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

Demographic situation in the Republic in 1959-1989


During this period multi-sectoral Kazakhstan’s industry solved significant national economic tasks. Along with planned development of existed new industrial hubs of republican and all-union significance were actively formed. Under the condition of strict centralization of economic management sectoral structure of industry characterized by raw orientation were kept. More than half of industry was managed by the Soviet Union ministers and they contributed 0,2% to the republican budget.

Agriculture developed uneven. Rates of growth of agricultural products steadily decreased, many grain-producing regions such as Kustanai, Kokchetav, Akmola, North Kazakhstan and Turgai significantly reduced grain production.

During these years cattle-breeding didn’t come to the planned level while its qualitative parameters even worsened.

Over the period under consideration the total number of population increased by 78% while, the USSR average rise was 37%. The highest population growth of the republic took place in the 1960s, and then growth rates steadily decreased. Thus, in 1959-1969 average annual population growth was 3,1%; in 1970-1978 — 1,4%; in 1979-1988 — 1,2%.

According to the absolute figures, the population grew in all regions. However, the population growth rates were different which were the result of growth of economy and industry in the regions.

By January 1, 1989 84 cities, including 32 cities with the population of 50 thousand people and 1 city (Alma-Ata) with more than 1 million dwellers, were in the republic.

Rapid urbanization in 1959-1970 occurred in the result of considerable migration of people from rural districts to urban areas as the consequence of significant difference between living standards in cities and rural area. Another one reason was the fact that in the 1960s more than 70 large villages (including approximately 20 centers of rural regions) officially obtained the status of cities and townships, though many of them still were usual rural settlements. Migration balance in rural area had stable surplus in all regions of the republic. The highest increase as a result of migration was in Guriev, Pavlodar, Kzyl-Orda, Kustanai regions, they also distinguished by the highest intensity of migration from villages to urban area.

In terms of rural areas, their population grew not so rapidly than in cities. Thus, annual average rural population growth in 1959-1970 came to 2%; in 1970-1979 — 0,5%, in 1979-1989 — 0,5%. 1959 was the last year when the share of rural population in the republic was 56,2%, then the decrease in this rate started: in 1970 — 49,7%; in 1976 — 47,2%; 1979 — 46,1%; 1981 — 45,1%; 1989 — 42,9%. Whole urbanized regions appeared where the share of rural population was minimum: in 1989 in Mangystau region population of rural areas was 11,4%, in Karaganda region — 15,3%, Dzhezkazgan — 21,9%.

Kazakhstan’s population was influenced by the natural growth. Birth rate in Kazakhstan during the studied period faced two periods of ups-and-downs: if in the end of the 1960s the birth-rate exceeded 37 per mille, by the end of the 1970s it decreased to 21,7, then again rose to 25,1 in 1985, and in 1989 fell to 20,3.

Strategic meaning of Kazakhstan in the economy of the USSR naturally affecter the formation of qualitative characteristics of the republic’s population: relatively favorable sex-age structure and high education level.