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Country Profile: Kazakhstan (Republic of Kazakhstan)

1. Geography
Area: 2,717,300 sq.km.; dominating Central Asia and trade routes between east and west. Much of the country is semi-desert.
Population: 16,222,563 in 2000; 16,492,359 in 2010; 17,698,360 in 2025
Capital: Astana (300,000 members)
Other major city: Almaty (1,200,000)

2. Peoples
Turkic/Altaic: 60.4%
Indo-European: 38.4%
Slav: 34.7%
Other: 3.7%
All others: 1.2%
Literacy: 97.5%
Official language: Kazakh

3. Economy
Enormous oil and mineral reserves, large grain producer. The move to a market economy has been hesitant. The socio-economic network has unravelled, forcing wage delays, service cutbacks and rising unemployment. Ecological disasters, such as the salt and toxic waste in the shrinking Aral Sea and radioactive fallout from USSR nuclear testing, have resulted in economic strain.

4. Politics
Declared independence after collapse of the USSR in 1991. The short-term failure of democratic capitalism led to an authoritarian backlash at which time the president strengthened his position. The current regime pursues a policy of market liberalization and moderate secularism and aims to strenghten Kazakh influence at all levels of government.

5. Religions
Muslim: 9,814,651 adherents (60.50% of population)
Christian: 4,000,484 adherents (24.66% of population)
Non-religious/other: 2,314,960 adherents (14.27% of population)
Buddhist: 81,113 adherents (0.50% of population)
Jewish: 6,489 adherents (0.04% of population)
Shamanist: 4,867 adherents (0.03% of population)
Churches: Russian Orthodox (839,161 members)
Ukrainian Uniate (34,965 members)
Ev Chr & Baptist (11,613 members)
Lutheran (23,952 members)
Pentecostal grps (8,000 members)
Armenian Apostolic (7,143 members)
Korean Presbyterian (4,000 members)
Seventh-day Adventist (3,149 members)
Unregistered Baptists (1,000 members)
Korean Baptist (1,600 members)
Catholic (2,300 members)
Mennonite (500 members)
Other denoms (28,416 members)

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