Republic of Kazakhstan

Qazaqstan Respublikasy

Political Status: Entered the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic as autonomous republic on August 26, 1920; became constituent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on December 5, 1936; declared independence on December 16, 1991; current constitution approved by referendum of August 30, 1995, with effect from September 6.

Area: 1,049,155 sq. mi. (2,717,300 sq. km.).

Population: 14,953,100 (1999C); 14,886,000 (2004E). Emigration of ethnic Russians, Germans, and Ukrainians after independence, coupled with a declining birth rate (the lowest in Central Asia), has resulted in a net decrease from the de facto 1989 total of 16,536,511.

Major Urban Centers (1999C): ASTANA (formerly Tselinograd and then Akmola, 313,000), Almaty (formerly Alma-Ata, 1,129,400). Formal transfer of the government from the former capital, Almaty, to Astana occurred on ...

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