Republic of Kazakhstan
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, effective from September 6.
Area: 1,049,155 sq. mi. (2,717,300 sq. km).
Population: 16,770,000 (2014E—UN); 17,948,816 (2014E—U.S. Census). Emigration of ethnic Russians, Germans, and Ukrainians after independence, coupled with a declining birth rate (the lowest in Central Asia), caused a net decrease from the 1989 total of 16,536,511 to 14,953,100 in 1999.
Major Urban Centers (2014): ASTANA (formerly Tselinograd and then Akmola, 814,401), Almaty (formerly Alma-Ata, 1,477,564). Formal transfer of the government from the former capital, Almaty, to Astana occurred in ...