Kazakhstan (i/ˌkæzækˈstɑːn, ˌkɑː-, -zɑːk-, -ˈstæn/;Kazakh: Қазақстан, Qazaqstan), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a country in Central Asia, with a minor part west of the Ural River and thus in Europe. Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country by land area and the ninth largest country in the world. Its territory of 2,724,900 square kilometres (1,052,100 sq mi) is larger than all of Western Europe. By 2006, Kazakhstan had become the dominant nation of Central Asia economically, generating 60% of the region's GDP, primarily through its oil/gas industry. The country has vast mineral resources.

It has borders with (clockwise from the north) Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, and also adjoins a large part of the Caspian Sea. The terrain of Kazakhstan includes flatlands, steppe, taiga, rock canyons, hills, deltas, snow-capped mountains, and deserts. With an estimated 18 million people as of 2014, Kazakhstan is the 61st most populous country in the world. Given its large land area, its population density is among the lowest, at less than 6 people per square kilometre (15 people per sq. mi.). The capital is Astana, where it was moved in 1997 from Almaty.

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Creative Commons / Israel Defense Forces

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