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Kazakhstan flag
Republic of Kazakhstan
Qazaqstan Respublikasy
   Kazakhstan is the largest of the countries born from the ashes of the Soviet Union - excluding Russia - and is located in Central Asia, with no access to the sea; the westernmost part, beyond the Ural River (about 5% of the territory overall), is geographically part of Europe. The extension of this country is truly remarkable since it stretches from east to west for 3,000 km, and from north to south for 1,700 km; the dominant character of the landscape is the steppe extending from the Caspian Sea to Lake Balhas, some relevant mountain ranges are found on the eastern borders with Russia and China and near Kyrgyzstan.
Government type Presidential republic
Area 2,724,900 kmē (1,052,090 sq mi)
Population 19,186,000 inh. (2021 census)
Population 19,765,000 inh. (2023 est.)
Population density 7.3 inh/kmē (19 inh/miē)
Capital Astana (1,354,000 pop.)
Currency Kazakhstani tenge
Human development index 0.811 (56th place)
Languages Kazakh, Russian (both official)
Life expectancy M 66 years, F 74 years
Location in Asia


Russia NORTH and WEST
China EAST
Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan SOUTH


Largest cities
Almaty 2,162,000 pop., 2,242,000 urban aggl.
Astana 1,354,000 pop.
Shymkent 1,192,000 pop., 1,216,000 urban aggl.
Aqtobe 557,000 pop.
Karaganda 514,000 pop.
Taraz 426,000 pop.
Oskemen 352,000 pop.
Pavlodar 334,000 pop.
Atyrau 315,000 pop.
Semey 307,000 pop.
Highest mountains
Khan Tengri 7,010 m (22,999 ft)
Longest rivers
Irtysh 4,248 km (2,640 mi) total, 1,698 km (1,055 mi) in Kazakhstan
Ishim 2,450 km (1,522 mi) total, 1,400 km (870 mi) in Kazakhstan
Ural 2,428 km (1,509 mi) total, 1,082 km (672 mi) in Kazakhstan
Syr Darya 2,219 km (1,379 mi) total, 1,400 km (870 mi) in Kazakhstan
Largest lakes
Caspian Sea 371,000 kmē (143,244 sq mi) total, shared with Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran and Azerbaijan
Balhas 18,200 kmē (7,027 sq mi)
Lake Zaysan (semi-artificial) 5,000 kmē (1,931 sq mi), natural surface area was 1,800 kmē (695 sq mi)
South Aral Sea 3,500 kmē (1,351 sq mi), with the Uzbek portion
North Aral Sea 3,300 kmē (1,274 sq mi)
Alakol 2,200 kmē (849 sq mi)
Largest islands
Kulaly (in the Caspian Sea) 68 kmē (26 sq mi)


   Kazakhstan is administratively divided into 17 regions (three new ones were created in 2022, Abay, Jetisu and Ulytau), to which must be added the three city districts of Almaty, Astana and Shymkent, with the Baikonur Cosmodrome administered by Russia instead; the two regions of Aktobe and Karanganda are the largest, while as regards the number of inhabitants, the primacy belongs to Almaty City and Turkistan, both just over two million inhabitants.

   Three cities have more than 1 million inhabitants, in the order Almaty, the capital Astana and Shymkent; as can be seen from the second map, each region has at least one inhabited center with more than one hundred thousand inhabitants, with the exception of that of Ulytau.