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Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Total population (millions): 15
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 56%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 0.5%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km˛) : 2,724,900

Main Cities Population
Almaty 1 175 208
Symkent 513 110
Astana 510 533
Qaragandy 428 867
Taraz 327 911
Oskemen 294 507

Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Astana (GMT+6 ).

Official languages: Kazakh and Russian.
Business language: Russian.

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Religious practises : Sunni Muslims 45.6%
Christian orthodox 44.2%
Protestants 1.9%
Shiite Muslims 1.4%
Others 6.9%.

Political context

Kazakhstan is a Republic state based on parliamentary democracy but with an authoritarian presidential rule. Kazakhstan (official name: Republic of Kazakhstan) declared its independence in December 1991 subsequent to dissolution of the Soviet Union. President is the chief of state who is elected through a popular vote for a seven year term. President enjoys absolute executive powers.
President is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. President can initiate constitutional amendments, appoint and dismiss the government, dissolve Parliament and call referenda at his discretion. Prime Minister is the head of the government. Both Prime Minister and his Cabinet are appointed by the President.
The legislature in Kazakhstan is bicameral. The Parliament consists of: the upper house (Senate) having 39 seats; its members partly elected by the regions and partly appointed by the President to serve six-year terms; and the lower house having 77 seats; its members popularly elected to serve five-year terms. Both the members of the lower house and the government have the right of legislative initiative. Prime Minister cannot dissolve the parliament nor veto its enactment.The people of Kazakhstan have very limited political rights.
The constitution of Kazakhstan significantly constrains the independence of the judiciary, which is subservient to the executive branch. The main source of the law is the new constitution adopted through a national referendum in August 1995. The country’s legal system is based on the civil law system. Kazakhstan is a member of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). There are two judicial languages used in the country: Kazakh and Russian.
Kazakhstan is not ruled by law. Foreign nationals cannot be guaranteed an impartial trial from the country’s judicial system. There is widespread corruption in the country, particularly in government and corporate sector. Businesses are forced to pay bribes in order to deal with the government bureaucracy.

Major political parties

Kazakhstan is a one-party dominant state in the sense that only supporters of the President can share power. Opposition parties are allowed, but are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power. The major political parties in the country are:
- Otan (Fatherland)– nationalist and also the largest political party,
- DCK (Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan) – advocates rule of law, transparency & free-market economy,
- Communist Party of Kazakhstan – advocates communist ideology,
- Agrarian Party of Kazakhstan – draws support from agricultural & industrial workers.

Major political leaders

President: Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV (since December 1991, re-elected in 1999 and 2005) - Fatherland
Prime Minister: Karim MASIMOV (since January 2007) – appointed directly by the President - Fatherland

Next political election dates

Presidential: Year 2012
Upper House: Year 2011
Lower House: September 2009






Number of visitors in Kazakhstan 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 3,073 .. ..
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005


Tourist sites
Almaty: The Zenkov's cathedral is surrounded by the Panfilov park, the public central museum, and the Arasan baths. The picturesque valley of Medeo can be found at fifteen kilometres North of Almaty. Kazakhstan counts many other natural sites: Tamgaly (red rocks), the marble wall, the nature reserve of Aqsu-Zhabaghly.

For more information about tourism in Kazakhstan , check out the following web site(s) :


Traditional dishes
Besparman (meat, pasta and roasted onions)
Plov (meat, rice, carrots and garlic)
Pelmeni (ravioli)
Oriental candies
Koumys (fermented milk of mare).

Food-related taboos
Pork for Islamists and horse meat for Christians.

Last modified on December 2006

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