Everything you need to know about Kazakhstan

(CNN Spanish) — This is a look at Kazakhstan, the largest economy in Central Asia and the ninth largest country in the world.

Basic data of Kazakhstan

(According to CIA World Factbook)

Surface: 2,724,900 square kilometers (it is the ninth largest country in the world)

Borders: China (1,765 km), Kyrgyzstan (1,212 km), Russia (7,644 km), Turkmenistan (413 km) and Uzbekistan (2,330 km)

Population: 19,245,793 (position 64 in the world)

Average age: 31.6 years

Capital: Nur-Sultan (former Astana)

Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world. In the photo the capital, Nur-saultan, former Astana. (Credit: Stanislav Filippov/Getty Images/File)

Ethnic groups: Kazakhs 68%, Russians 19.3%, Uzbeks 3.2%, Ukrainians 1.5%, Uighurs 1.5%, Tatars 1.1%, Germans 1%, other 4.4% (2019 estimate)

Religion: Muslim 70.2%, Christian 26.2% (mostly Russian Orthodox), other 0.2%, atheist 2.8%, unspecified 0.5% (2009 estimate)

Unemployment: 4.8% (2019 estimate)

Economy: Gross Domestic Product of US$475.18 billion (2020 estimate, by purchasing power parity), main sectors are mining and oil.

Other data

The Russian Empire conquered the territory of Kazakhstan in the 18th and 19th centuries, and since then the history of both countries has been intertwined.

Kazakhstan is the largest economy in Central Asiabased on its vast natural resources.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kazakhstan inherited a large number of Soviet nuclear warheads which it later transferred to Russia. In the years that followed, the country dismantled and destroyed its nuclear facilities and became pioneer of disarmament and non-proliferation.

The Soviet Union built in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, its main base for launching space rockets. The cosmodrome it continues to function and is essential to Russia’s space program, which currently leases that territory.

In Kazakhstan is the Baikonur Cosmodrome, operated by Russia.

Since its independence in 1991, Kazakhstan has been governed by only two presidents. Nursultan Nazarbayev ruled from 1991 to 2019, and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has ruled ever since.

Timeline: some important dates in the history of Kazakhstan

XV century – The first Kazakhs begin to settle in the region.

18th-19th centuries – The Kazakh steppe is conquered and incorporated into the Russian Empire.

1925 – Kazakhstan becomes a Soviet Socialist Republic within the Soviet Union.

December 16, 1991 – The country is makes independent from the Soviet Union and becomes known as the Republic of Kazakhstan.

December 25, 1991- The United States becomes the first country to to recognize the independence of Kazakhstan, and a month later open an embassy in Almaty, the then capital.

1992 – Kazakhstan signature the Collective Security Treaty, which will later give rise to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance led by Russia.

1997 – The capital is moved from Almaty to Astana (later renamed Nur-Sultan).

January 5, 2022 – A wave of protests over living conditions leads to the resignation of the government and the declaration of a state of emergency, as CSTO troops head to the Central Asian country to help quell unrest.

Political instability in Kazakhstan affects bitcoin 0:56

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