Emigration causes from KAZAKHSTAN – FACTS and Figures



Exodus out of Kazakhstan was at its peak over the past 12 years. According to the official statistics for in 2019, approximately 45 thousand people emigrated from Kazakhstan mostly skilled workers in working age. Russia is now the primary destination for tourists, as nearly 135 thousand people gained citizenship within the last 3 years. This roughly amounts to, for instance the people in Kokshetau and Ekibastuz.

We must try to discover, without petty and ideological what the scales as well as the motives and nature of the migration.

How many people are quitting?

Tens of thousands of residents of Kazakhstan reside in Russia indefinitely or for long periods of time. According to registration data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of RF, 50.4 thousand people gained citizenship during the year. An additional 63.3 thousand were granted a the residence permit or authorization to reside in Russia.


In the last year, around 140,000 people have left to seek the purpose of permanent residence or a long-term stay to Russia (more than six people per thousand residents) And the officials of Kazakhstan have observed the departure of less than 40000 people who have emigrated. Furthermore as a an analyst in the field of politics as well as Kazakhstan specialist Irina Chernykh explains, almost 30% of those who emigrate have higher education and 25% are under the age of 29. This means that only the most productive segment of the population are moving out of Kazakhstan


Who is left?

For quite a while the reason for emigration was attributed to the exodus of the Russian population from Russia however, in recent years, the movement from the nation is becoming a phenomenon of social change.

Based on the findings of the “Strategy” Fund (Almaty) currently, every one tenth Kazakh plans to move abroad and every third of the potential immigrants have ethnic Kazakhs. Experts also discuss the increasing amount of Kazakh migrants.

The amount of Kazakhs is growing constantly in the neighboring Russia however, very only a few have emigrated to Kazakhstan. According to censuses in 1989 the number of Kazakhs was 635 thousand people living in the RSFSR and in 2010 despite the turbulence in the country, there were 647 000. According to estimates from the funds for ethnicity “Dostar” (Saratov), by 2019 , there are around 800-900 thousand ethnic Kazakhs in Kazakhstan. So, the Kazakh community is growing , in contrast to other ethnic groups of Kazakhstan which tend to decline.

And there are many Kazakhs from Kazakhstan including The Hero of Russia Colonel Serik Sultangabiev and soldier Tasbolat Irbashev, who was the only one to have prevented his own Georgian militarists in 2008. and the well-known producer Timur Bekmambetov. Hero of Russia Nikolai Maidanov and financier Herman Gref are from Kazakh Germans. They aren’t ethnic Russians however, in the 1990s , they tied their life to Russia and played a role in the growth of the country.

The mass emigration of the 1990’s The 1990’s, when 2.6mln people including the ethnic Kazakhs left Kazakhstan within 9 years, was linked to the greatest social crisis in the country. The people who left could be referred to as economic refugees.

A new wave of migration began following the establishment of the Customs Union in 2010. The rate of people moving to Kazakhstan to Russia was increased from 27 thousand people in the year 2010 to fifty thousand (2013) 65, 65, 000 (2015) as well as 72 000 (2018). According the Kazakh estimates, about a third of those who leave are Kazakhs. The singer Marzhan Makisheva and actor Askar Ilyasov and chess player Bibisara Asaubaeva and others who are not well-known were part of this latest wave of emigration.

Yes, the emigration rate from Kazakhstan is nearly two-thirds Russian However, the “Kazakh” part is expanding. And it is evident that the number of immigrants from Kazakhstan is increasing, though it will not quite reach the levels of the 1990s crisis.

One of the main reasons for emigration is that there are also problems with national languages which are the most prominent manifestation is the Korday pogrom which forced up to 10 thousand refugees in a single night. The background of this negative event can, however, cause Kazakhs as well as non-Kazakhs to move to other countries. But, this subject deserves the discussion of an article of its own.

Motives to emigrate

One of the primary reasons to leave is the perception that Russia is more affluent and has better standards of living as compared to Kazakhstan. The people who leave talk of higher salaries as well as a better and less expensive education as well as more comfortable working and living conditions as well as the accessibility of social elevators.

Around 70 000 laborers from Kazakhstan are recognized in the RF in the present If you take into account illegal migration, their numbers may be greater than 100000.

The research shows that migrants from Kazakhstan are able to earn 23 percent greater in Russia than they do in their country of origin. 65.5 percent of the migrants from Kazakhstan intend to remain in their new home for the rest of their lives.

A substantial “deferred” migration is due to the educational needs of children. In the first quarter of 2019, 52.9 thousand citizens of Kazakhstan which is 267 %(!) more than eight years ago, attended Russian universities, which excludes technological schools as well as other institutions of education. The research conducted by Irina Chernykh, as well as other studies by KazUSU reveal that each second student wants to move in the country for a permanent residence. Additionally the figures are based on those who were surveyed at the beginning of training, when the growth of the proportion of students who would prefer to stay in traditional settings is increasing.

Recently, a publication from the nation has conducted a thorough comparison of the living circumstances in Karaganda and Chelyabinsk and the entire United States which includes social benefits, the availability of mortgages, and educational institutions. The majority of comparisons are favour of Russia.

The main reason to emigrate to Russia is the more comfortable lifestyle and better opportunities for self-actualization that one can find in their home country.

A major challenge for Kazakhstan

Every year, the Republic suffers the loss of tens of millions of highly skilled specialists who leave the country. About 50-60% of them people who move to Russia for work or to study will stay there to stay for a long time. The situation for people who go to China as well as other countries is likely to be similar.

For many years, Emigration was seen as the departure of people from non-Kazakh countries “to their ancestral homelands” (Russians in Russia, Koreans to Korea) However it is evident that increasing numbers of ethnic Kazakhs are part of this process.

Kazakhstan is trying to offset displacement losses by allowing an influx of Oralman fellow citizens. However, this portion of the population is at an inferior standard of education than those who move out. So, 13.6% of oralmans are educated, compared to 30% of those who emigrate. In addition, it is acknowledged that immigrants face the language barrier and lack of social integration more so than those who speak Russian.

It is evident that Kazakhstan’s immigration policy is only increasing the social divisions and the current economic challenges. In the end, this policy is certainly the opposite of what is desired outcomes.







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