If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

Dynamic of social-democratic changes of population’s structure during the modernization

Dynamic of social-democratic changes of population’s structure during the modernization  - e-history.kz

During the powerful socialist modernization, major changes have occurred in the socio-demographic structure of the population of Northern Kazakhstan, inaugurated by the mass migration of peasants from the central regions of Russia in the late 19th — early 20th century.

In the first two decades after the October Revolution the organized mass migration to Kazakhstan did not happen. However, the spontaneous migration of the population to Kazakhstan due to disruption, in particular hunger in 1921 continued.
Unemployment has forced tens thousands of people move to the construction industry in Kazakhstan. In addition, 509 thousands people came to Kazakhstan in 1931–1940 to the organized labor recruitment.

Thus, the main characteristic of social and demographic processes in 20–30’s was a mass migration movement in Northern Kazakhstan from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and others republics. So, in 1923, only 130,000 applications for resettlement was filed in Russia, and in 1924 — already 150 thousands in Ukraine.

Belarus and Chuvashia asked to arrange the land until 1930 for more than 1 million people. From 1923 to 1924, the rural population of Kazakhstan has increased by almost 270 thousand people, or 7.7%. 5th All-Kazakh party conference in December 1925, stated «… in Kazakhstan continue to continuously arriving frames persons… from Central Russia and Siberia».

In the end of 20s, due to collectivization plans and development of socialist collectivization of agriculture was decided to learn the so-called «idle land» in northern Kazakhstan. It was scheduled to enter into economic circulation vast areas acreage suitable for grain farming, which twice larger the territory of Ukraine.
A significant amount of the labor force was required for development of the vast lands. Only in the first five-year plan was planned to receive 500 thousand people or 90, 909 families.

On March 13, 1929, the Resettlement Department of KazASSR and country resettlement offices were organized to carry out the migration.

The largest plan for managing peasant families was in Pavlodar, Semipalatinsk and Petropavlovsk districts. During 1938–1940, employable population of the country increased by 5.4% as a result of the migration.

Dynamic of population of Northern Kazakhstan in the period 1926–1939 is shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Dynamic of population of Northern Kazakhstan in the period 1926–1939


                                       1926                                        1939                                            





North Kazakhstan 


In 1939, as in the whole of Kazakhstan and the region, the population in the North Kazakhstan, Pavlodar and Kostanai areas also decreased. Akmola region’s population has increased due to the active influx of migrants from the central regions of the Union, and reached 458,509 people.
The most populated region remained North Kazakhstan with a population 541, 527 people. However, the decline of population in this area during the 1926–1939 was the most significant.

By the end of the recovery period of the population of Kazakhstan was predominantly rural, urban according to the census in 1926 was only 8.3%.

In the second half of the 30s, the processes of urbanization and the associated growth of the urban population were in northern Kazakhstan and in all other areas.

In terms of increasing the population of the urban population in the most distinctive example was the Akmola region, where population grew up from 19527 people in 1926 to 70,357 people in1939. Thus, the urban population in the Akmola region has increased more than three times. Among other areas, the dynamics of the growth of the urban population was about the same level, the increase was about twice. The urban population of the North-Kazakhstan region was 110920 people in 1939, in Kostanai- 48885 people and Pavlodar — 33809 people.

Thus, if the whole urban population has reached 27.8%, then in the North Kazakhstan this percentage was lower, it was only 16.3%.In terms of the most urbanized areas in the region could be considered as the North-Kazakhstan region, the proportion of urban population which was 20.5%, while the least urbanized — Kostanai, where population barely reached 13.3%.Comparing with other regions and the average proportion in the country as a whole, the level of urbanization in northern Kazakhstan was low.

Nevertheless, as in the whole of Kazakhstan, urbanization had been increasing in the North Kazakhstan region. So, if in 1926 the population was 12,781 people in Akmolinsk, then in 1939 it reached 33,221 people, i.e. increased more than two and a half times. In Pavlodar and Kostanai population increased, respectively, with 17,949 people up to 28252 people and 25417 people up to 33522 people.
The rural population was declined in its numbers in all areas. Thus, the rural population of the North-Kazakhstan region decreased to 430,607 people, Akmola — up to 388,152 people. Kostanai — up to 318,967 people and Pavlodar — up to 217,448 people. The greatest reduction occurred in the rural population in North-Kazakhstan and Kostanai areas. The most significant influence on this process has had a famine of the early 30’s in Kazakhstan.

Therefore, there were several key factors that have the most significant impact on population dynamics in Kazakhstan as a whole and in northern Kazakhstan in particular.

First of all, the study period showed the largest percentage of the entire Soviet period in the history of Kazakhstan population decline, primarily indigenous — Kazakh, which was caused by the terrible famine 30s.

During this period there was decrease of population related with hunger in 1932–1933.
All ethnic groups of the country were affected by famine. Mortality among Russian two times had increased in Uralsk, the same situation was observed in Kostanai and Petropavlovsk. Mortality among Kazakhs in cities was even higher, as in Kostanai as well as in Petropavlovsk it exceeded the birth rate more than doubled. Natural increase in the first five months of 1933 was negative in all the cities of Kazakhstan. Mortality was almost twice the birth rate in Akmola and others.
The Stalinist genocide mostly affected indigenous Kazakh population. Thus, victims of hunger during this period became 1 million 750 thousand people or 42% of the total population of the Kazakh population in the country. The number of Ukrainians also decreased from 859.4 thousand to 658 thousand people, Uzbeks — from 228.2 thousand to 103.6 thousand and etc. Most affected by hunger Kazakhs eastern regions of the country, where the losses were more than 60% of the Kazakh population. In northern Kazakhstan was lost 400.9 thousand people or 51, 4%, i.e. more than half of the representatives of the Kazakh population. If we take the number of dead and irretrievably lost, the share of losses in North Kazakhstan reaches 22.3%.

A role in the dynamics of the size and composition of the population of Northern Kazakhstan has so-called «labor settlers». «Labor settlers» were unbearably harsh conditions, as evidenced by the figures on the prevalence of deaths over births. Thus, according to v. Zemskova a «kulak exile» was born in 1934 and died 14033 40012 people, including in northern Kazakhstan in 1794 and 6018 people. On average, the «kulak exile» deaths exceeded births in 2.85 times, and in North Kazakhstan — 3.6 times.
In 1935 a «kulak exile» was born 26122and died 22173 people, including 3856 and 2561 people in Northern Kazakhstan. The average birth rate was higher than the mortality rate of 17.8%, in Northern Kazakhstan — by 50.6%.

In 1936, the average birth rate exceeded the death rate by 38.9%, in Northern Kazakhstan by 67.6%. Only in 1939 was first noted wholly positive balance in the relationship between 'births and deaths in all the regions of the «kulak links», including in Kazakhstan.

The rapid development of industrial production in Western Kazakhstan and arrival here more and more people contributed to the development of the social infrastructure of the region and its cities. So, for example, already in 1961, it was decided that «considering the request of Aktau village council and the availability of facilities, faculty and student population in the village of Aktau, transfer a new network of seven years of children’s music school of Makat district in Aktau village council». In the same year Aktau seven-year school converted into a secondary school, which by the end of the year gets a new building for 520 seats. The school had 34 teachers, 15 of them with higher education.


1. Vestnik, AN KazSSR, 1991, № 3, p. 48.
2. 5th all-Kazakhstan conference RCP (b). Verbatim report and resolution. December 1–7, 1925 Kyzyl-Orda, p. 31.
3. F. Bazanova, formation and development structure of the population of the Kazakh SSR (national dimension), Alma-Ata, 1987, p.46.
4. N. Ivnickiy, Famine 1932–1933: who is guilty? p. 51.
5. v. Zemskov, «Kulackaya ssylka» on the eve and during the Great Patriotic War, 1992, № 2, p. 3–4.

K. Orynbayeva, senior teacher at Kostanai State University named after A. Baitursynov