Quick Facts

  • Officially the Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Independence: 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
  • World’s largest landlocked country
  • Location: central Asia, northwest of China, a small portion west of the Ural River in eastern-most Europe
  • Area: 2,724,900 sq. km (slightly less than 4x the size of Texas)
  • Population: 18,157,122
  • Capital: Astana (pop. 759,000)
  • Largest city: Almaty (pop. 1.523 million)
  • 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 pains of western Siberia in the north to oases and desserts of Central Asia in the south
  • Ethnic groups: Kozakh 63.1%  Russian 23.7%, others
  • Official languages: Kazakh, Russian
  • Religions: Muslim 70.2%  Russian Orthodox 26.2%, others
  • Literacy rate: 99.8%
  • Economy: Energy is the leading economic sector. Kazakhstan possesses enormous fossil fuel reserves and plentiful supplies of other minerals and metals such as uranium, coper and zinc. Agricultural commodities include grain (7th largest producer in the world) and livestock. Because it is landlocked, Kazakhstan must rely on its neighbors to export its products especially oil and gas.
  • Kazakhstan is thought to be one of the places where the apple originated; it’s found wild in the mountains of southern Kazakhstan.
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com


Government in Power

  • A republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch
  • Chief of state: President Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev (since 1991) – elected by popular vote
  • Head of government: Prime Minister Karim Masimov (since 2014) – appointed by the president

Healthcare Statistics

  • Maternal mortality rate: 12/100,000
  • Infant mortality rate: 20.92/1,000
  • Life expectancy: 70.55 years
  • Health expenditures: 4.3% of GDP
  • Physicians density: 3.62/1,000 population
  • Hospital bed density: 7.2 beds/1,000
  • HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 0.19%
  • Children under the age of 5 underweight: 3.7%
  • Infectious disease updates:  http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field

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Area Agencies

Field Stories

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