Kazakhstan, the ninth-largest country in the world, covers an area greater than that of  all the other Central Asian countries added together. Much of Kazakhstan is flat, arid steppe, but the southeast is the home to forests and high mountains, and it was this region that was most important during the days of the Silk Road.

Kazakhstan at a glance

Official name: Republic of Kazakhstan

Capital city: Astana (population 835 000 people)

Other main towns: Almaty, Shymkent, Karaganda, Taraz

Population: 18,5 million (equivalent to 0.24% of the total world population)

Location: landlocked country of central Asia

Border Countries: Uzbekistan, China, Russia, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan

Area: 2 725 000 square kilometers

Climate: sharply continental. Dry, hot summers and very cold winters

Government: Presidential republic.

Life expectancy: men 68, women 75 years (World Life Expectancy ranking is 111)

Major exports: oiland oil productions 59%, ferrous metals 19%, chemicals 5%, machinery 3%, grain, wool, meat and cool.

Official language: Kazakh and Russian.

Unemployment: approx. 4,90 %

Religion: Islam (69% of the population), Russian Orthodox (26% of the population)

Currency: Kazakh tenge

International telephone code: +7

Time Zone: GMT +5

Electricity: 220 volts (50Hz) (one can use electric appliances in Kazakhstan, if the standard voltage in ones country is in between 220-240 volts— as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa)

Weights and measures: metric

Flag: a gold sun with 32 rays above a soaring golden steppe eagle, both centered on a sky blue field. The hoist side displays a national ornamental pattern “koshkar-muiz” (“the horns of the ram” in Kazakh) in gold

National anthem: “Meniń Qazaqstanym” (“My Kazakhstan” in Kazakh)

National sports Kupkari  (a game played between two teams, using a goat’s carcass to score points), kurash (traditional wrestling), football, judo, boxing and tae kwon do

Public holidays:

1 January: New Year’s Day

7 January: Orthodox Christmas Day

8 March: Women’s Day

21 March: Navruz, the Persian New Year

1 May: Kazakhstan People Solidarity (celebrates the unity of all people who live in Kazakhstan)

7 May: Defenders Day (Defenders of the Fatherland Land) 

9 May: Victory Day (for the veterans and martyrs of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945))

8 July: Capital City Day Holiday (Astana city became the capital of Kazakhstan on July 6, 1994)

30 August: Constitution Day (celebrates the constitution of 30 August, 1995)

2 December: First President’s Day (the first presidential election was held on 1 December, 1990)

16 December: Kazakhstan Independence Day(on 16 December of 1991, Kazakhstan gained its independence from Soviet Union)

16 December: Kazakhstan Independence Day(second day of Independence Day celebration)

8 December: Constitution Day (commemorating independence Uzbekistan’s first constitution)