GDP, current US$ billion
GDP per capita, current US$
School Enrollment, primary (% gross) (2014)
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 poverty incidence 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. External demand from China and Russia, the country’s key trading partners, as well as global oil demand and prices, remain the key external factors impacting Kazakhstan’s economy.
Unless the Government implements significant improvements in the rule of law, investment climate, and quality of human capital, there is little likelihood that the role of the tradable non-oil sector will expand to produce more productive and better-paid jobs that will facilitate poverty reduction.