Kazakhstan has borders with Russia, the People's Republic of China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turrkmenistan. The capital is Astana, the largest city is Almaty.
The territory of Kazakhstan was inhabited by nomads until the 18th century. Then the russian Empire started annexingit, a process completed during the 19th century. Following its fall, Kazakhstan was one of the consituent states of the Soviet Union. It gained its independance in 1991. Due to its resources in petroleum, natural gas, chromium, lead, zing, manganese, copper, coal, iron, gold and diamonds, Kazakhstan has experienced constant economic growth since its independance.
Kazkhstan is one of the most ethnically diverse nations in Asia. only 67% of the population are ethnic Kazakhs. 21% are ethic Russians, establishing their language as the second official one in the state. There are significant minorities of Tatars, Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Belarusians, Uyghurs, Azerbaijanis and Poles. There used to be large minorities of Volga Germans, Pontian Greeks and Koreans. Many of their members chose to migrate towards Germany, Greece and South Korea following the fall of the Soviet Union. Relatively few chose to stay behind. Islam is practiced by 57% of the population, Christianity by 40% percent. There is a small but active Jewish community.