Kazakhstan is a unitary dominant-party republic located in the central region of the Asian continent. The capital is Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) while the largest city is Almaty. The country has an estimated population of 17,993,500 with a population density of 16.82 people per square mile. The Kazakhs are the predominant ethnic groups, making up 63.6% of the total population. Kazakhstan has a very high literacy level with compulsory secondary level education, and the adult literacy level stands at 99.5%.
Biggest Cities In Kazakhstan
Almaty was first settled in 10th century BC but was designated city status in 1867. It covers an area of 263 square miles with a population of 1,703,481 square miles. The city served as the capital of the country from 1929 to 1977 when the government relocated the capital to Astana. Today it is still the major commercial and cultural city of Kazakhstan. In 1887, a major earthquake almost destroyed the entire city in less than fifteen minutes. Almaty is a relatively cold city with an average temperature being 10 degrees Celsius.
Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana)
Nur-Sultan is the capital of Kazakhstan. It is located in the northern parts of the country on the Ishim River. It was established in 1830 as Akmoly and has changed the name several times; it was named Astana in 1998 and then Nur-Sultan in 2019. The city covers an area of 274.2 square miles and a population of 860,368 people. It was made the capital in December 1997.
Shymkent was founded in the 12th century as Chimkent and the name was changed in 1993 in a bid by the government to apply Kazakh names to cities. The total population is approximately 854,500 living in an area of 134 square miles. Shymkent is traditionally known to produce lead, and a lead smelting plant was established in 1934. The air pollution in the city is very high due to the smelting of lead. Other industries include those producing zinc, karakul pelts, textiles, foodstuffs, and pharmaceuticals.
Karaganda was founded in 1931, and today has a population of 459,778 people. It is the capital of the Karaganda region and is the fourth largest city in the country in terms of population. The name Karaganda emanates from caragana bushes which are found in abundance in the area. In 1962, the city experienced the worst ever electromagnetic pulse (EMP) effects after its electrical power plant was set ablaze by currents induced from a USSR power cable which was shallow buried.
Other Big Cities In Kazakhstan
There are other cities in Kazakhstan with a population of more than 250,000. They include Taraz, Aktobe, Pavlodar, Oskemen, Semey, and Oral.