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Turkmenistan vs. Kazakhstan

Introduction

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Background
Present-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. The area was ruled in antiquity by various Persian empires, and was conquered by Alexander the Great, Muslim armies, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. In medieval times, Merv (located in present-day Mary province) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Russia in the late 1800s, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic; it achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. President for Life Saparmyrat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy chairman under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president. BERDIMUHAMEDOW won Turkmenistan's first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007, and again in 2012 and in 2017 with over 97% of the vote in both instances, in elections widely regarded as undemocratic.

Turkmenistan has sought new export markets for its extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited. As of late 2019, Turkmenistan exported the majority of its gas to China and small levels of gas were also being sent to Russia. Turkmenistan's reliance on gas exports has made the economy vulnerable to fluctuations in the global energy market, and economic hardships since the drop in energy prices in 2014 have led many Turkmenistanis to emigrate, mostly to Turkey.

Ethnic Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes with additional Persian cultural influences, migrated to the region in the 15th century. The area was conquered by Russia in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1925. Repression and starvation associated with forced agricultural collectivization led to a massive number of deaths in the 1930s. During the 1950s and 1960s, the agricultural "Virgin Lands" program led to an influx of settlers (mostly ethnic Russians, but also other nationalities) and at the time of Kazakhstan’s independence in 1991, ethnic Kazakhs were a minority. Non-Muslim ethnic minorities departed Kazakhstan in large numbers from the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s and a national program has repatriated about a million ethnic Kazakhs (from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and the Xinjiang region of China) back to Kazakhstan. As a result of this shift, the ethnic Kazakh share of the population now exceeds two-thirds.

Kazakhstan's economy is the largest in the Central Asian states, mainly due to the country's vast natural resources. Current issues include: diversifying the economy, obtaining membership in global and regional international economic institutions, enhancing Kazakhstan's economic competitiveness, and strengthening relations with neighboring states and foreign powers.

Geography

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Location
Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural (Zhayyq) River in easternmost Europe
Geographic coordinates
40 00 N, 60 00 E
48 00 N, 68 00 E
Map references
Asia
Asia
Area
total: 488,100 sq km
land: 469,930 sq km
water: 18,170 sq km
total: 2,724,900 sq km
land: 2,699,700 sq km
water: 25,200 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly more than three times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than California
slightly less than four times the size of Texas
Land boundaries
total: 4,158 km
border countries (4): Afghanistan 804 km, Iran 1148 km, Kazakhstan 413 km, Uzbekistan 1793 km
total: 13,364 km
border countries (5): China 1765 km, Kyrgyzstan 1212 km, Russia 7644 km, Turkmenistan 413 km, Uzbekistan 2330 km
Coastline
0 km (landlocked); note - Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km)
0 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 claims
none (landlocked)
none (landlocked)
Climate
subtropical desert
continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid
Terrain
flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in west
vast 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 extremes
mean elevation: 230 m
lowest point: Vpadina Akchanaya (Sarygamysh Koli is a lake in northern Turkmenistan with a water level that fluctuates above and below the elevation of Vpadina Akchanaya, the lake has dropped as low as -110 m) -81 m
highest point: Gora Ayribaba 3,139 m
mean elevation: 387 m
lowest point: Vpadina Kaundy -132 m
highest point: Khan Tangiri Shyngy (Pik Khan-Tengri) 6,995 m
Natural resources
petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium
Land use
agricultural land: 72% (2011 est.)
arable land: 4.1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 67.8% (2011 est.)
forest: 8.8% (2011 est.)
other: 19.2% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 77.4% (2011 est.)
arable land: 8.9% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 68.5% (2011 est.)
forest: 1.2% (2011 est.)
other: 21.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
19,950 sq km (2012)
20,660 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards
earthquakes; mudslides; droughts; dust storms; floods
earthquakes in the south; mudslides around Almaty
Environment - current issues
contamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salination, water logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods; Caspian Sea pollution; diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river's inability to replenish the Aral Sea; soil erosion; desertification
radioactive 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; desertification; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices
Environment - international agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party 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 - note
landlocked; the western and central low-lying desolate portions of the country make up the great Garagum (Kara-Kum) desert, which occupies over 80% of the country; eastern part is plateau
world's largest landlocked country and one of only two landlocked countries in the world that extends into two continents (the other is Azerbaijan); Russia leases approximately 6,000 sq km of territory enclosing the Baykonur Cosmodrome; in January 2004, Kazakhstan and Russia extended the lease to 2050
Population distribution
the most densely populated areas are the southern, eastern, and northeastern oases; approximately 50% of the population lives in and around the capital of Ashgabat
most 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

Demographics

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Population
5,528,627 (July 2020 est.)
some sources suggest Turkmenistan's population could be as much as 1 to 2 million people lower than available estimates because of large-scale emigration during the last 10 years
19,091,949 (July 2020 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 25.44% (male 713,441/female 693,042)
15-24 years: 16.48% (male 458,566/female 452,469)
25-54 years: 44.14% (male 1,214,581/female 1,226,027)
55-64 years: 8.56% (male 221,935/female 251,238)
65 years and over: 5.38% (male 129,332/female 167,996) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 26.13% (male 2,438,148/female 2,550,535)
15-24 years: 12.97% (male 1,262,766/female 1,212,645)
25-54 years: 42.23% (male 3,960,188/female 4,102,845)
55-64 years: 10.25% (male 856,180/female 1,099,923)
65 years and over: 8.43% (male 567,269/female 1,041,450) (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 29.2 years
male: 28.7 years
female: 29.7 years (2020 est.)
total: 31.6 years
male: 30.3 years
female: 32.8 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
1.06% (2020 est.)
0.89% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
18.3 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
16.4 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
-1.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 98.1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 0.94 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.78 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.54 male(s)/female
total population: 90.8 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 30.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 37.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 24.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
total: 17.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 71.3 years
male: 68.2 years
female: 74.5 years (2020 est.)
total population: 72 years
male: 66.8 years
female: 76.8 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
2.04 children born/woman (2020 est.)
2.16 children born/woman (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
NA
0.2% (2019 est.)
Nationality
noun: Turkmenistani(s)
adjective: Turkmenistani
noun: Kazakhstani(s)
adjective: Kazakhstani
Ethnic groups
Turkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6% (2003)
Kazakh (Qazaq) 68%, Russian 19.3%, Uzbek 3.2%, Ukrainian 1.5%, Uighur 1.5%, Tatar 1.1%, German 1%, other 4.4% (2019 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
NA
33,000 (2019 est.)
Religions
Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%
Muslim 70.2%, Christian 26.2% (mainly Russian Orthodox), other 0.2%, atheist 2.8%, unspecified 0.5% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
NA
<500 (2019 est.)
Languages
Turkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
Kazakh (official, Qazaq) 83.1% (understand spoken language) and trilingual (Kazakh, Russian, English) 22.3% (2017 est.); Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the "language of interethnic communication") 94.4% (understand spoken language) (2009 est.)
Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.6% (2015)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2015)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2019)
total: 16 years
male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2019)
Education expenditures
3.1% of GDP (2012)
2.8% of GDP (2017)
Urbanization
urban population: 52.5% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 2.46% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 57.7% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 1.29% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 93.8% of population
total: 97.4% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 6.2% of population
total: 2.6% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 99.9% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 99.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0.1% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population
846,000 ASHGABAT (capital) (2020)
1.896 million Almaty, 1.896 million NUR-SULTAN (capital), 1.058 million Shimkent (2020)
Maternal mortality rate
7 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
10 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
3.2% (2015)
2% (2015)
Health expenditures
6.9% (2017)
3.1% (2017)
Physicians density
2.22 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
3.98 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density
4 beds/1,000 population (2014)
6.1 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
18.6% (2016)
21% (2016)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
50.2% (2015/16)
53% (2018)
note: percent of women aged 18-49
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 55.2
youth dependency ratio: 47.8
elderly dependency ratio: 7.4
potential support ratio: 13.5 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 58.8
youth dependency ratio: 46.3
elderly dependency ratio: 12.6
potential support ratio: 8 (2020 est.)

Government

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Country name
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Turkmenistan
local long form: none
local short form: Turkmenistan
former: Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
etymology: the suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so Turkmenistan literally means the "Land of the Turkmen [people]"
conventional long form: Republic of Kazakhstan
conventional short form: Kazakhstan
local long form: Qazaqstan Respublikasy
local short form: Qazaqstan
former: Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic
etymology: the name "Kazakh" derives from the Turkic word "kaz" meaning "to wander," recalling the Kazakh's nomadic lifestyle; the Persian suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so the word Kazakhstan literally means "Land of the Wanderers"
Government type
presidential republic; authoritarian
presidential republic
Capital
name: Ashgabat (Ashkhabad)
geographic coordinates: 37 57 N, 58 23 E
time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: derived from the Persian words "eshq" meaning "love" and "abad" meaning "inhabited place" or "city," and so loosely translates as "the city of love" 
name: Nur-Sultan
geographic coordinates: 51 10 N, 71 25 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

note: Kazakhstan has two time zones

etymology: on 20 March 2019, Kazakhstan changed the name of its capital city from Astana to Nur-Sultan in honor of its long-serving, recently retired president, Nursultan NAZARBAYEV; this was not the first time the city had its name changed; founded in 1830 as Akmoly, it became Akmolinsk in 1832, Tselinograd in 1961, Akmola (Aqmola) in 1992, and Astana in 1998

Administrative divisions
5 provinces (welayatlar, singular - welayat) and 1 independent city*: Ahal Welayaty (Anew), Ashgabat*, Balkan Welayaty (Balkanabat), Dasoguz Welayaty, Lebap Welayaty (Turkmenabat), Mary Welayaty

note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

14 provinces (oblyslar, singular - oblys) and 4 cities* (qalalar, singular - qala); Almaty (Taldyqorghan), Almaty*, Aqmola (Kokshetau), Aqtobe, Astana*, Atyrau, Batys Qazaqstan [West Kazakhstan] (Oral), Bayqongyr*, Mangghystau (Aqtau), Pavlodar, Qaraghandy, Qostanay, Qyzylorda, Shyghys Qazaqstan [East Kazakhstan] (Oskemen), Shymkent*, Soltustik Qazaqstan [North Kazakhstan] (Petropavl), Turkistan, Zhambyl (Taraz)

note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses); in 1995, the Governments of Kazakhstan and Russia entered into an agreement whereby Russia would lease for a period of 20 years an area of 6,000 sq km enclosing the Baikonur space launch facilities and the city of Bayqongyr (Baikonur, formerly Leninsk); in 2004, a new agreement extended the lease to 2050

Independence
27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National holiday
Independence Day, 27 October (1991)
Independence Day, 16 December (1991)
Constitution
history: several previous; latest adopted 14 September 2016
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the total Assembly membership or absolute majority approval in a referendum; amended 2017
history: previous 1937, 1978 (preindependence), 1993; latest approved by referendum 30 August 1995, effective 5 September 1995
amendments: introduced by a referendum initiated by the president of the republic, on the recommendation of Parliament, or by the government; the president has the option of submitting draft amendments to Parliament or directly to a referendum; passage of amendments by Parliament requires four-fifths majority vote of both houses and the signature of the president; passage by referendum requires absolute majority vote by more than one half of the voters in at least two thirds of the oblasts, major cities, and the capital, followed by the signature of the president; amended several times, last in 2019
Legal system
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 12 February 2017 (next to be held in February 2024)
election results: Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW reelected president in the first round; percent of vote - Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (DPT) 97.7%, other 2.3%
chief of state: President Kasym-Zhomart TOKAYEV (since 20 March 2019); note - Nursultan NAZARBAYEV, who was president since 24 April 1990 (and in power since 22 June 1989 under the Soviet period), resigned on 20 March 2019; NAZARBAYEV retained the title and powers of "First President"; TOKAYEV completed NAZARBAYEV's term, which was shortened due to the early election of 9 June 2019, and then continued as president following his election victory
head of government: Prime Minister Askar MAMIN (since 25 February 2019); First Deputy Prime Minister Alikhan SMAILOV (since 25 February 2019); Deputy Prime Ministers Berdibek SAPARBAYEV and Roman SKLYAR (since 18 September 2019)
cabinet: the president appoints ministers after consultations with the Chair of the Security Council (NAZARBAYEV) who has veto power over all appointments except for the ministers of defense, internal affairs, and foreign affairs; however, the president is required to discuss these three offices with the National Security Committee, which NAZARBAYEV chairs under a lifetime appointment
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second consecutive term); election last held on 9 June 2019 (next to be held in 2024); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president, approved by the Mazhilis
election results: Kasym-Zhomart TOKAYEV elected president; percent of vote - Kassym-Jomart TOKAYEV (Nur Otan) 71%, Amirzhan KOSANOV (Ult Tagdyry) 16.2%, Daniya YESPAYEVA (Ak Zhol) 5.1%, other 7.7%
Legislative branch
description: unicameral National Assembly or Mejlis (125 seats; members directly elected from single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 25 March 2018, although interim elections are held on an ad hoc basis to fill vacant sets
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - DPT 55, APT 11, PIE 11, independent 48 (individuals nominated by citizen groups); composition - men 94, women 31, percent of women 24.8%
description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
Senate (49 seats; 34 members indirectly elected by majority 2-round vote by the oblast-level assemblies and 15 members appointed by decree of the president; members serve 6-year terms, with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years)
Mazhilis (107 seats; 98 members directly elected in a single national constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms and 9 indirectly elected by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, a 350-member, presidentially appointed advisory body designed to represent the country's ethnic minorities)
elections:
Senate - last held on 12 August 2020 (next to be held in 2026)
Mazhilis - last held on 20 March 2016 (next to be held by 2021)
election results:  
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 42, women 5, percent of women 10.6%
Mazhilis - percent of vote by party - Nur Otan 82.2%, Ak Zhol 7.2%, Communist People's Party 7.1%, other 3.5%; seats by party - Nur Otan 84, Ak Zhol 7, Communist People's Party 7; composition - men 78, women 29, percent of women 27.1%; note - total Parliament percent of women 22.1%
Judicial branch
highest courts: Supreme Court of Turkmenistan (consists of the court president and 21 associate judges and organized into civil, criminal, and military chambers)
judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president for 5-year terms
subordinate courts: High Commercial Court; appellate courts; provincial, district, and city courts; military courts
highest courts: Supreme Court of the Republic (consists of 44 members); Constitutional Council (consists of the chairman and 6 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges proposed by the president of the republic on recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council and confirmed by the Senate; judges normally serve until age 65 but can be extended to age 70; Constitutional Council - the president of the republic, the Senate chairperson, and the Mazhilis chairperson each appoints 2 members for a 6-year term; chairman of the Constitutional Council appointed by the president for a 6-year term
subordinate courts: regional and local courts
Political parties and leaders
Agrarian Party of Turkmenistan or APT [Basim ANNAGURBANOW]
Democratic Party of Turkmenistan or DPT [Ata SERDAROW]
Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs or PIE [Saparmyrat OWGANOW]

note: all of these parties support President BERDIMUHAMEDOW; a law authorizing the registration of political parties went into effect in January 2012; unofficial, small opposition movements exist abroad

Ak Zhol (Bright Path) Party or Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Ak Zhol [Azat PERUASHEV]
Birlik (Unity) Party [Serik SULTANGALI]
Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan [informal leader Aikyn KONUROV]
National Social Democratic Party or NSDP [Zharmakhan TUYAKBAY]
Nur Otan (Radiant Fatherland) Democratic People's Party [Nursultan NAZARBAYEV]
People's Democratic (Patriotic) Party "Auyl" [Ali BEKTAYEV]
Ult Tagdyry (Conscience of the Nation)
International organization participation
ADB, CIS (associate member, has not ratified the 1993 CIS charter although it participates in meetings and held the chairmanship of the CIS in 2012), EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO
ADB, CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAEU, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EITI (compliant country), FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UN Security Council (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer), ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US
Ambassador Meret ORAZOW (since 14 February 2001)
chancery: 2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 588-1500
FAX: [1] (202) 588-0697
Ambassador Yerzhan KAZYKHANOV (since 24 April 2017)
chancery: 1401 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 232-5488
FAX: [1] (202) 232-5845
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Matthew S. KLIMOW (since 26 June 2019)
telephone: [993] (12) 94-00-45
embassy: No. 9 1984 Street (formerly Pushkin Street), Ashgabat 744000
mailing address: 7070 Ashgabat Place, Washington, DC 20521-7070
FAX: [993] (12) 94-26-14
chief of mission: Ambassador William MOSER (since 27 March 2019)
telephone: [7] (7172) 70-21-00
embassy: Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev Ave. No 3, Astana 010010
mailing address: use embassy street address
FAX: [7] (7172) 54-09-14
consulate(s) general: Almaty
Flag description
green field with a vertical red stripe near the hoist side, containing five tribal guls (designs used in producing carpets) stacked above two crossed olive branches; five white, five-pointed stars and a white crescent moon appear in the upper corner of the field just to the fly side of the red stripe; the green color and crescent moon represent Islam; the five stars symbolize the regions or welayats of Turkmenistan; the guls reflect the national identity of Turkmenistan where carpet-making has long been a part of traditional nomadic life

note: the flag of Turkmenistan is the most intricate of all national flags

a gold sun with 32 rays above a soaring golden steppe eagle, both centered on a sky blue background; the hoist side displays a national ornamental pattern "koshkar-muiz" (the horns of the ram) in gold; the blue color is of religious significance to the Turkic peoples of the country, and so symbolizes cultural and ethnic unity; it also represents the endless sky as well as water; the sun, a source of life and energy, exemplifies wealth and plenitude; the sun's rays are shaped like grain, which is the basis of abundance and prosperity; the eagle has appeared on the flags of Kazakh tribes for centuries and represents freedom, power, and the flight to the future
National anthem
name: "Garassyz, Bitarap Turkmenistanyn" (Independent, Neutral, Turkmenistan State Anthem)
lyrics/music: collective/Veli MUKHATOV

note: adopted 1997, lyrics revised in 2008, to eliminate references to deceased President Saparmurat NYYAZOW

name: "Menin Qazaqstanim" (My Kazakhstan)
lyrics/music: Zhumeken NAZHIMEDENOV and Nursultan NAZARBAYEV/Shamshi KALDAYAKOV

note: adopted 2006; President Nursultan NAZARBAYEV played a role in revising the lyrics

International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)
Akhal-Teke horse; national colors: green, white
golden eagle; national colors: blue, yellow
Citizenship
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Turkmenistan
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kazakhstan
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Economy - overview

Turkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and significant natural gas and oil resources. The two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for almost 8% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Hydrocarbon exports, the bulk of which is natural gas going to China, make up 25% of Turkmenistan’s GDP. Ashgabat has explored two initiatives to bring gas to new markets: a trans-Caspian pipeline that would carry gas to Europe and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Both face major financing, political, and security hurdles and are unlikely to be completed soon.

Turkmenistan’s autocratic governments under presidents NIYAZOW (1991-2006) and BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 2007) have made little progress improving the business climate, privatizing state-owned industries, combatting corruption, and limiting economic development outside the energy sector. High energy prices in the mid-2000s allowed the government to undertake extensive development and social spending, including providing heavy utility subsidies.

Low energy prices since mid-2014 are hampering Turkmenistan’s economic growth and reducing government revenues. The government has cut subsidies in several areas, and wage arrears have increased. In January 2014, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan devalued the manat by 19%, and downward pressure on the currency continues. There is a widening spread between the official exchange rate (3.5 TMM per US dollar) and the black market exchange rate (approximately 14 TMM per US dollar). Currency depreciation and conversion restrictions, corruption, isolationist policies, and declining spending on public services have resulted in a stagnate economy that is nearing crisis. Turkmenistan claims substantial foreign currency reserves, but non-transparent data limit international institutions’ ability to verify this information.

Kazakhstan's vast hydrocarbon and mineral reserves form the backbone of its economy. Geographically the largest of the former Soviet republics, excluding Russia, Kazakhstan, g possesses substantial fossil fuel reserves and other minerals and metals, such as uranium, copper, and zinc. It also has a large agricultural sector featuring livestock and grain. The government realizes that its economy suffers from an overreliance on oil and extractive industries and has made initial attempts to diversify its economy by targeting sectors like transport, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, petrochemicals and food processing for greater development and investment. It also adopted a Subsoil Code in December 2017 with the aim of increasing exploration and investment in the hydrocarbon, and particularly mining, sectors.

Kazakhstan's oil production and potential is expanding rapidly. A $36.8 billion expansion of Kazakhstan’s premiere Tengiz oil field by Chevron-led Tengizchevroil should be complete in 2022. Meanwhile, the super-giant Kashagan field finally launched production in October 2016 after years of delay and an estimated $55 billion in development costs. Kazakhstan’s total oil production in 2017 climbed 10.5%.

Kazakhstan is landlocked and depends on Russia to export its oil to Europe. It also exports oil directly to China. In 2010, Kazakhstan joined Russia and Belarus to establish a Customs Union in an effort to boost foreign investment and improve trade. The Customs Union evolved into a Single Economic Space in 2012 and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in January 2015. Supported by rising commodity prices, Kazakhstan’s exports to EAEU countries increased 30.2% in 2017. Imports from EAEU countries grew by 24.1%.

The economic downturn of its EAEU partner, Russia, and the decline in global commodity prices from 2014 to 2016 contributed to an economic slowdown in Kazakhstan. In 2014, Kazakhstan devalued its currency, the tenge, and announced a stimulus package to cope with its economic challenges. In the face of further decline in the ruble, oil prices, and the regional economy, Kazakhstan announced in 2015 it would replace its currency band with a floating exchange rate, leading to a sharp fall in the value of the tenge. Since reaching a low of 391 to the dollar in January 2016, the tenge has modestly appreciated, helped by somewhat higher oil prices. While growth slowed to about 1% in both 2015 and 2016, a moderate recovery in oil prices, relatively stable inflation and foreign exchange rates, and the start of production at Kashagan helped push 2017 GDP growth to 4%.

Despite some positive institutional and legislative changes in the last several years, investors remain concerned about corruption, bureaucracy, and arbitrary law enforcement, especially at the regional and municipal levels. An additional concern is the condition of the country’s banking sector, which suffers from poor asset quality and a lack of transparency. Investors also question the potentially negative effects on the economy of a contested presidential succession as Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan NAZARBAYEV, turned 77 in 2017.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$103.7 billion (2017 est.)
$97.41 billion (2016 est.)
$91.72 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$478.6 billion (2017 est.)
$460.3 billion (2016 est.)
$455.3 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
6.5% (2017 est.)
6.2% (2016 est.)
6.5% (2015 est.)
6.13% (2019 est.)
4.41% (2018 est.)
4.38% (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$18,200 (2017 est.)
$17,300 (2016 est.)
$16,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$26,300 (2017 est.)
$25,700 (2016 est.)
$25,800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 7.5% (2017 est.)
industry: 44.9% (2017 est.)
services: 47.7% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 4.7% (2017 est.)
industry: 34.1% (2017 est.)
services: 61.2% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
0.2% (2012 est.)
2.6% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)
lowest 10%: 4.2%
highest 10%: 23.3% (2016)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
8% (2017 est.)
3.6% (2016 est.)
7.4% (2017 est.)
14.6% (2016 est.)
Labor force
2.305 million (2013 est.)
8.685 million (2020 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 48.2%
industry: 14%
services: 37.8% (2004 est.)
agriculture: 18.1%
industry: 20.4%
services: 61.6% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate
11% (2014 est.)
10.6% (2013)
4.8% (2019 est.)
4.85% (2018 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
40.8 (1998)
26.3 (2013)
31.5 (2003)
Budget
revenues: 5.657 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 6.714 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 35.48 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 38.3 billion (2017 est.)
Industries
natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, uranium, iron and steel; tractors and other agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate
1% (2017 est.)
5.8% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products
cotton, grain, melons; livestock
grain (mostly spring wheat and barley), potatoes, vegetables, melons; livestock
Exports
$7.458 billion (2017 est.)
$6.987 billion (2016 est.)
$49.29 billion (2017 est.)
$37.26 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber
oil and oil products, natural gas, ferrous metals, chemicals, machinery, grain, wool, meat, coal
Exports - partners
China 83.7%, Turkey 5.1% (2017)
Italy 17.9%, China 11.9%, Netherlands 9.8%, Russia 9.3%, Switzerland 6.4%, France 5.9% (2017)
Imports
$4.571 billion (2017 est.)
$5.215 billion (2016 est.)
$31.85 billion (2017 est.)
$28.07 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
machinery and equipment, metal products, foodstuffs
Imports - partners
Turkey 24.2%, Algeria 14.4%, Germany 9.8%, China 8.9%, Russia 8%, US 6.6% (2017)
Russia 38.9%, China 16.1%, Germany 5.1%, US 4.3% (2017)
Debt - external
$539.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$425.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$167.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$163.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
Turkmenistani manat (TMM) per US dollar -
4.125 (2017 est.)
3.5 (2016 est.)
3.5 (2015 est.)
3.5 (2014 est.)
2.85 (2013 est.)
tenge (KZT) per US dollar -
326.3 (2017 est.)
342.13 (2016 est.)
342.13 (2015 est.)
221.73 (2014 est.)
179.19 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year
calendar year
Public debt
28.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
24.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
20.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
19.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$24.91 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$25.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$30.75 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$29.53 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$4.359 billion (2017 est.)
-$7.207 billion (2016 est.)
-$7.206 billion (2019 est.)
-$138 million (2018 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$37.93 billion (2017 est.)
$159.4 billion (2017 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$3.061 billion (2013 est.)
$3.117 billion (2012 est.)
$161.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$143.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares

NA

$741.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.737 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$26.23 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate
5% (31 December 2014)
5% (31 December 2013)
11% (10 April 2017)
12% (9 January 2017)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
19% (31 December 2017 est.)
16% (31 December 2016 est.)
14.17% (31 December 2017 est.)
15.34% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$28.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$13.09 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$54.92 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$55.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$1.326 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.255 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$14.99 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$13.77 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$12.23 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$5.632 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$14.99 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$13.77 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
14.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
22.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-2.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-1.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 50% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 10% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 28.2% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 26.2% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -14.3% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 53.2% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 11.1% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 22.5% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 4.8% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 35.4% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -27.1% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving
23.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
24.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
23.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
21.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
25.1% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Electricity - production
21.18 billion kWh (2016 est.)
100.8 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption
15.09 billion kWh (2016 est.)
94.23 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports
3.201 billion kWh (2015 est.)
5.1 billion kWh (2017 est.)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2016 est.)
1.318 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production
244,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
1.856 million bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
1,480 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports
67,790 bbl/day (2015 est.)
1.409 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
600 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
30 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves
7.504 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
2.407 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - production
77.45 billion cu m (2017 est.)
22.41 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
39.31 billion cu m (2017 est.)
15.37 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports
38.14 billion cu m (2017 est.)
12.8 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports
0 cu m (2017 est.)
5.748 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity
4.001 million kW (2016 est.)
20.15 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels
100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
86% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
14% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production
191,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
290,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption
160,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
274,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports
53,780 bbl/day (2015 est.)
105,900 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
39,120 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy
100.5 million Mt (2017 est.)
304.6 million Mt (2017 est.)
Electricity access
electrification - total population: 100% (2020)
electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Telecommunications

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Telephones - main lines in use
total subscriptions: 648,223
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 11.85 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 3,275,584
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17.31 (2019 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular
total subscriptions: 8,908,821
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 162.86 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 26,223,595
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 138.58 (2019 est.)
Internet country code
.tm
.kz
Internet users
total: 1,149,840
percent of population: 21.25% (July 2018 est.)
total: 14,789,448
percent of population: 78.9% (July 2018 est.)
Telecommunication systems
general assessment: telecommunications network is gradually improving from the former Soviet republic; state control over most economic activities has not helped growth; in cooperation with foreign partners, the telecom sector has installed high-speed fiber-optic lines and has upgraded most of the country's telephone exchanges and switching centers with new digital technology; the mobile market will see slow growth; some rural areas are still without telephones; mobile broadband is in the early stages of development; in 2019 Russia-based operator said to be leaving the country and leaving only 1 public operator (2020)
domestic: fixed-line 12 per 100 and mobile-cellular teledensity is about 163 per 100 persons; first telecommunication satellite was launched in 2015 (2019)
international: country code - 993; linked by fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and to other countries by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; an exchange in Ashgabat switches international traffic through Turkey via Intelsat; satellite earth stations - 1 Orbita and 1 Intelsat (2018)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
general assessment: one of the most progressive telecoms sectors in Central Asia; vast 4G network; low fixed-line and fixed-broadband penetration, moderate mobile broadband penetration and high mobile penetration; mobile market highly competitive and slow growth due to saturation (2020)
domestic: intercity by landline and microwave radio relay; number of fixed-line connections is 17 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage increased rapidly and the subscriber base approaches 139 per 100 persons (2019)
international: country code - 7; international traffic with other former Soviet republics and China carried by landline and microwave radio relay and with other countries by satellite and by the TAE fiber-optic cable; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
Broadband - fixed subscriptions
total: 4,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
total: 2,462,900
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (2018 est.)
Broadcast media
broadcast media is government controlled and censored; 7 state-owned TV and 4 state-owned radio networks; satellite dishes and programming provide an alternative to the state-run media; officials sometimes limit access to satellite TV by removing satellite dishes
the state owns nearly all radio and TV transmission facilities and operates national TV and radio networks; there are 96 TV channels, many of which are owned by the government, and 4 state-run radio stations; some former state-owned media outlets have been privatized; households with satellite dishes have access to foreign media; a small number of commercial radio stations operate along with state-run radio stations; recent legislation requires all media outlets to register with the government and all TV providers to broadcast in digital format by 2018; broadcasts reach some 99% of the population as well as neighboring countries

Transportation

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Railways
total: 5,113 km (2017)
broad gauge: 5,113 km 1.520-m gauge (2017)
total: 16,614 km (2017)
broad gauge: 16,614 km 1.520-m gauge (4,200 km electrified) (2017)
Roadways
total: 58,592 km (2002)
paved: 47,577 km (2002)
unpaved: 11,015 km (2002)
total: 95,409 km (2017)
paved: 81,814 km (2017)
unpaved: 13,595 km (2017)
Waterways
1,300 km (Amu Darya River and Kara Kum Canal are important inland waterways) (2011)
4,000 km (on the Ertis (Irtysh) River (80%) and Syr Darya (Syrdariya) River) (2010)
Pipelines
7500 km gas, 1501 km oil (2013)
658 km condensate, 15,256 km gas (2017), 8,013 km oil (2017), 1,095 km refined products, 1,975 km water (2016) (2017)
Ports and terminals
major seaport(s): Caspian Sea - Turkmenbasy
major seaport(s): Caspian Sea - Aqtau (Shevchenko), Atyrau (Gur'yev)
river port(s): Oskemen (Ust-Kamenogorsk), Pavlodar, Semey (Semipalatinsk) (Irtysh River)
Merchant marine
total: 71
by type: general cargo 6, oil tanker 8, other 57 (2019)
total: 124
by type: general cargo 2, oil tanker 5, other 117 (2019)
Airports
total: 26 (2013)
total: 96 (2013)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 21 (2013)
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
total: 63 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 10 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 25 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2017)
under 914 m: 8 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 5 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
under 914 m: 4 (2013)
total: 33 (2013)
over 3,047 m: 5 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 5 (2013)
under 914 m: 13 (2013)
Heliports
1 (2013)
3 (2013)
National air transport system
number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 27
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,457,474 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 16.92 million mt-km (2018)
number of registered air carriers: 12 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 84
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 7,143,797 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 50.22 million mt-km (2018)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix
EZ (2016)
UP (2016)

Military

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Military branches
Armed Forces of Turkmenistan: National Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces; Federal Border Guard Service (2019)
Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan: Land Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Force; Ministry of Internal Affairs: National Guard, Border Service (includes Coast Guard), State Security Service (2019)
Military service age and obligation
18-27 years of age for compulsory male military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 20 years of age for voluntary service; males may enroll in military schools from age 15 (2013)
All men 18-27 are required to serve in the military for at least one year. (2019)

Transnational Issues

TurkmenistanKazakhstan
Disputes - international

cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2005; bilateral talks continue with Azerbaijan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian

in January 2019, the Kyrgyz Republic ratified the demarcation agreement of the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border; the demarcation of the Kazakh-Uzbek borders is ongoing; the ongoing demarcation with Russia began in 2007; demarcation with China completed in 2002

Illicit drugs
transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and Western European markets; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan
significant illicit cultivation of cannabis for CIS markets, as well as limited cultivation of opium poppy and ephedra (for the drug ephedrine); limited government eradication of illicit crops; transit point for Southwest Asian narcotics bound for Russia and the rest of Europe; significant consumer of opiates
Refugees and internally displaced persons
stateless persons: 3,688 (2019)
stateless persons: 8,386 (2019)

Source: CIA Factbook