Ethnic demography of Kazakhstan


According to the 2009 census there are two dominant ethnic groups in Kazakhstan: ethnic Kazakhs (63.1%) and ethnic Russians (23.7%) with a wide array of other groups represented, including Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Germans, Chechens, Koreans, and Uyghurs - that is, virtually any group that has ever come under the Russian sphere of influence. This diverse demography is due to Kazakhstan's central location and its historical use by Russia as a place to send colonists, dissidents, and minority groups from its other frontiers - one can almost not understand Kazakhstan without understanding population transfer in the Soviet Union. From the 1930s until the 1950s, both Russian opposition (and such Russians "accused" of being part of the opposition) and certain minorities (especially Volga Germans, Poles, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, Kalmyks) had been interned in labor camps often merely due to their heritage or beliefs, mostly on collective orders by Joseph Stalin. 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. Most of the population speaks Russian; only half of ethnic Kazakhs speak Kazakh fluently, although it is enjoying a renaissance. Both Kazakh and Russian languages have official status.

After the East bloc.

Table: Ethnic Composition of Kazakhstan[1][2][3][4]

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

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

Census of 2009

The Census of 2009 counted a total of 120 ethnic groups with non-zero population in the country, but many ethnic groups which were present during the 1999 Census (such as Rushan, Shughnan, Yukaghir, Enet, etc.) returned a population of zero.[5]

Census of 1999

Table: Ethnic Composition of Kazakhstan (Detailed Census Data)[6]

Ethnic groups 1999 1989 As % of 1989 % Of Pop
Total population 14,953,126 16,464,464 90.82 100.00
Kazakhs 7,985,039 6,534,616 122.19 53.40
Russians 4,479,618 6,227,549 71.93 29.95
Ukrainians 547,052 896,240 61.03 3.65
Uzbeks 370,663 332,017 111.63 2.47
Germans 353,441 957,518 36.91 2.36
Tatars 248,952 327,982 75.90 1.66
Uyghurs 210,339 185,301 113.51 1.40
Belarusians 111,926 182,601 61.29 0.74
Koreans 99,657 103,315 96.45 0.66
Azeris 78,295 90,083 86.91 0.52
Poles 47,297 59,956 78.88 0.31
Dungans 36,945 30,165 122.47 0.24
Kurds 32,764 25,425 128.86 0.21
Chechens 31,799 49,507 64.23 0.21
Tajiks 25,657 25,514 100.56 0.17
Bashkirs 23,224 41,847 55.49 0.15
Moldovans 19,458 33,098 58.78 0.13
Ingush 16,893 19,914 84.82 0.11
Mordvins 16,147 30,036 53.75 0.10
Armenians 14,758 19,119 77.19 0.09
Greeks 12,703 46,746 27.17 0.08
Kyrgyz 10,896 14,112 77.21 0.07
Bulgarians 6,915 10,426 66.32 0.04
Lezgins 4,616 13,905 33.19 0.03
Turkmens 1,729 3,846 44.95 0.01
Other 166,342 203,626 81.68 1.11
No response 1 119 0.84 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).[1]

Decline of Slavic and Germanic population

There is a huge disparity in the birth rates and mortality rates for the various ethnic clusters. The first ethnic cluster (composing of ethnic Kazakhs and other Central Asian groups) show a very high birth rate and lower mortality (BR of 26.1 and DR of 6.7 per 1,000 in 1999). The demographic characteristics of this group has changed little since the 1980s and 1990s.

The second cluster, consisting of Eastern Slavs and Tatars are characterized by steep demographic decline (BR of 8.8 and DR of 16.7 per 1,000 in 1999). The birth rates for this cluster has halved since 1990 and death rates shot up by as much as 70%. The natural decrease of population alone was approaching -0.74% in 1999 (improved slightly during the next decade).

The third cluster, consisting of ethnic Germans and related smaller ethnic groups show little change in demographic characteristics since 1990. Their birth rates and death rates has remained more or less stable during the 1990s and improved during the first decade of 21st century, despite huge loss of population through immigration. The birth rate for ethnic Germans was measured at 21.8 per 1,000 (almost thrice of that in Germany) and mortality rate was measured at 11.9 per 1,000 (despite a somewhat elderly population due to emigration). Birth rates much higher than Slavic population and the mortality much less.[7]

Demographic data

Vital statistics

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.

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

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

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 ethic 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 Deutsche Nationalkreis Asowo and Nationalkreis Halbstadt. 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 oder 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 in to 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

According to the 2009 Census data, almost all the Central Asian Turkics are Muslims and Slavs are Orthodox:[10]

Ethnic Groups Islam Christianity Judaism Budhdhism 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

References

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