Population: By 1994 estimate, 17,268,000; annual
growth rate 1.1 percent in 1994; population density 6.2 persons
per square kilometer in 1994.
Ethnic Groups: In 1994, Kazaks 45 percent, Russians
36 per-cent, Ukrainians 5 percent, Germans 4 percent, Tatars and
Uzbeks 2 percent each.
Languages: Official state language a contentious
issue; 1995 constitution stipulates Kazak and Russian as state
languages. Russian primary language in business, science, and
academia. Non-Kazak population exerts pressure against requirements
for use of Kazak.
Religion: In 1994, some 47 percent Muslim (Sunni
branch), 44 percent Russian Orthodox, 2 percent Protestant (mainly
Bap-tist), with smaller numbers of Roman Catholic, Pentecostal,
and Jewish believers.
Education and Literacy: Literacy in 1989 was
97.5 percent. Education, fully supported by state funds, hampered
by shortage of facilities and materials and low pay for teachers;
major program to restructure Soviet system in progress mid-1990s;
primary language of instruction Russian at all levels.
Health: Soviet-era free health system declined
drastically in early 1990s, mainly because of low funding. Drugs
and materials in short supply, doctors underpaid and leaving medicine,
child health care especially poor. Infant mortality and contagious
diseases rising, mid-1990s.
Data as of March 1996