chapter  6
The Kazakhs: Demographics, Diasporas, and “Return”
BySally N. Cummings
Pages 20

This chapter concentrates on the origins and outcomes of Kazakhstan's policy toward the diaspora, particularly the stress on the "return" of co-ethnic populations to the homeland. It provides a historical account of the creation of a Kazakh diaspora and outlines the communities' situation at the time of Kazakhstani independence. The chapter analyzes the genesis and structure of the state policy of repatriation, considers the difficulties of the repatriation policy and assesses the policy's impact on Kazakhstan's domestic politics. By the time of the 1979 census, the Kazakhs were outnumbered by ethnic Russians. Although this demographic disadvantage had begun to change in the Kazakhs' favor by the time of the 1989 census, in the late Soviet period Kazakhs were nevertheless still a minority in their own republic. By 1991, though, eight principal diasporic populations had developed in China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey.