Kazakhstan facts for kids
|Republic of Kazakhstan
|Official languages||Kazakh (1st official language)
Russian (2nd official language)
|Ethnic groups||(2009 census)
|-||Prime Minister||Bakhytzhan Sagintayev|
|Independence from the Soviet Union|
|-||Alash Autonomy||December 13, 1917|
|-||Kazakh SSR||December 5, 1936|
|-||Declared||December 16, 1991|
|-||Finalized||December 25, 1991|
|-||Total||2,724,900 km2 (9th)
1,052,085 sq mi
|-||2011 estimate||16,600,000 (62nd)|
|GDP (PPP)||2011 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2011 estimate|
|HDI (2010)|| 0.714
high · 66th
|Currency||Tenge () (KZT)|
|Time zone||West/East (UTC+5/6)|
|Drives on the||right|
|Calling code||+7-6xx, +7-7xx|
Kazakhstan is a country in the middle of Eurasia. Its official name is the Republic of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is the ninth biggest country in the world, and it is also the biggest landlocked country in the world. Before the end of the Soviet Union, it was called "Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic". The president of the country since 1991 is called Nursultan Nazarbayev. Astana is the capital city of Kazakhstan. Almaty was the capital until 1998, when it moved to Astana.
The Kazakh language is the native language, but Russian has equal official status for all administrative and institutional purposes. Islam is the religion of about 70% of the population, with Christianity practiced by 26%; Russia leases (rents) the land for the Baykonur Cosmodrome (site of Russian spacecraft launches) from Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan has borders with the Russian Federation in the north and west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the southwest, and China in the far east. There is a point of contact with Mongolia in the far east and, for the most part, it has Siberia to the north (which, of course, is part of Russia). Russia therefore has the longest border with Kazakhstan. Basically, Kazakhstan runs from the Caspian Sea in the west to the mainly Muslim Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang.
Kazakhstan has plenty of petroleum, natural gas, and mining. It attracted over $40 billion in foreign investment since 1993 and accounts for some 57% of the nation's industrial output. According to some estimates, Kazakhstan has the second largest uranium, chromium, lead, and zinc reserves, the third largest manganese reserves, the fifth largest copper reserves, and ranks in the top ten for coal, iron, and gold. It is also an exporter of diamonds. Kazakhstan has the 11th largest proven reserves of both petroleum and natural gas.
Kazakhstan is divided into 14 provinces. The provinces are divided into districts.
Almaty and Astana cities have the status of State importance and are not in any province. Baikonur city has a special status because it is currently being leased to Russia with Baikonur cosmodrome until 2050.
Each province is headed by an Akim (provincial governor) appointed by the president. Municipal Akims are appointed by province Akims. The Government of Kazakhstan moved its capital from Almaty to Astana on December 10, 1997.
Images for kids
Artistic depiction of medieval Taraz situated along the Silk Road
Ablai Khan served as khan of the Middle jüz from 1771 to 1781
A"Kazakhstan 2030", billboard promoting the president's economic plan, 2008, Almaty
Baikonur Cosmodrome is the world's oldest and largest operational space launch facility
Kazakhstan's capital, Astana
Aktau is Kazakhstan's only seaport on the Caspian Sea
Riders in traditional dress demonstrate Kazakhstan's equestrian culture
Nik Antropov, a professional ice hockey player from Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.