Flag of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan Geography Profile 2017

Home > Factbook > Countries > Kazakhstan

LocationCentral Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural (Zhayyq) River in easternmost Europe
Geographic coordinates48 00 N, 68 00 E
Map referencesAsia
Areatotal: 2,724,900 sq km
land: 2,699,700 sq km
water: 25,200 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly less than four times the size of Texas
Land boundariestotal: 13,364 km
border countries (5): China 1,765 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,212 km, Russia 7,644 km, Turkmenistan 413 km, Uzbekistan 2,330 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked); note - Kazakhstan borders the Aral Sea, now split into two bodies of water (1,070 km), and the Caspian Sea (1,894 km)
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
Climatecontinental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid
Terrainvast flat steppe extending from the Volga in the west to the Altai Mountains in the east and from the plains of western Siberia in the north to oases and deserts of Central Asia in the south
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 387 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Vpadina Kaundy -132 m
highest point: Khan Tangiri Shyngy (Pik Khan-Tengri) 6,995 m
Natural resourcesmajor deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium
Land useagricultural land: 77.4%
arable land 8.9%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 68.5%
forest: 1.2%
other: 21.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land20,660 sq km (2012)
Population distributionmost of the country displays a low population density, particularly the interior; population clusters appear in urban agglomerations in the far northern and southern portions of the country
Natural hazardsearthquakes in the south; mudslides around Almaty
Environment - current issuesradioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with former defense industries and test ranges scattered throughout the country pose health risks for humans and animals; industrial pollution is severe in some cities; because the two main rivers that flowed into the Aral Sea have been diverted for irrigation, it is drying up and leaving behind a harmful layer of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then picked up by the wind and blown into noxious dust storms; pollution in the Caspian Sea; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - noteworld's largest landlocked country; Russia leases approximately 6,000 sq km of territory enclosing the Baykonur Cosmodrome; in January 2004, Kazakhstan and Russia extended the lease to 2050

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

Geography Comparison