Kazakhstan’s Senate Chair Calls for Population Growth to Propel National Development

ASTANA – Maulen Ashimbayev, the chairman of the Senate, an upper house of the Kazakh Parliament, emphasized the need to boost the country’s population to 30-40 million people in the next decade to propel the nation’s development during a Feb. 20 government session, reported Kazinform.

Maulen Ashimbayev. Photo credit: senate.parlam.kz

According to Ashimbayev, developing the world’s ninth-largest territory in the coming decades would pose considerable challenges without a population increase. 

“It is clear that population growth raises certain questions and leads to certain challenges. (…) This is the provision of social infrastructure, schools: we do not have time to provide the current number of our children with schools. These are preschool institutions, medical institutions, and jobs. But, despite all these issues, we must increase the population of our country. This is a strategic issue,” he said.

He also underscored the importance of human resources in achieving this demographic target to ensure economic growth, market capacity, and overall national progress. 

Kazakh Minister of Culture and Information Aida Balayeva noted record-high birth rates recently, with 2021 witnessing the largest indicator in 34 years.

However, she also noted that one-sixth of families cannot have children, causing 20% of divorces. Balayeva cited the Bureau of National Statistics, indicating a nearly 6% decrease in marriages and over 5% in divorces last year.

Ashimbayev further addressed the potential need for external migration to supplement Kazakhstan’s workforce in the medium to long term, which “requires a meaningful policy on the part of the government.”

He emphasized that while such migration may provoke some negative reactions, it is essential to support the development of the country’s expansive territory and foster innovation in various sectors.

Ashimbayev stressed the necessity of attracting specialists from abroad to support the establishment of promising industrial enterprises and innovative initiatives when more than domestic specialists are needed.

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