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Population of Kazakhstan's south to outnumber north four times 24 апреля 2014, 18:59

The population in Kazakhstan's northern regions may shrink by nearly one million people by 35 years, and become four times smaller than that of the southern areas.
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© Tengrinews © Tengrinews

The population in Kazakhstan's northern regions may shrink by nearly one million people in about 35 years. This number was announced by Kazakhstan's Minister of Labour and Social Protection Tamara Duisenova after the Tuesday government meeting, Tengrinews reports.

The ministry made an analysis of demographic, economic, production and employment trends in Kazakhstan that showed a clear imbalance among different geographic regions of the country.

According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, there is a growing disparity between the North and the South of Kazakhstan: by 2050 the population in the northern regions is expected to dwindle by 0.9 million people, while the population of the southern regions will be almost four times larger than that in the North.

Even now, a large portion of the population lives in southern areas: 16 percent in South Kazakhstan Oblast, 11.5 percent in Almaty Oblast (excluding Almaty city) and 6.3 percent in Zhambyl Oblast. But what raises additional concerns is that this 38 percent portion of Kazakhstan southern population generates only 17 percent of the gross regional product (GRP) and 58% of this output comes from trade and services.  

In the meanwhile Kazakhstan's northern regions that are now home to 29 percent of the population account for 25 percent of the GRP. Therefore, the smaller northern population accounts for larger economic output as well as a substantially more diversified workforce.

The total population of Kazakhstan is forecasted to increase by 21% by 2030, adding on 3.3 million people to the current 17 million, Duisenova said. However, the growth is expected to primarily affect the southern regions of Kazakhstan (Almaty Oblast, Southern Kazakhstan Oblast and Almaty City), deepening the existing imbalance.  

Such disparity will result in imbalances in labor supply.  "According to the forecast, the average number of working-age population will decrease in Akmola, Karaganda, Pavlodar, North Kazakhstan and East Kazakhstan Oblasts by 2030,” Duisenova said. Whereas in Almaty Oblast, Southern Kazakhstan Oblast and Almaty city the concentration of labor will grow. That is, shortages of labor are expected to grow in the northern regions, whereas its surplus is going to continue mounting in the South of Kazakhstan.

Reporting by Asemgul Kasenova, writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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