Kazakhstan is a geographically large country, comparable in size to Western Europe, situated in Central Asia and bordered by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. It has an economically beneficial mineral, oil and gas industry, generating almost 60% of its national income. Its government, after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union of which it was a part, is officially considered a democratic, constitutional republic.
The varied terrain of Kazakhstan, with a population around 18 million, includes flatlands, steppe, taiga, rock canyons, hills, deltas, snow-capped mountains, and deserts. In 1997, its capital was changed to be called Nur-Sultan, from Astana. The country’s largest city is Almaty.
The country has over 100 ethnicities which include Kazakhs (over 65%of the population), Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Germans, Tatars, and Uyghurs. The vast majority practice Islam, with Christianity practiced by 26%.