independence Day, 16 December (1991)

Constitution

history: previous 1937, 1978 (preindependence), 1993; latest approved by referendum 30 August 1995, effective 5 September 1995

amendments: introduced by a referendum initiated by the president of the republic, on the recommendation of Parliament, or by the government; the president has the option of submitting draft amendments to Parliament or directly to a referendum; passage of amendments by Parliament requires four-fifths majority vote of both houses and the signature of the president; passage by referendum requires absolute majority vote by more than one half of the voters in at least two thirds of the oblasts, major cities, and the capital, followed by the signature of the president; amended several times, last in 2019

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

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

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state:  President Kasym-Zhomart TOKAYEV (since 20 March 2019); note - Nursultan NAZARBAYEV, who was president since 24 April 1990 (and in power since 22 June 1989 under the Soviet period), resigned on 20 March 2019; NAZARBAYEV retained the title and powers of "First President"; TOKAYEV completed NAZARBAYEV's term, which was shortened due to the early election of 9 June 2019, and then continued as president following his election victory 

head of government: Prime Minister Askar MAMIN (since 25 February 2019); First Deputy Prime Minister Alikhan SMAILOV (since 25 February 2019); Deputy Prime Ministers Berdibek SAPARBAYEV and Roman SKLYAR (since 18 September 2019) 

cabinet:  the president appoints ministers after consultations with the Chair of the Security Council (NAZARBAYEV) who has veto power over all appointments except for the ministers of defense, internal affairs, and foreign affairs; however, the president is required to discuss these three offices with the National Security Committee, which NAZARBAYEV chairs under a lifetime appointment 

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second consecutive term); election last held on 9 June 2019 (next to be held in 2024); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president, approved by the Mazhilis

election results: Kasym-Zhomart TOKAYEV elected president; percent of vote - Kassym-Jomart TOKAYEV (Nur Otan) 71%, Amirzhan KOSANOV (Ult Tagdyry) 16.2%, Daniya YESPAYEVA (Ak Zhol) 5.1%, other 7.7%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
Senate (49 seats; 34 members indirectly elected by majority 2-round vote by the oblast-level assemblies and 15 members appointed by decree of the president; members serve 6-year terms, with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years)
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 12 August 2020 (next to be held in 2026)
Mazhilis - last held on 10 January 2021 (next to be held in 2026)

election results:  
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 42, women 5, percent of women 10.6%
Mazhilis - percent of vote by party - Nur Otan 71.1%, Ak Zhol 11%, People's Party 9.1%, other 8.8%; seats by party - Nur Otan 76, Ak Zhol 12, People's Party 10

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court of the Republic (consists of 44 members); Constitutional Council (consists of the chairman and 6 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; judges normally serve until age 65 but can be extended to age 70; Constitutional Council - the president of the republic, the Senate chairperson, and the Mazhilis chairperson each appoints 2 members for a 6-year term; chairman of the Constitutional Council appointed by the president 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]
Birlik (Unity) Party [Serik SULTANGALI]
National Social Democratic Party or NSDP [Zharmakhan TUYAKBAY]
Nur Otan (Radiant Fatherland) Democratic People's Party [Nursultan NAZARBAYEV]
People's Democratic (Patriotic) Party "Auyl" [Ali BEKTAYEV]
People's Party of Kazakhstan [informal leader Aikyn KONUROV]
Ult Tagdyry (Conscience of the Nation)

International organization participation

ADB, CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAEU, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EITI (compliant country), FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UN Security Council (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer), ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Yerzhan KAZYKHANOV (since 24 April 2017)

chancery: 1401 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 232-5488

FAX: [1] (202) 232-5845

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador William MOSER (since 27 March 2019)

telephone: [7] (7172) 70-21-00

embassy: Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Ave. No 3, Astana 010010

mailing address: use embassy street address

FAX: [7] (7172) 54-09-14

consulate(s) general: Almaty

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

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

Economic overview

Kazakhstan's vast hydrocarbon and mineral reserves form the backbone of its economy. Geographically the largest of the former Soviet republics, excluding Russia, Kazakhstan, g 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 and has made initial attempts to diversify its economy by targeting sectors like transport, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, petrochemicals and food processing for greater development and investment. It also adopted a Subsoil Code in December 2017 with the aim of increasing exploration and investment in the hydrocarbon, and particularly mining, sectors.

Kazakhstan's oil production and potential is expanding rapidly. A $36.8 billion expansion of Kazakhstan’s premiere Tengiz oil field by Chevron-led Tengizchevroil should be complete in 2022. Meanwhile, the super-giant Kashagan field finally launched production in October 2016 after years of delay and an estimated $55 billion in development costs. Kazakhstan’s total oil production in 2017 climbed 10.5%.

Kazakhstan is landlocked and depends on Russia to export its oil to Europe. It also exports oil directly to China. 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 (EAEU) in January 2015. Supported by rising commodity prices, Kazakhstan’s exports to EAEU countries increased 30.2% in 2017. Imports from EAEU countries grew by 24.1%.

The economic downturn of its EAEU partner, Russia, and the decline in global commodity prices from 2014 to 2016 contributed to an economic slowdown in Kazakhstan. In 2014, Kazakhstan devalued its currency, the tenge, and announced a stimulus package to cope with its economic challenges. In the face of further decline in the ruble, oil prices, and the regional economy, Kazakhstan announced in 2015 it would replace its currency band with a floating exchange rate, leading to a sharp fall in the value of the tenge. Since reaching a low of 391 to the dollar in January 2016, the tenge has modestly appreciated, helped by somewhat higher oil prices. While growth slowed to about 1% in both 2015 and 2016, a moderate recovery in oil prices, relatively stable inflation and foreign exchange rates, and the start of production at Kashagan helped push 2017 GDP growth to 4%.

Despite some positive institutional and legislative changes in the last several years, investors remain concerned about corruption, bureaucracy, and arbitrary law enforcement, especially at the regional and municipal levels. An additional concern is the condition of the country’s banking sector, which suffers from poor asset quality and a lack of transparency. Investors also question the potentially negative effects on the economy of a contested presidential succession as Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan NAZARBAYEV, turned 77 in 2017.

Real GDP growth rate

6.13% (2019 est.)

4.41% (2018 est.)

4.38% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 27

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

5.2% (2019 est.)

6% (2018 est.)

7.3% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 184

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BBB (2016)

Moody's rating: Baa3 (2016)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB- (2016)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$487.868 billion (2019 est.)

$466.859 billion (2018 est.)

$448.472 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 43

GDP (official exchange rate)

$181.194 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$26,351 (2019 est.)

$25,544 (2018 est.)

$24,863 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 78

Gross national saving

26.6% of GDP (2019 est.)

27.8% of GDP (2018 est.)

25.9% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 55

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 4.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 34.1% (2017 est.)

services: 61.2% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 53.2% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.1% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 22.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 4.8% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 35.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -27.1% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 79.6 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 94.4 (2020)

Trading score: 70.4 (2020)

Enforcement score: 81.3 (2020)

Agricultural products

wheat, milk, potatoes, barley, watermelons, melons, linseed, onions, maize, sunflower seed

Industries

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

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 18.1%

industry: 20.4%

services: 61.6% (2017 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4.2%

highest 10%: 23.3% (2016)

Budget

revenues: 35.48 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 38.3 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

20.8% of GDP (2017 est.)

19.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 187

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$7.206 billion (2019 est.)

-$138 million (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 189

Exports

$76.455 billion (2019 est.)

$74.809 billion (2018 est.)

$68.256 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 54

Exports - partners

China 13%, Italy 12%, Russia 10%, Netherlands 7%, France 6%, South Korea 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, copper, iron alloys, radioactive chemicals (2019)

Imports

$69.117 billion (2019 est.)

$61.933 billion (2018 est.)

$58.099 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 55

Imports - partners

Russia 34%, China 24% (2019)

Imports - commodities

packaged medicines, natural gas, cars, broadcasting equipment, aircraft (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$30.75 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$29.53 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

Debt - external

$159.351 billion (2019 est.)

$163.73 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 46

Exchange rates

tenge (KZT) per US dollar -

420.0049 (2020 est.)

385.9248 (2019 est.)

370.4648 (2018 est.)

221.73 (2014 est.)

179.19 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 3,275,584

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17.31 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 39

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 26,223,595

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 138.58 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: one of the most progressive telecoms sectors in Central Asia; vast 4G network; low fixed-line and fixed-broadband penetration, moderate mobile broadband penetration and high mobile penetration; mobile market highly competitive and slow growth due to saturation (2020)

domestic: intercity by landline and microwave radio relay; number of fixed-line connections is 17 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage increased rapidly and the subscriber base approaches 139 per 100 persons (2019)

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 TAE fiber-optic cable; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media

the state owns nearly all radio and TV transmission facilities and operates national TV and radio networks; there are 96 TV channels, many of which are owned by the government, and 4 state-run radio stations; 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; broadcasts reach some 99% of the population as well as neighboring countries

Internet users

total: 14,789,448

percent of population: 78.9% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 44

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 2,462,900

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 12 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 84

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 7,143,797 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 50.22 million mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 63 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 10 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 25 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 15 (2017)

914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2017)

under 914 m: 8 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 33 (2013)

over 3,047 m: 5 (2013)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2013)

under 914 m: 13 (2013)

Heliports

3 (2013)

Pipelines

658 km condensate, 15,256 km gas (2017), 8,013 km oil (2017), 1,095 km refined products, 1,975 km water (2016) (2017)

Railways

total: 16,614 km (2017)

broad gauge: 16,614 km 1.520-m gauge (4,200 km electrified) (2017)

country comparison to the world: 18

Roadways

total: 95,409 km (2017)

paved: 81,814 km (2017)

unpaved: 13,595 km (2017)

country comparison to the world: 51

Waterways

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

country comparison to the world: 25

Merchant marine

total: 128

by type: general cargo 3, oil tanker 8, other 117 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 79

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 and security forces

Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan: Land Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Force; Ministry of Internal Affairs: National Guard, Border Service (includes Coast Guard), State Security Service (2020)

Military expenditures

1.1% of GDP (2019)

0.9% of GDP (2018)

0.9% of GDP (2017)

0.9% of GDP (2016)

1.1% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 122

Military and security service personnel strengths

estimates of the size of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan vary; approximately 45,000 active duty personnel (30,000 Army; 3,000 Navy; 12,000 Air and Air Defense) (2020)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Kazakh military's inventory is comprised of mostly older Russian and Soviet-era equipment; since 2010, Russia remains by far the leading supplier of weapons systems (2020)

Military deployments

120 Lebanon (UNIFIL) (Jan 2021)

Note: Kazakhstan contributes forces to CSTO's Rapid Reaction Force

Military service age and obligation

All men 18-27 are required to serve in the military for at least one year. (2019)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

in January 2019, the Kyrgyz Republic ratified the demarcation agreement of the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border; the demarcation of the Kazakh-Uzbek borders is ongoing; the ongoing demarcation with Russia began in 2007; demarcation with China completed in 2002

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 8,386 (2019)

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