Since the turn of the millennium, Kazakhstan has experienced an improvement in living standards and human development. The proportion of poor Kazakhs is now only a couple, three percent. However, the socio-economic differences are large between cities such as Almaty and Nursultan (formerly Astana) and the countryside.
The difference in life expectancy is large between men and women. One reason is high alcohol and tobacco consumption among men. Maternal and child mortality is also relatively high.
- Countryaah Official Site: Official statistics for population in Kazakhstan, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Health care is neglected. There is a shortage of healthcare personnel, medicines and medical equipment. The healthcare sector is still suffering from the fact that many doctors and other highly educated people left the country during the economic crisis of the 1990s. Formally, health care is free of charge, but those who can pay for themselves get past queues more easily and can receive better and faster care.
A state pension fund, as well as a system of social insurance, exists. Virtually all residents have access to clean water and functioning sewers.
Poverty is more prevalent among ethnic Kazakhs than among Russians. The Kazakhs live to a greater extent in the poor countryside of the south, while the Russians dominate the industrialized northern part of the country. The gaps are large between rich and poor, and between city and countryside.
Extensive environmental problems such as industrial pollution, land degradation and radiation from nuclear weapons test blasts (see Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment) also pose health risks.
Ancestry and kinship are important. The Kazakhs are divided into three “hordes”, which according to the myth originate from three brothers. The hordes in turn are divided into clans and large families. The lineage used to decide which pastures a kazak was allowed to use, and even today the hordeship has some significance for how kazaks relate to each other. Arranged marriages occur.
Family life is patriarchically structured: the father is responsible for the family and is the one who governs and governs. Society is also clearly hierarchical: the oldest or highest ranking person is expected to be the one who makes the decision on everyone’s behalf.
FACTS – SOCIAL CONDITIONS
Infant Mortality: 9 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected: 0.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men: 0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean water: 91.1 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 97.9 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 3.9 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person: $ 262 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament: 27 percent (2018)
Independent magazine closes
A court orders that the independent magazine Adam bol be closed. The magazine is accused of violating the law prohibiting propaganda for a violent regime change. Adam Bol has engaged in critical scrutiny of human rights issues and corruption.
Cooperation agreement with the EU
After three and a half years of negotiations, Kazakhstan concludes an agreement on closer economic and political cooperation with the EU. The EU agreement is expected to enter into force in 2015.
Kazakhstan cares about independence
President Nazarbayev says that Kazakhstan could very well leave the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) if membership threatens the country’s independence. He makes his comment after Russian President Putin said that Nazarbayev “managed to create a state in an area that has never been its own state”.
The government is losing weight
President Nazarbayev announces that the number of ministries should be reduced from 17 to 12 to streamline the government’s work.
Tightening laws should prevent terrorism
President Nazarbayev signs a new law that means that more kinds of crimes than before can result in the death penalty, that expressions of separatism become illegal and that it becomes criminal to be a member of unregistered religious and social organizations. The reason for the stricter law is that the fight against terror must be stepped up.
Tighter ex-Soviet economic cooperation
Kazakhstan, together with Russia and Belarus, concludes an agreement to create the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The agreement is signed in Astana and aims to create a common market and to facilitate economic integration between the three former Soviet states.
President’s daughters receive high positions
President Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter Darigha Nazarbayeva is elected Deputy Speaker of Parliament’s House of Commons. She also becomes a group leader for the dominant party of the Fatherland Light (Nur Otan).
New old head of government
Prime Minister Serik Achmetov and his entire government resign. No cause is stated, but President Nazarbayev gives former Prime Minister Kärim Mäsimov the task of leading a new government.
Newly launched independent newspaper closes
One of the country’s few independent newspapers, the Pravdivaja Gazeta, is closed by a court just nine months after it was launched. During the nine months, the magazine has been charged twice with a three-month publishing ban and twice sentenced to high fines.
The currency is devalued
The central bank gives up attempts to keep the exchange rate on its own currency, tenge, and it is devalued by 19 percent (see Finance).