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, showing a significant progress in country performance in the World Bank’s indicator of shared prosperity.
Kazakhstan’s challenging external environment caused a broad-based economic slowdown in 2014 and put upward pressure on inflation. Progress on poverty reduction was largely stagnant in 2014 and 2015, reflecting slow growth and anemic labor market outcomes. In 2017, more favorable terms of trade and increased oil production supported an economic recovery and an improvement in poverty indicators in Kazakhstan.
Ongoing structural and institutional reforms (including those under the 100 Concrete Steps program and the Strategic Plan for Development of Kazakhstan to 2025) aim to reduce the role of the state in the economy and facilitate the development of a vibrant, modern, and innovative tradable non-oil sector.
The economy’s vulnerability to external shocks remains the main challenge to achieving stable and sustainable development. External demand from China and the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan’s main trading partners, as well as global oil demand and prices, will continue to be the key external factors impacting Kazakhstan’s economic performance. Domestic factors include the pace of implementation of structural and institutional reforms, especially in anticipation of a political transition over the medium term.