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A map of KazakhstanA map of Kazakhstan Roughly the size of Western Europe, Kazakhstan is the world’s ninth largest country by area. Most of it lies within Asia, but the far west reaches into Europe. Much of Kazakhstan is made up of rolling plateaus. Mountains rise steeply along the eastern border. In the north, a vast area of dry grassland, the Kazakh Steppe, stretches across the country. This merges into desert in the south. Kazakhstan has a dry, continental climate. Summers are very hot with little rain, while winter temperatures can fall as low as -20°C (-4°F).

A map of KazakhstanA map of Kazakhstan

People and farming

Ethnic Kazakhs make up around two-thirds of Kazakhstan’s population. They are descendants of ancient Turkic tribes, some of the first people to live in the region. Many are farmers and raise cattle and sheep. The rest are mostly Russians whose families arrived to farm the Kazakh Steppe in the 1950s. Most people in Kazakhstan speak both Kazakh and Russian. Kazakhs are nearly all Muslims, while the country’s Russians tend to be Orthodox Christians.

Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country.

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