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The Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic ( ; ), also known as the Kazakh SSR for short, was one of republics that made up the Soviet Unionmarker. At 2,717,300 square kilometres (1,063,200 square miles) in area, it was the second largest constituent republic in the USSR, after the Russian SFSR. Its capital was Alma-Atamarker (today known as Almaty). Today it is the independent state of Kazakhstanmarker in Central Asia. During its existence it was led by the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR.

The country is named after the Kazakh people, Turkic-speaking former nomads who sustained a powerful khanate in the region before Russianmarker and then Soviet domination. The Soviet Union's spaceport, now known as the Baikonur Cosmodromemarker was located in this republic at Tyuratammarker, and the secret town of Leninsk was constructed to accommodate its personnel.

History

Established on August 26, 1920, it was initially called Kirghiz ASSR (Kirghiz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic) and was a part of the Russian SFSR. On April 15-19, 1925, it was renamed During the 1950s and 1960s Soviet citizens were urged to settle in the "Virgin Lands" of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. The influx of immigrants, mostly Russians, skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-Kazakhs to outnumber natives. As a result, the use of Kazakh language has declined but has started to pick up again after the independence, both as a result of its resurging popularity in law and business and growing proportion of Kazakhs since the Independence. The other nationalities included Ukrainians, Germans, Jews, Belarusians, Koreans and others; Germans at the time of independence formed about 8% of the population, the largest concentration of Germans in the entire Soviet Union. Independence has caused many of these newcomers to emigrate.On December 10, 1991 Kazakh SSR was renamed into Republic of Kazakhstanmarker and six days later became independent.

Population

According to the 1897 census, the earliest census taken in the region, Kazakhs constituted 81.7% of the total population (3,392,751 people) within the territory of contemporary Kazakhstan. The Russian population in Kazakhstan was 454,402, or 10.95% of total population; there were 79,573 Ukrainians (1.91%); 55,984 Tatars (1.34%); 55,815 Uyghurs (1.34%); 29,564 Uzbeks (0.7%); 46,934 Greeks (0.29%) est 1989; 11,911 Mordovans (0.28%); 4,888 Dungan (0.11%); 2,883 Turkmen; 2,613 Germans; 2,528 Bashkir; 1,651 Jews; and 1,254 Poles.

Table: Ethnic Composition of Kazakhstan (census data)
Nationality 1959 % 1970 % 1979 % 1989 % 1999 %

Kazakh 30.0 32.6 36.0 40.1 53.4
Russian 42.7 42.4 40.8 37.4 29.9
Ukrainian 8.2 7.2 6.1 5.4 3.7
Belarusian 1.2 1.5 1.2 1.1 0.8
German 7.1 6.6 6.1 5.8 2.4
Tatar 2.1 2.2 2.1 2.0 1.7
Uzbek 1.5 1.7 1.8 2.0 2.5
Uyghur 0.6 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.4
Korean 0.8 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.7


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