Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963855 | Print ISBN: 9781412941860 | Online ISBN: 9781412963855 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia with a western border on the Caspian Sea. Formerly a part of the Soviet Union, it is bordered on the north by Russia and on the south by Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. It shares an eastern border with China. At over 2.7 million square kilometers (over 1 million square miles), it is the largest state in Central Asia. More than two-thirds of the country is covered with desert and semi-arid steppes. Only 8 percent of the land is suitable for cultivation. Kazakhstan has abundant natural resources and ports on the Caspian Sea, but its economy has not yet found footing in the post-Soviet era. The population is 15,285,000 and growing at 0.352 percent annually. The birth rate is 16.23 per 1,000 and the death rate is 9.4 per 1,000. The country ...