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Kazakstan Index

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

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