Kazakhstan Travel Information

Photo Welcome to the Kazakhstan. Reaching from the Caspian Sea to China and from Siberia to the Tian Shan Mountains, Kazakhstan is more than twice as big as the four other former Soviet Central Asian republics put together and is roughly half the size of mainland USA. It's the least densely populated area in Central Asia and, potentially, the most mineral rich.

PEOPLE AND HISTORY

The majority of Kazakhstanis are ethnic Kazakh; other ethnic groups include Russian, Ukrainian, Uzbek, German, and Uyghur. Religions are Sunni Muslim, Russian Orthodox, Protestant, and other. Kazakhstan is a bilingual country. The Kazakh language has the status of the "state" language, while Russian is declared the "official" language. Russian is used routinely in business; 64.4% of the population speaks the Kazakh language. Education is universal and mandatory through the secondary level, and the literacy rate is 98.8%.

ECONOMY

Kazakhstan's economy grew by 9.2% in 2003, buoyed by high world oil prices. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 9.5% in 2002; it grew 13.2% in 2001, up from 9.8% in 2000. Kazakhstan's monetary policy has been well managed. Its principal challenges in 2002 were to manage strong foreign currency inflows without sparking inflation.

U.S.-KAZAKHSTAN RELATIONS

The United States was the first country to recognize Kazakhstan, on December 25, 1991, and opened its Embassy in Almaty in January 1992. In the years since Kazakhstan's independence, the two countries have developed a wide-ranging bilateral relationship. The current Ambassador is Larry C. Napper, who assumed his post in September 2001.

Important: Travel to Kazakhstan may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Kazakhstan visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Republic of Kazakhstan
Capital city: Astana
Area: 2,724,900 sq km
Population: 17,522,010
Ethnic groups: Kazakh
Languages: Kazakh
Religions: Muslim 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestant 2%, other 7%
Government: republic
Chief of State: President Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV
Head of Government: Prime Minister Serik AKHMETOV
GDP: 216.8 billion
GDP per captia: 13,000
Annual growth rate: 7.5%
Inflation: 8.3%
Agriculture: grain
Major industries: oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, uranium, iron and steel
Natural resources: major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium
Location: Central Asia, northwest of China
Trade Partners - exports: China 21.7%, France 9.4%, Germany 8.3%, Russia 5.3%, Italy 5.2%, Canada 4.5%, Romania 4.5%
Trade Partners - imports: China 30.1%, Russia 20%, Germany 7.4%, Ukraine 5%