Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world, equivalent in area to Western Europe (2,724,900 km²). It is also the world’s largest landlocked state, bordered by the inland Caspian Sea. Approximately 94.5% of the country’s territory is located in Asia, and 5.5% in Europe (about 148,000 km²), which is comparable to the territory of Greece (131,957 km²).



The total length of Kazakhstan’s land borders is 13,200 km. The country shares borders (clockwise) with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Kazakhstan’s 7,591 km land border with Russia is the world’s second longest (after the U.S.-Canada border) and the longest continuous border. This distance is roughly equivalent to the distance on a straight axis from New York to Istanbul (8,069 km).

From north to south, Kazakhstan stretches 1,700 km, and from east to west, it extends more than 3,000 km.


Kazakhstan has a population of more than 20 million. The population density is 7.3 people per km².

The majority ethnic group is Kazakhs, comprising more than 70% of the population. The remaining 30% includes Russians (15.2%), Uzbeks (3.3%), Ukrainians (1.9%), Uighurs (1.4%), Germans (1.2%), Tatars (1.1%), Azerbaijanis (0.8%), Koreans (0.6%), Turks (0.5%), Belarusians (0.4%), Kyrgyz (0.2%), Poles (0.2%), Armenians (0.1%), and other groups. In total, there are more than 120 ethnic groups in the country.


The largest cities, with the status of national significance, are the capital of Astana (1,437,000 people), Almaty (2,235,000 people), and Shymkent (1,226,000 people).

According to 2022 data, the average life expectancy is 74.4 years; the birth rate is 20.7 per 1,000 population; and the infant mortality rate is 7.7 cases per 1,000 births.


According to the Constitution, Kazakhstan is a secular state.

The majority of the population (about 70%) are Sunni Muslims, while 26% are Christians, including Orthodox, Catholics, and Protestants. The remaining 4% comprise adherents of other religious movements, those who are undecided, or atheists. Overall, there are approximately 4,000 registered religious organizations representing 18 religious denominations in the country. There are mosques, churches, synagogues, Buddhist temples, etc.

Civil Sector

Currently, more than 18,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operate in Kazakhstan. Most of these NGOs are based in Almaty, Astana, Shymkent, Karaganda, and Kyzylorda regions.

Visa-free Regime

As of May 2, 2024, citizens of Kazakhstan can enjoy a visa-free regime with 33 countries based on bilateral agreements, with agreements with 6 additional countries pending entry into force. Furthermore, 9 countries have unilaterally granted visa-free entry to citizens of Kazakhstan.


In turn, Kazakhstan offers visa-free travel to citizens of 85 countries, including 33 under concluded agreements and 52 on a unilateral basis, encompassing all OECD member states.

Diplomatic Representation

The Republic of Kazakhstan has established diplomatic relations with 187 states.

Kazakhstan maintains 114 diplomatic missions in 75 countries around the world, including 70 embassies, 24 general consulates, 9 consulates, 8 permanent missions to international organizations, and 3 other diplomatic missions.

There are 128 diplomatic missions of foreign states and international organizations based in Kazakhstan. These include 71 embassies, 24 general consulates, 1 consulate, and 32 representations of international organizations.

Security and Multilateral Diplomacy

Kazakhstan is a full member of virtually all key international organizations responsible for maintaining global security and stability. Its notable achievements include chairing the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 2011, and membership in the UN Security Council during 2017-2018.

In 2024, Kazakhstan holds the chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Islamic Organization of Food Security (IOFS), International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS), and the Organization of Turkic States (OTS). It also significantly contributes to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

According to IMF data, the GDP per capita of Kazakhstan (in purchasing power parity) is $14,700 in April 2024. This indicator outpaces the indices of countries such as Russia ($14,390), China ($13,140), Georgia ($8,830), Armenia ($8,580), Azerbaijan ($7,640), Belarus ($7,560), Uzbekistan ($2,670), Kyrgyzstan ($1,920), and Tajikistan ($1,270).


At the end of 2023, the GDP reached $261.4 billion. It is projected that by 2029, the GDP will amount to $450 billion, requiring an average annual growth of 6%. GDP growth rates were 5.1% in 2023, 3.3% in 2022, and 4.3% in 2021.

Foreign Trade

In 2023, Kazakhstan’s foreign trade volume amounted to $139.8 billion (exports of 78.7 billion, imports of 61.1 billion) marking a 3.2% increase year-on-year.

The major trading partners are China – 31.5 billion dollars (22.5%), Russia – 26 billion (18.6%), Italy – 16.1 billion (11.5%), South Korea – 6 billion (4.3%), Türkiye – 6 billion (4.3%), the Netherlands – 4.4 billion, Uzbekistan – 4.4 billion, France – 4.2 billion, the USA – 4.1 billion, and Germany – 3.9 billion.

Main export items include oil – $42.3 billion dollars (53.8%), uranium – $3.4 billion (4.4%), copper products – $3.2 billion (4.1%), copper ore – $3 billion (3.9%), ferroalloys – $2.3 billion (3%), natural gas – $2.1 billion (2.6%), wheat – $1.8 billion (2.4%), and petroleum products – $1.1 billion (1.4%).

Main import items are equipment and electrical machinery – $15.5 billion dollars (25.3%), motor vehicles and their parts – $7.8 billion (12.7%), non-precious metals – $5.6 billion (9.2%), food products – $4.8 billion (7.8%), and textiles – $4.8 billion (7.8%).


Since 1991, Kazakhstan has attracted a total of 441 billion dollars in foreign direct investments. Top 10 investors since 2005 are: the Netherlands, USA, Switzerland, China, Russia, France, the UK, Belgium, the Republic of Korea, and Japan.

In 2023, the gross inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Kazakhstan amounted to $23.4 billion. Key investors are the Netherlands – $6 billion, Russia – $2.8 billion, Switzerland – $2.1 billion, China – $1.7 billion, South Korea – $1.2 billion, the USA – $1 billion, Belgium –$1 billion, France – $884 million, UAE – $868.8 million, and the UK – $794.5 million.


In 2023, Kazakhstan handled a total of 980.7 million tons of cargo, a 4.4% increase from 2022. The breakdown is as follows: rail transport accounted for 416.4 million tons (+2.8%), road transport – 287.1 million tons (+10.6%), pipelines – 275 million tons (+0.8%), sea and coastal transport 1.3 million tons (+11%), inland water transport 762,200 tons (+9.5%), and air transport 23,800 tons (-2.8%).

A total of 13 international transport corridors cross Kazakhstan, including 5 railroad and 8 road corridors. In 2023, transit traffic volume reached 32 million tons. By 2029, there is a plan to increase this to 35 million tons.

The “Middle Corridor” (TITR) has a throughput capacity of 6 million tons, including 100,000 TEU, over a length of 6,180 km.

In 2023, 2.76 million tons of cargo were transported along the TITR route, a 65% increase from 2022 (1.7 million tons) and three times the volume in 2021 (840,000 tons).

Foreign partners are interested in further developing this route, which aims to connect Europe and Central Asia. The EU has committed to investing €10 billion in interconnectivity in Central Asia at the Global Gateway Investment Forum held in Brussels in January 2024. The European Investment Bank and EBRD signed MOUs totaling €1.47 billion with the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, as well as with the Development Bank of Kazakhstan.

Furthermore, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy national railway company, Georgian Railway and Azerbaijan Railways inked an agreement to create a joint venture to develop multimodal service on the TITR in 2023 to provide services on a one-stop-shop basis on the China – Europe/Türkiye – China route.

Industry and Energy

In 2023, Kazakhstan experienced a production growth of 4.3%, with industrial products valued at 103.1 billion tenge being produced.

The country produced 90 million tons of oil, marking an increase of 6.9% from the previous year’s 84.2 million tons. Additionally, 58.8 million cubic meters of natural gas and 107.8 million tons of hard coal were produced. At the start of 2024, oil production averaged 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd), an increase of 15,000 bpd, while production of liquefied natural gas and condensate was 0.4 million bpd, a decrease of 10,000 bpd. The oil production target for 2024 is set at 90.3 million tons. Kazakhstan’s estimated oil reserves stand at 78 billion tons.

Kazakhstan ranks 18th globally in gold reserves. In 2023, the country produced 132.8 tons of unprocessed and semi-processed precious metals, a 2.3% increase from the previous year. Gold refining remained stable at 73 tons.

The production of all types of ores, except for iron and lead-zinc ores, showed an increase. Notably, manganese ore production reached 907,900 tons, a 2.6-fold increase, aluminum ores 4.6 million tons (+9.2%), and chrome ores 6.1 million tons (+6.8%).

The country is rich in various solid minerals, including iron, copper, uranium, zinc, molybdenum, tungsten, manganese, gold, and aluminum. Kazakhstan holds significant shares of the world’s reserves in tungsten (63%), chromium (48%), uranium (14%), silver (6%), and copper (more than 4%).

Kazakhstan is the world’s largest producer and exporter of natural uranium, accounting for over 40% of global production and exports.

Kazakhstan has 15 rare earth metal deposits across three regions: Turkestan, Mangistau, and Kostanai. The country possesses significant ore manifestations of tantalum, niobium, and rare earths of yttrium and cerium groups. The raw material base includes tungsten (2.2 million tons), molybdenum (1 million tons), lithium (75,600 tons), tantalum (4,600 tons), niobium (28,100 tons), beryllium (58,000 tons), among others.

Kazakhstan produces 18 of the 34 types of raw materials identified as “critical materials” by the EU.

Agro Sector

Kazakhstan has 200 million hectares of agricultural land, with about 100 million hectares being regularly utilized.

In 2023, the country harvested 17.1 million tons of grain, a 22% decrease, including 12.11 million tons of wheat, a 26% decrease. The sown area for wheat was 13.8 million hectares, a 6.8% increase, roughly the area of Greece.

Livestock production grew by 3.3%, with meat production increasing by 4.6%, cow’s milk by 2.9%, and egg production decreasing by 2.2%. From 2018 to 2023, livestock dynamics showed increases in horses (53%, from 2.6 million to 4 million), cattle (21%, from 7.1 million to 8.6 million), sheep (17%, from 18.7 million to 21.9 million), and poultry (27%, from 44.3 million to 56.5 million).

State Budget

In 2023, the revenues were $58.9 billion (+23.1%), of which tax revenues are $57.3 billion (+27.4%). The budget deficit is maintained at the level of 2.7% of GDP.

The volume of public debt of Kazakhstan is $59.7 billion (22.8% of GDP). Gold and foreign exchange reserves as of April 2024 stood at $37.8 billion, of which gold accounted for $22 billion (about 300 tons). This volume is enough to cover 6 months of the country’s imports. Assets of the National Fund as of April 2024 $60 billion. Net contribution to the National Fund in 2023 was more than $5 billion.

Astana International Financial Center (AIFC)

At year-end 2023, more than 2,500 companies from 78 countries registered at AIFC: the official Astana International Exchange (AIX) list includes 150 securities issues from 94 different issuers, 37 trading members, and about 15 custodial companies. Total trading volume on the AIX exchange in 2023 was $582 million (equity trading $130 million, debt trading $452 million), up 236% from 2022.

Since 2018, more than $11 billion of investments have been raised through the AIFC platform.

Official Development Assistance (ODA)

In total, Kazakhstan has provided over $600 million in humanitarian and ODA since independence.

In 2023, Kazakhstan provided ODA and humanitarian assistance totaling over $11.8 million (Türkiye – $1 million, Palestine – over $1 million, Pakistan – $0.5 million, Tajikistan – $4.6 million, Afghanistan – $4.5 million, Syria – $174,700).

In December 2020, a non-profit joint stock company Kazakhstan Agency for International Development “KazAID” was established.


Kazakhstan is ranked 67th out of 193 countries in the Human Development Index 2023/2024 and has been classified under the “very high level” of human development category for the last several years. In comparison, Belarus is ranked 69th, China 75th, Azerbaijan 89th, Ukraine 100th, Uzbekistan 106th, and Kyrgyzstan 117th. This index, calculated by the UN Development Program, measures standards of living, literacy, education, and longevity.

In the 2023 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, Kazakhstan placed 37th with a score of 66.11 points, climbing 6 positions from 2022. This study evaluates factors such as Economic Performance, Government Efficiency, Business Efficiency, and Infrastructure.

In the Social Progress Index, Kazakhstan ranked 63rd out of 170 countries, surpassing Russia (76th), Uzbekistan (81st), Kyrgyzstan (86th), Azerbaijan (99th), Turkmenistan (104th), and Tajikistan (116th).

In the World Happiness Report 2024, Kazakhstan took 49th position out of 143 countries. The rating assessed the quality of life of the population by various criteria (GDP, life expectancy, level of corruption, etc.).

In the 2024 Global Soft Power Index, Kazakhstan was ranked 80th out of 193 countries, leading among Central Asian states according to this barometer.

According to the fDi Intelligence ranking of the best markets for investment in emerging markets in 2024, Kazakhstan took 6th place in terms of the dynamics of attracting foreign direct investment.

According to the international ranking in the field of sustainable development ESG Index 2022, Kazakhstan ranked 53rd out of 183 countries (1st place among Central Asian countries).

Kazakhstan ranked 32nd out of 113 countries (1st place among CIS countries) in the Global Food Security Index 2022. The index assesses food security in countries on four parameters: availability, assortment, quality and adaptation.

In the UN Global E-Government Development Index, Kazakhstan ranks 28th for the development of e-government, the highest position among landlocked developing countries. The UN experts assess the development of electronic services, human capital, and telecommunications infrastructure when compiling this rating.

At the end of 2023, Kazakhstan ranked 54th out of 76 countries (1st place among CIS countries) in the Green Future Index 2023. This rating takes into account the progress of countries in transitioning their economies to green technologies in various spheres.

In the 2024 Global Firepower ranking, Kazakhstan took 58th place out of 145 states in terms of military power, an improvement of 5 positions from 2023. Following Kazakhstan are Azerbaijan (59th), Belarus (64th), Uzbekistan (65th), Turkmenistan (83rd), Kyrgyzstan (100th), Armenia (102nd), and Tajikistan (107th).

In the 2024 Henley & Partners International Passport Index, Kazakhstan advanced to 68th place (from 73rd in 2022), attributed to an increase in the number of countries that allow visa-free entry for its citizens.

In the Passport Index by Arton Capital, Kazakhstan is ranked 53rd in 2024, improving from 56th in 2023.

Source: International Information Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan