Regions of Kazakhstan: Economic Review


Having the territory in five Frances, Kazakhstan already on this parameter can not have homogeneous economic structure. Un-even distribution of people, water, soil suitable for agriculture and other resources became the reason of significant and sharp economic differentiation of the country. Let's examine the key differences of regions.

2009-06-08-kaz_mapBy administrative division Kazakhstan has 14 oblasts (regions) and two cities of republican submission — Astana and Almaty. Also, there is Baikonur, the city with space-vehicle launching site of the same name. Baikonur city has the specific status, something like rent territory of Russian Federation.

Geographically located from west to east of the country the Atyrauskaya, Mangystauskaya, Zapadno-Kazakhstanskaya (West-Kazakhstan), Aktyubinskaya and Kyzylordinskaya oblasts can be determined as oil-gas regions. Their distinctive features are the following: high level of the investments (more than 50 % of all capital investments in the country), mono-orientated economy, underdeveloped processing and agricultural sectors. Besides, the dieing periphery within the oblasts, high level of poverty and unemployment are typical for the whole region. In accordance with the official statistical data 18,3 % of the population of the country stay at this economic region.

Kostanaiskaya oblast in the north of the Republic, also Zhambylskaya and Yuzhno-Kazakhstanskaya (South-Kazakhstan) oblasts in the south of the country could be called as agrarian-industrial regions. Two last oblasts border on each other but they haven't the common border with Kostanaiskaya oblast (they are separated from it by Karagandinskaya oblast). These three oblasts mostly specialized in agriculture and have the resources for development of industrial potential. Also all the region has attractive natural resources. In southern agrarian-industrial oblasts the agriculture is irrigating, and in northern oblast it is dry-farming. 27,4 % of the population of republic lives at this region.

The other agricultural oblasts are divided into two huge tracts of land, namely: Almatinskaya oblast is in the southeast of the country, Severo-Kazakhstanskaya (North-Kazakhstan) and Akmolinskaya oblasts are in the north of the country (the two last are located to the east of Kostanaiskaya oblast and have the common border). The mentioned three oblasts are specializing on agriculture. The moving changes in agricultural development are different, the oblasts have the weak industrial base. Officially 20% of Kazakhstan population stay at agricultural regions.

The industrial areas represent a wide wedge which is narrowed from east to the centre of the country. They are Pavlodarskaya, Vostochno-Kazakhstanskaya (East-Kazakhstan) and Karagandinskaya oblasts. The huge amounts of black and color metals, perspective processing sector, differentiated manufacture, the more advanced peripheries are the typical features of the given oblasts. According to official statistics, 23,3 % of the population of the country lives in industrial regions.

The cities of republican submission like Astana and Almaty are the consumer centres. High level of the incomes of the population, highly developed sector of services are their distinctive features. The trade revolution in these cities makes almost half of the national revolution. True, the experts don't believe the official demographic statistics, in accordance with which 11,9 % of the population lives in these cities. The experts emphasize that at 16 millions of inhabitants of Kazakhstan minimum 2 millions of inhabitants are concentrated in Almaty. Also, one million of population stay at Almaty agglomeration which submits to Almatinskaya oblast with the centre in Taldykorgan city. Many of Karaganda or Shymkent citizens prefer to buy automobiles in Almaty because of the richest choice. This fact also explains a high trade revolution came to Almaty and Astana cities.

The economic and geographical disproportion of regions of Kazakhstan continues to accrue. While some oblasts are successfully developing, the others are turning into depressive areas. In 2008 Almaty city (18%) and Atyrauskaya oblast (11%) dominated in a share of gross national product (it is considered on oblasts). The least contribution into gross national product was brought by Zhambylskaya oblast (2 %).

Nobody cancelled particularism, e.g. the local specific features, therefore each oblast of the country has its typical features.

Akmolinskaya oblast: there is a good base for manufacture and processing grain-crops, also for meat and milk live-stock farming.

Aktyubinskaya oblast: among all the oil-gas region the oblast has the best conditions for diversification of manufacture. The oblast is rich with chromium.

Almatinskaya oblast: the oblast is the leader with scope of agricultural manufacture in the country. The consumer demand grows slowly in the region.

Atyrauskaya oblast: in light of investment activity the oblast has the leading position in the republic. Besides oil extracting and oil processing all the other sectors of economy are stagnating. The fish recourses of the oblast are decreasing because of wide spread poaching (sturgeon fish — delicious meat and black caviar).

Vostochno-Kazakhstanskaya (East-Kazakhstan) oblast: color metallurgy, motor industry (assembly), metal industry, manufacture of fabrics, manufacture of building materials, food-processing industry. The State Monetary mint is located in Ust-Kamenogorsk city.

Zhambylskaya oblast: 72 % of balance stocks of Kazakhstan phosphorites is concentrated in the oblast, there are the other minerals (68 % of fluor-spar). Unfortunately, the region remains as agricultural one.

Zapadno-Kazakhstanskaya (West-Kazakhstan) oblast: this is the large oil-gas region. The other segments are developing narrowly. It is possible to allocate manufacture of oil-gas equipment.

Karagandinskaya oblast: This is the advanced base of black and color metallurgy, industry is diversificated. The territory of the oblast is the largest one in the Republic.

Kostanaiskaya oblast: there is a good base for manufacture and processing grain-crops, also for meat and milk live-stock farming. 100 % of Kazakhstan bauxites are concentrated in the oblast.

Kyzylordinskaya oblast: all the sectors of economy excepting oil and gas are developed poorly. Also, since 2003 production of hydro-carbon stuff has been falling. There are the sharp ecological problems.

Mangystauskaya oblast: despite of enormous natural recourses only production of oil and gas is developing actively. Port Aktau on the intercontinental Caspian sea is the main sea gate of the country.

Pavlodarskaya oblast: the oblast has the diversificated industrial and agricultural manufacture, rich recourses of raw materials.

Severo-Kazakhstanskaya (North-Kazakhstan) oblast: there is a good base for manufacture of grain-crops. The enterprises of the former USSR strategic-industrial complex do not work. The oblast has the lowest parameter in industry development among the other oblasts.

Yuzhno-Kazakhstanskaya (South-Kazakhstan) oblast: the oblast is one of the densely populated in the country. Growth of food-processing industry on the basis of local raw stuff. Still the impressive industrial potential remains non-realized.

The economic and geographical disproportion of regions of Kazakhstan is the settled fact. The government realizes the significance of the situation and even is intended in rational territorial distribution of industry in the country in order to weaken asymmetry in development of areas. However, earlier nothing had changed in the situation with asymmetry in development of areas. Nowadays it's difficult to prove that something could turn out, especially as the previous experience showed the negative result.


  1. scrat

    sad story again, why would we just forget about rest of Kaz. except Almaty and Astana (lucky city)?

  2. Anne

    Yes, you are quite right, it's really sad story. I've heard that Kazakhstan is a rich country. Seems that it's so. Poor people...

  3. Anonymous

    Есть территория... . Господа, и не более!!!

  4. крысобел

    ах оне бедняжки!

    Разъезжают на черных джиппах, ходят в лампасах от адидаса, да уж можно пожалеть, такая участь и от президента не скрылась, запретили черные джипы наконец-то ;0)

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