Mongabay.com seeks to raise interest in and appreciation of wild lands and wildlife, while examining the impact of emerging trends in climate, technology, economics, and finance on conservation and development (more)
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
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
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
Data as of March 1996