Kazakhstan - At a glance


Oskemen Mosque Kazakhstan by 3DMart, Shutterstock
Kazakhstan is brimming with stunning mosques, such as here in Oskemen © 3DMart, Shutterstock

Kazakhstan at a glance

Location The northern part of central Asia, at the heart of the Eurasian landmass

Neighbouring countries Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan

Area 2,724,900km2

Climate Extreme continental

Status Republic

Population Approximately 18 million (2017)

Life expectancy (average) 70 years (2016)

Capital Astana (population approximately 973,000)

Other main towns Almaty, Karaganda, Shymkent, Pavlodar, Taraz, Oskemen

Major exports Oil and gas, a wide range of minerals (including copper, lead, zinc, chromium, uranium, gold), steel, wheat

GDP (PPP) Approximately US$136 billion (2016); GDP (PPP) per capita approximately US$7,000

Official language Kazakh. Russian also recognised as the ‘language of interethnic communication’.

Religion (Sunni) Islam predominates, with a large Russian Orthodox minority

Currency Tenge (T)

Exchange rate £1 = T448; US$1 = T319; €1 = T393 (April 2018)

National airline Air Astana

International telephone code +7

Time UTC (GMT) +5 in the western regions of Atyrau, Mangistau, West Kazakhstan and Aktobe; UTC +6 in the rest of Kazakhstan

Electrical voltage 220V AC (50Hz)

Weights and measures Metric

Flag A golden sun in the centre, beneath which flies a golden steppe eagle, against a sky blue background. A golden pattern running down the left-hand side represents artistic forms associated with the Kazakh Khanate. Adopted 1992.

National anthem ‘Menin Kazakhstanym’ (‘My Kazakhstan’)

National sports Football, ice hockey, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, cycling, gymnastics and chess are all popular. Traditional games on horseback, such as kokpar, played with a goat’s carcass, are being encouraged.

Public holidays 1–2 January (New Year); 7 January (Russian Orthodox Christmas); 8 March (International Women’s Day); 22 March (Nauryz spring holiday); 1 May (Kazakhstan People’s Unity Day); 9 May (Victory Day); 30 August (Constitution Day); 25 October (Republic Day); 16 December (Independence Day); Islamic Festival of Kurban Ait (dates determined by lunar calendar)

Back to the top

Kazakhstan articles

View all

A walking tour of Almaty

Discover what not to miss on a visit to Almaty with our walking tour of the city. 

Read more...

Six reasons to visit Kazakhstan

Stretching from Tian Shan's and Altai's snow-capped peaks across great expanses of steppe to the Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan has much to offer.

Read more...

The otherworldly architecture of Astana

The Kazakh capital is home to some of the most bizarre buildings in the world. 

Read more...

Related guides and other books

View all