Demographic and Language Politics in the 1999 Kazakhstan Census

Bhavna Dave and Peter Sinnott


No state in the former Soviet Union was more eager to conduct a census in the post-1991 years than Kazakhstan. For nationalists and ruling elites, the census was expected to confirm that Kazakhs had achieved a majority status within their "own" country, after having been reduced to a minority of the population under Soviet rule. This study analyzes the both the results of the 1999 census in Kazakhstan and, just as important, the demographic and language politics that shaped the census.

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