Kazakhstan 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 kilo-meters (1,052,100 sq. mi) is larger than Western Europe. 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, though its population density is among the lowest, at less than 6 people per square kilometer (15 people per sq. mi.). The capital is Astana, where it was moved from Almaty in 1997.
Official estimates put the population of Kazakhstan at 16.455 million as of February 2011, of which 46% is rural and 54% is urban. In 2013, Kazakhstan's population rose to 17,280,000 with a 1.7% growth rate over the past year according to the Kazakhstan Statistics Agency.
The ethnic Kazakhs represent 63.1% of the population and ethnic Russians 23.7%, with a rich array of other groups represented, including Ta-tars (1.3%), Ukrainians (2.1%), Uzbeks (2.8%), Belarusians, Uyghurs (1.4%), Azerbaijanis, Poles, and Lithuanians.
Kazakhstan has the largest and strongest performing economy in Central Asia. Supported by rising oil output and prices, Kazakhstan’s economy grew at an average of 8% per year until 2013, before suffering a slow-down in 2014 and 2015 Kazakhstan was the first former Soviet Republic to repay all of its debt to the International Monetary Fund, 7 years ahead of schedule.