GDP, current US$ billion
GDP per capita, current US$
School Enrollment, primary (% gross) (2015)
Life Expectancy at Birth, years (2015)
Kazakhstan has a land area equal to that of Western Europe but one of the lowest population densities globally. Strategically, it links the large and fast-growing markets of China and South Asia and those of Russia and Western Europe by road, rail, and a port on the Caspian Sea.
Kazakhstan has transitioned from lower-middle-income to upper-middle-income status in less than two decades. The country moved to the upper-middle-income group in 2006. Since 2002, GDP per capita has risen sixfold and the incidence of poverty has fallen sharply.
Kazakhstan’s main short-term economic policy challenge is to adjust to the new reality of slower growth and lower income for the near future. This will entail effective measures to strengthen the sustainability of the macroeconomic framework as well as action to protect the vulnerable. The longer-term development policy challenge is to transform the country’s growth model away from reliance on natural resource extraction toward a more diversified, competitive economy.
The economy’s vulnerability to external shocks remains the major source of risk to medium-term growth and poverty reduction. The anticipated political transition, including the ongoing constitutional reform that is supposed to lead to a rebalancing of powers, may slow the current reform momentum and delay the transition to a new development model that aims at more sustainable and inclusive growth.
Success in the implementation of planned institutional and structural reforms under the “100 Concrete Steps” program will be critical to improving Kazakhstan’s endowments, including human capital and institutions. Successful reforms may contribute to improved living standards for all and therefore a better shared prosperity in the long run.