Tatars of Kazakhstan
The Volga Tatars of Kazakhstan are a minority in Kazakhstan, and make up 1.5% of the population. There are 249,000 Volga Tatars living in Kazakhstan accordingly to 1999 census (see Demographics_of_Kazakhstan).
Volga Tatars have penetrated the area that is today Kazakhstan from the nineteenth century, entering the region as traders offering manufactured goods to nomadic Kazakhs. They were also Islamic missionaries, and Tatar settlers were the conduit of Islam into the region.
Volga Tatars became well assimilated in Kazakhstani society. During the Soviet period many Tatars occupied positions in the medium-level administration and they comprised a significant part of the Kazakhstani intelligentsia.
Now each Kazakhstan oblast has its own Tatar cultural centre, dedicated to preserve ethnic identity.