Memos from Asia

Introduction to Kazakhstan – People, Capital, Language, and Religions

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People – Kazakhs

Kazakh family sits with a local instrument of Dombra, in Saty Village, Kazakhstan.

The majority of people in Kazakhstan are Kazakhs, which belong to the Turkic ethnicity group. The number of people accounts for 18,876,581 as of December 2020. It is 0,24% of the total number of people in the world. More people in Kazakhstan live in urban place compared to rural. The Republic of Kazakhstan is a multinational country as over 100 nationalities live in the country. The lowest population growth happened in 1997 when the growth rates fall to -1.45%. (Worldometers) The number of people in Kazakhstan is the highest in Central Asia only behind neighboring country Uzbekistan.

Nur-Sultan – Capital

The capital city of Kazakhstan is Nur-Sultan. The name of the capital city was Astana. It was renamed after the ex-president of Kazakhstan – Nursultan Nazarbaev. The beautiful city has many buildings in a style that you cannot find in other cities in the region.

The population of Nur-Sultan accounted for 1,165,983 people in August 2020. The density is 18 people per square mile. It is the second-largest city of Kazakhstan after the previous capital city Almaty.

Nur Sultan scored high results in global indices in safety. The city is safe for guests and tourists. However, it ranks poorly in terms of climate and purchasing power. (World’s Capital Cities)

Which languages are used in Kazakhstan?

Kazakh and Russian are the official languages of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan was a part of the Soviet Union, so even today the Russian language holds a strong position. The Russian is used equally with the Kazakh language. However, demographic changes and governmental attention improved the status of the Kazakh. Other languages such as English, Chinese, and Turkish are also becoming popular. (Science Direct)

Map of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is a country mainly located in the north of Central Asia. It shares borders with China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The area of the country is 2724.9 thousand square km. Kazakhstan republic is the 9th largest country in the world.

There are about 48,000 lakes and 7,000 rivers in the country. The Caspian Sea, the Aral Sea, and Balhash are the largest lakes in Kazakhstan. Irtysh, Ishim, and Syrdarya are among the major rivers in the Republic.

The largest cities in Kazakhstan are Nur-Sultan (Astana), Almaty, Karaganda, Shymkent, Taraz, and Pavlodar. Almaty is the previous capital city of Kazakhstan.

The territory of Kazakhstan is mainly composed of deserts and semi-deserts. The forests can be found in the northern parts of the country. (Visit Kazakhstan).

Main religions

The major religion in Kazakhstan in Islam. The last official survey of a population in 2009 showed that about 70% of people practice Islam. Most of them follow Hanafi School. Jews, Buddhists, Baha’is, and Scientologists in Kazakhstan make less than 5% of the population. (State Gov)

The number of people that practice Christianity is 26%. It is the highest percentage of all Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The majority of them are Russian Orthodox. Ethnic Kazakhs are Muslims, while ethnic Russian and Ukrainians in Kazakhstan are primarily Christians. (Kazakhstan Embassy)

According to the Pew-Templeton Forum, the number of Muslims in Kazakhstan projected to increase by about 7% and reach 77.4% of the population. However, Christianity is forecasted to constitute 18,4% of the population. (Global Religious Futures)

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