Ethnic demography of Kazakhstan

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European people in Kazakhstan, 2016.

Kazakhstan is multiethnic country where the indigenous ethnic group - the Kazakhs, comprise the majority of the population. According to the 2016 census[1] there are two dominant ethnic groups in Kazakhstan: ethnic Kazakhs (66.48%) and ethnic Russians (20.61%) with a wide array of other groups represented, including Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Germans, Koreans, and Uyghurs.

History[edit]

Kazakhstan's dominant ethnic group, the Kazakhs, traces its origin to the 15th century, when a number of Turkic and some Mongol tribes united to establish the Kazakh Khanate. With a cohesive culture and a national identity, they constituted absolute majority on the land until Russian colonization.
Russian advancement into the territory of Kazakhstan began in the late 18th century, when the Kazakhs nominally accepted Russian rule in exchange for protection against repeated attacks by the western Mongolian Kalmyks. In the 1890s, Russian peasants began to settle the fertile lands of northern Kazakhstan, causing many Kazakhs to move eastwards into Chinese territory in search of new grazing grounds.

Kazakhstan demographics 1897-1970. Major ethnic groups.

Drastic changes during the 20th century[edit]

A big factor that greatly shaped the ethnic composition of Kazakhstan were major famines of the 1920s and of the 1930s, caused by intermittent droughts. According to different estimates, in the 1930s up to 40% of Kazakhs either died of starvation or fled the territory.[2] Official government census data report the contraction of Kazakh population from 3.6 million in 1926, to 2.3 million in 1939.[citation needed]

By the mid 20th century, Kazakhstan was home to virtually all ethnic groups that had ever come under the Russian sphere of influence. This diverse demography stemmed from the country's central location and its historical use by Russia as a place to send colonists, dissidents, and minority groups from its other frontiers. From the 1930s until the 1950s, both Russian opposition (and Russians who were "accused" of being part of the opposition) and certain minorities (especially Volga Germans, Poles, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and Kalmyks) had been interned in labor camps, often merely due to their heritage or beliefs, mostly on collective orders by Joseph Stalin.[citation needed] This makes Kazakhstan one of the few places on Earth where normally-disparate Germanic, Indo-Iranian, Koreans, Chechen, and Turkic groups live together in a rural setting and not as a result of modern immigration.[citation needed]

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the German population of Kazakhstan proceeded to emigrate en masse during the 1990s[citation needed], as Germany was willing to repatriate them. Also, many of the Greek took the chance to repatriate to Greece, and many Russians went back to Russia.[citation needed] Some groups have fewer good options for emigration but because of the economic situation are also leaving at rates comparable to the rest of the former East bloc.[citation needed]

Ethnic Composition of Kazakhstan[edit]

Table:[3][4][5][6]

Nationality 1897 - % 1911 - % 1926 - % 1939 - % 1959 - % 1970 - % 1979 - % 1989 - % 1999 - % 2009 - % 2014 - %
Kazakh 73.9 60.8 59.5 38.0 30.0 32.6 36.0 39.7 53.4 63.1 65.5
Russian 12.8 27.0 18.0 40.2 42.7 42.4 40.8 37.4 29.9 23.7 21.5
Uzbek 1.3 1.1 3.2 1.7 1.1 1.7 1.8 2.0 2.5 2.8 3.0
Ukrainian * * 12.4 10.8 8.2 7.2 6.1 5.4 3.7 2.1 1.8
Uyghur - - - - 0.6 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.4 1.4 1.4
Tatar 1.1 1.1 0.7 1.6 1.5 2.2 2.1 2.0 1.7 1.3 1.2
German - - 0.7 1.5 7.1 6.6 6.1 5.8 2.4 1.1 1.1
Korean - - - - 0.8 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.6 0.6
Belarusian * * - 0.5 1.2 1.5 1.2 1.1 0.8 0.4 0.4

* For 1897 and 1911 "Russians" includes Ukrainians and Belarusians.

Census of 1999[edit]

Table: Ethnic Composition of Kazakhstan (Detailed Census Data)[7]

Ethnic groups 1999 1989 % change, 1989 to 1999 % Of 1999 Pop % Of 1989 Pop
Total population 14,953,126 16,464,464 -9.18 100.00 100.00
Kazakhs 7,985,039 6,534,616 22.20 53.40 39.69
Russians 4,479,618 6,227,549 -28.07 29.95 37.82
Ukrainians 547,052 896,240 -38.96 3.65 5.44
Uzbeks 370,663 332,017 11.64 2.47 2.02
Germans 353,441 957,518 -63.09 2.36 5.82
Tatars 248,952 327,982 -24.10 1.66 1.99
Uyghurs 210,339 185,301 13.51 1.40 1.13
Belarusians 111,926 182,601 -38.70 0.74 1.11
Koreans 99,657 103,315 -3.54 0.66 0.63
Azeris 78,295 90,083 -13.09 0.52 0.55
Poles 47,297 59,956 -21.11 0.31 0.36
Dungans 36,945 30,165 22.48 0.24 0.18
Kurds 32,764 25,425 28.87 0.21 0.15
Chechens 31,799 49,507 -35.77 0.21 0.30
Tajiks 25,657 25,514 0.56 0.17 0.15
Bashkirs 23,224 41,847 -44.50 0.15 0.25
Moldovans 19,458 33,098 -41.21 0.13 0.20
Ingush 16,893 19,914 -15.17 0.11 0.12
Mordvins 16,147 30,036 -46.24 0.10 0.18
Armenians 14,758 19,119 -22.81 0.09 0.12
Greeks 12,703 46,746 -72.83 0.08 0.28
Kyrgyz 10,896 14,112 -22.79 0.07 0.09
Bulgarians 6,915 10,426 -33.68 0.04 0.06
Lezgins 4,616 13,905 -66.80 0.03 0.08
Turkmens 1,729 3,846 -55.04 0.01 0.02
Other 166,342 203,626 -18.31 1.11 1.24
No response 1 119 -99.16 0.00 0.00

Total Slavic/European population 27.0% in 2009 (compared with 60.3% in 1959, 57.3% in 1970, 54.5% in 1979, 49.8% in 1989 and 39.0% in 1999).[3]

Demographic data[edit]

Vital statistics[edit]

As explained above, the Slavic groups have been declining ever since the 1960s, due to low birth rates and high death rates. Germans are characterized by very high birth rates, but it is mostly due to the high proportion of rural population and the presence of conservative religious factions like Mennonites and Evangelical Lutherans among them.[citation needed]

Table: Demographic characteristics of various ethnic groups of Kazakhstan[8]

Ethnic Group Births Deaths Natural Growth Birth Rate Death Rate Natural Growth
1999 2007 2008 1999 2007 2008 1999 2007 2008 1999 2007 2008 1999 2007 2008 1999 2007 2008
Total 217,578 321,963 356,575 147,416 158,297 152,706 70,162 163,666 203,869 14.57 20.79 22.75 9.87 10.22 9.74 0.47% 1.06% 1.30%
Kazakh 142,363 227,002 254,402 52,337 61,639 61,397 90,026 165,363 193,005 17.77 24.73 27.06 6.62 6.82 6.63 1.12% 1.79% 2.04%
Russian 39,215 46,667 49,134 62,130 62,151 58,586 -22,915 -15,484 -9,452 8.84 11.94 12.68 14.28 16.30 15.35 -0.54% -0.44% -0.27%
Uzbek 9,534 13,398 15,047 2,224 2,560 2,828 7,310 10,838 12,219 25.54 30.22 33.02 6.04 5.91 6.30 1.95% 2.43% 2.67%
Ukrainian 5,156 4,936 5,267 11,426 11,139 10,506 -6,270 -6,203 -5,239 9.56 11.37 12.37 21.55 26.33 25.06 -1.20% -1.50% -1.27%
Uighur 3,529 5,424 6,054 1,187 1,433 1,495 2,342 3,991 4,559 16.72 23.19 25.34 5.70 6.12 6.35 1.10% 1.71% 1.90%
Tatar 2,398 3,143 3,375 3,363 3,668 3,398 -965 -525 -23 9.70 13.87 14.90 13.88 16.62 15.23 1.70% -0.28% -0.03%
German 4,765 4,267 4,810 3,524 2,606 2,585 1,241 1,661 2,225 13.97 19.28 21.81 10.49 12.06 11.90 0.35% 0.72% 0.99%
Others 10,411 15,889 17,424 8,651 9,283 9,168 1,760 6,606 8,256 13.79 20.45 22.23 11.66 12.19 11.87 0.21% 0.83% 1.04%
Unknown 207 1,237 1,062 2,574 3,818 2,743 -2,367 -2,581 -1,681 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA

Inter-ethnic marriages[edit]

Most of the inter-ethnic marriages in Kazakhstan has been between various Slavic or Germanic groups (Russian - Ukrainian, German - Ukrainian, Russian - Polish or German - Russian). Inter-marriages between Turkic and European ethnic groups are increasing, but still quite rare.

Table: Number of individuals married outside their ethnic group[8]

Ethnic Group Males Females
1999 2007 2008 1999 2007 2008
Total 18,402 26,632 24,243 18,402 26,632 24,243
Kazakh 2,199 4,981 4,785 1,542 4,062 3,874
Russian 5,957 7,795 6,991 7,431 9,714 8,544
Uzbek 240 714 657 200 600 537
Ukrainian 2,717 3,070 2,555 2,541 2,858 2,466
Uighur 269 658 655 224 530 525
Tatar 948 1,682 1,425 938 1,651 1,413
German 2,844 2,365 2,048 3,137 2,566 2,270
Other 3,180 5,351 4,426 2,313 4,610 4,010
Unknown 48 16 701 76 41 604

Mechanical population movement[edit]

Slavic and Germanic groups have been emigrating en masse since the 1960s, and the movement accelerated during the 1990s after the breakup of the Soviet Union. This has resulted in the reduction of the proportion of European ethnic groups in the population by more than half. More than 50% of the European Soviet ethnic groups have left Kazakhstan since 1989, and just 15% of the pre-1989 ethnic German population remains now in the country.

Most of the immigration has been directed towards Russia, but small numbers have been immigrating to Ukraine, Belarus and Armenia also. Before the German authorities stopped the repatriation of ethnic Germans and their non-German relatives, Germany was one of the most favored destination for all the ethnic groups. It is estimated that close to half of the 4.5 million Soviet Germans and their Slavic kin who now live in Germany are originally from Kazakhstan. Currently on average close to 2,000 ethnic Germans emigrate from Kazakhstan to ethnic German dominated areas in Russia such as Azovsky Nemetsky National District (Deutsche Nationalkreis Asowo) in Omsk Oblast and Nemetsky National District (Nationalkreis Halbstadt) in Altai Krai. Also, out of the 1.2 million Russian speaking Jews and Slavs who live in Israel, a significant portion is from Kazakhstan.

On the other hand, ethnic Kazakhs and Uzbeks have been immigrating to large numbers to Kazakhstan ever since the collapse of the USSR. These immigrants come not only from the southern Central Asian states such as Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, but also from the Kazakh dominated areas in Xinjiang and Mongolia. The Kazakh government is actively encouraging the settlement of these compatriots (known as Oralman) in Slavic dominated North and East Kazakhstan as well as the German dominated Karaganda Region, in order to dilute the minority populations there. There is also a low intensity immigration of ethnic Slavs from the less tolerant neighboring nations like Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan into Kazakhstan. An estimated 400,000 Uzbeks have migrated to Kazakhstan in recent years [9]

Table: Data on immigration in Kazakhstan[8]

Ethnic Group Kazakhstan
Immigrants Emigrants Net Immigration
1999 2007 2008 1999 2007 2008 1999 2007 2008
Total 41,320 53,397 46,404 164,947 42,435 45,287 -123,627 10,962 1,117
Kazakh 10,909 41,763 35,081 8,258 2,269 2,281 2,651 39,494 32,800
Russian 20,076 6,658 6,268 91,489 29,492 31,631 -71,413 -22,834 -25,363
Uzbek 1,028 446 439 962 101 137 66 345 302
Ukrainian 2,526 601 643 15,315 3,433 3,676 -12,789 -2,832 -3,033
Uighur 95 84 111 99 40 36 -4 44 75
Tatar 1,129 476 433 3,971 995 1,034 -2,842 -519 -601
German 1,417 517 525 32,921 2,991 3,146 -31,504 -2,474 -2,621
Other 4,140 2,852 2,904 11,932 3,114 3,346 -7,792 -262 -442
CIS Nations
Immigrants Emigrants Net Immigration
1999 2007 2008 1999 2007 2008 1999 2007 2008
Total 39,461 42,613 31,425 120,240 39,767 42,908 -80,779 2,846 -11,483
Kazakh 19,796 32,110 21,222 7,689 2,082 2,120 2,432 30,028 19,102
Russian 19,796 6,308 6,033 81,020 28,657 30,775 -61,224 -22,349 -24,742
Uzbek 1,020 441 435 921 95 126 99 346 309
Ukrainian 2,488 556 600 13,182 3,289 3,532 -10,694 -2,733 -2,932
Uighur 94 73 99 78 29 31 16 44 68
Tatar 1,124 465 427 3,714 981 1,002 -2,590 -516 -575
German 1,119 259 253 4,164 1,874 2,250 -3,045 -1,615 -1,997
Other 3,699 2,401 2,356 9,472 2,760 3,072 -5,773 -359 -716
Non-CIS Nations
Immigrants Emigrants Net Immigration
1999 2007 2008 1999 2007 2008 1999 2007 2008
Total 1,859 10,784 14,979 44,707 2,668 2,379 -42,848 8,116 12,600
Kazakh 788 9,653 13,859 569 187 161 219 9,466 13,698
Russian 280 350 235 10,469 835 856 -10,189 -485 -621
Uzbek 8 5 4 41 6 11 -33 -1 -7
Ukrainian 38 45 43 2,133 144 144 -2,095 -99 -101
Uighur 1 11 12 21 11 5 -20 0 7
Tatar 5 11 6 257 14 32 -252 -3 -26
German 298 258 272 28,757 1,117 896 -28,459 -859 -624
Other 441 451 548 2,460 354 274 -2,019 97 274

Religion[edit]

According to the 2009 Census data, almost all the Central Asian Turkics are Muslims and Slavs are Orthodox (although more than 1% of Russians are Muslim), while Koreans are mixed between various different faiths including Christianity, Buddhism, Atheism, and Islam :[10]

Ethnic Groups Islam Christianity Judaism Buddhism Other Atheism NA
Total 70.20% 26.32% 0.03% 0.09% 0.02% 2.82% 0.51%
Kazakhs 98.34% 0.39% 0.02% 0.01% 0.02% 0.98% 0.26%
Russians 1.43% 91.64% 0.04% 0.02% 0.03% 6.09% 0.75%
Uzbeks 99.05% 0.39% 0.01% 0.01% 0.02% 0.37% 0.16%
Ukrainians 0.94% 90.74% 0.03% 0.01% 0.02% 7.31% 0.94%
Uyghurs 98.35% 0.51% 0.02% 0.01% 0.03% 0.61% 0.47%
Tatars 79.57% 10.24% 0.02% 0.03% 0.06% 8.11% 1.97%
Germans 1.58% 81.59% 0.05% 0.04% 0.11% 13.96% 2.68%
Koreans 5.24% 49.35% 0.21% 11.40% 0.14% 28.51% 5.16%
Turks 99.13% 0.30% 0.01% 0.01% 0.02% 0.33% 0.21%
Azeris 94.81% 2.51% 0.02% 0.02% 0.03% 1.86% 0.76%
Belarusians 0.79% 90.16% 0.04% 0.01% 0.03% 7.82% 1.15%
Dungans 98.93% 0.37% 0.01% 0.03% 0.04% 0.34% 0.28%
Kurds 98.28% 0.53% 0.03% 0.02% 0.02% 0.74% 0.38%
Tajiks 97.78% 0.91% 0.01% 0.02% 0.08% 0.85% 0.35%
Poles 0.69% 90.07% 0.04% 0.01% 0.13% 7.30% 1.76%
Chechens 93.69% 2.99% 0.02% 0.01% 0.05% 2.08% 1.16%
Kirghiz 96.67% 0.89% 0.03% 0.03% 0.02% 1.51% 0.86%
Others 34.69% 52.32% 0.82% 0.91% 0.13% 8.44% 2.69%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Численность населения Республики Казахстан по отдельным этносам на начало 2016 года
  2. ^ Валерий Михайлов: Во время голода в Казахстане погибло 40 процентов населения
  3. ^ a b Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: data for 1959-1999 (Internet Archive v. 27 November 2007)
  4. ^ Alexandrov, Mikhail. Uneasy Alliance: Relations Between Russia and Kazakhstan in the Post-Soviet Era, 1992-1997. Greenwood Press, 1999, ISBN 978-0-313-30965-6
  5. ^ Demographic situation in the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2006, Agency on Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Internet Archive v. 11 October 2007) (in Russian)
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  7. ^ Ethnodemographic situation in Kazakhstan Archived 2003-04-16 at the Wayback Machine. on ide.go.jp (unidentified source)
  8. ^ a b c "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 5, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  9. ^ Central Asian Immigration: Steppe Change The Economist. 22 March 2007
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 11, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2011.