SWEEPING ETHNO-DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES IN KAZAKHSTAN DURING THE 20TH CENTURY: A DRAMATIC STORY OF MASS MIGRATION WAVES
PART II: INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION IN KAZAKHSTAN SINCE 1991
The long-time formation of a multiethnic population in Kazakhstan during the Soviet period formed a potential source for population outflow while a sizable Kazakh diaspora abroad was a potential source of immigration to Kazakhstan after 1991. Since the 1991 independence of Kazakhstan, the strategic demographic goals have been to increase its population size and stabilize its ethno-demographic situation. The migration processes that occurred can be divided into two chronological periods. First, the 1990s were marked with a mass outflow of the European population from Kazakhstan. It was a sign of shift towards liberalization in socio-economic, political and other spheres of life as well as the economic downturns related to the collapse of the ruble zone, and the impact of the Asian and Russian financial crises in 1997–1998. The second period marked with the emergence of new migration trends started in the beginning of the 2000s despite the fact that Kazakhstan had still been losing its population due to emigration. The net migration became positive in 2004 and even increased in the following years. The volume of immigration among ethnic Kazakhs under the state policy on ethnic return migration increased. The aim of the second part of the paper is to trace the changes in the total population and its ethno-demographic structure in Kazakhstan from the beginning of the independent state in 1991, and to determine the role of migration in these changes. We also present a conceptualization of the migration policy.