The city was formed in 1832, near the beach of river Esil in the Karaotkel tract where a keep named Akmola was founded. On the 16th of July 1863 Akmola was officially a district town. In December 1960 the city became a center for the Tselliniy Region, which consisted of all the north areas of Kazakhstan. Before 1960 the city was named Akmolinks, from 1961to 1992 – Tselinograd and from 1992 to 1998 – Akmola.
The administrative importance of the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan and its current name, Astana received in 1998. The city is located north of Sari-Arka, on the right side of the river Esil. Historically, Astana is a city that connects Europe and Asia. Today, Astana is a major transport hub, connecting main arteries – automobile, train tracks and airlines.
Population of the city: 687.7 thousand people (1st of February 2009)
Area of Astana: 72.2 thousand hectares. (1st of February 2009), including: “Almaty” District – 21.4 thousand hectares.“Sariarka” District – 19.6 thousand hectares.“Esil” District – 31.2 thousand hectares.
International Dialing code - 7172
Astana is located in northern Kazakhstan on the right side of the river Esil. The topography of the city’s territory consists of low terraces. The climate is harshly continental. The winter is cold, long, sever in some years and with little snowfall. The summer is temperate and can be characterized by hot, dry weather. Average July temperature is +20c. A maximum temperature of +30c and higher occurs usually in July for 11-12 days. The hydrographic network of the city is represented by a single river, Esil and minor intermittent inflows, passing through the territories of the cities of Sarybulak and Ashylyozen. Astana has numerous fresh and salt water lakes running in a radius of 25-30km from the city.
The capital’s main artery is the river Esil, which flows in its south side and takes its beginning from the springs of Niaz mountains (northern side of the Kazakh uplands) in the Karaganda region. The total length of the river from source to mouth is 2450km. In 1965-1970 a reservoir named Vychislavskoe was built for water supply and irrigated agricultural development with a full volume of 410.9 million m3.
Astana is located in a zone of dry steppes, in a subzone of fescue-feather grass steppes and dark chestnut soils. The soil cover is characterized by its low productivity. Currently, active work is being done on greening the capital and planting trees and shrubs, adapted to the local soil and climatic conditions. On the 1st of January 2009, the area of forest resources amounts to 16.5 hectares.
The city precincts of the capital contain 18 fields for the development of soil and road construction sand gravel and crushed stone for production of silica brick, etc. At the beginning of 2009, stocks of category A+B+C1 (explored) are 129650.5 m3, category C2 (inferred) are 4265.8 m3.
On 1st of August 2009 the city has a register of 70 large corporate entities, 72.4 thousand subject of small and medium business.
Industrial development in the region has been traditionally associated with agriculture and processing of agricultural raw materials. In January-August 2009, enterprises of the capital have seen an industrial output of 60 082.9 million tenge, representing 89.5% of the corresponding period of the previous year. At the same time there was an increase in the volume of food: pasta and flour products – 30.8%, cakes and confectionary – 46.4%, crackers and cookies – 80%, mineral and carbonated water – 33.1%. Decreased production of cheese and cottage cheese – 68.6%, fresh bread – 14.2%, processed milk and cream – 69.4%, yogurt – 93.9%
The capital is experiencing a rise in active foreign activities; mutually beneficent relations are being developed with neighboring states and foreign countries. Foreign trade turnover in January-July 2009 amounted to 2770.7 million USD, including CIS countries – 653.9 million USD, with foreign countries – 2116.8 million USD.
Astana leads the country in terms of construction. From January to August 2009, 940 301 thousand sq.m. of living space has been commissioned, which is 39.2% more over the same period last year. Including 21577 thousand sq.m. of real estate belonging to the category of state property, 883209 thousand sq.m. – private. In the capital construction sector, 29 089.5 million tenge have been utilized.
The transport of Kazakhstan’s capital is provided mainly by city buses. In order to improve the environmental situation in the city, effort is being made to update the public transport fleet.
The city also has an international airport named “Astana”, train station and a bus station. From the beginning of the year, all transport (excluding rail) carried 5 122.2 million passengers.
The telecommunications network has received a significant development. New ATS have been put into operation, GSM is being introduced as a standard, and satellite television antennas are integrated into telecommunication centers.
On the 1st of August 2009 the number of people in employment (in medium and big businesses with more than 50 employees) was 184.5 thousand. Registered unemployed – 6467 people, the level of unemployment for this period amounted to 1.7% of economically active population. 18129 people have visited a job office for employment. Thanks to request by employers, 7085 people have found employment. 1316 people have been directed towards public works.
On the 1st of September 2009 pensions received due to age amounts to 41 262 people. Government welfare payments – 14 830 people, special welfare payments – 22 364 people, government special welfare payments – 647 people, at the same time welfare for a newborn – 1415 people, government allowance for child care under one year – 4416 people.
Average nominal monthly wage for one employee from January to July 2009 amounted to 94 445 thousand tenge, which is 0.9% more compared to previous year’s period.
Education and healthcare:
Astana has a wide variety of educational institutions. The city has 14 universities, including 10 private. The number of secondary schools is 76, with 67 807 students. In addition, there are 12 non-governmental schools, with 2211 students. Inside the cities’ territory are 24 colleges, 5 professional technical schools, more than 60 kindergartens. Information technology is being actively implemented into the learning process. The level of availability of computers in secondary schools greatly higher than the average republican level.
The healthcare system of the city includes 21 hospitals (4652 places), institutions medical outpatient care (including outpatient departments of hospitals and dispensaries) – 34.
Astana is big and modern megalopolis, with a developed engineering infrastructure, transport hub, community housing and services, extensive network of social facilities to ensure the normal functioning of the city.