Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)





First Advisor

Prof. PIANCIOLA Niccolo

Second Advisor

Prof. HAMPTON Mark Andrew


According to the 1959 census Kazakhs made up only 30 percent of the total population in Kazakhstan, while the share of European peoples (Russians, Germans, Ukrainians, etc.) was about 65%. Kazakhstan was the only Soviet Republic in which Russians outnumbered a “titular nationality”. Starting in the late 1960-s, Russians and other Europeans began to decrease gradually firstly in relative numbers and then in absolute numbers. As a result the 1999 census showed that Kazakhs made up of 53.4 percent and became the ethnic majority in the country. The proposed research examines the role of outmigration in this demographic shift. It focuses on the different factors (the economic crisis, ethnic demography, the agency of the political elite, and social and national tensions at the local level etc.) effecting on the ethnic demographic change and causing the return migration from Kazakhstan in the late Soviet period and the first Post-Soviet decade (1970-2000).

Migration from Kazakhstan peaked in the 1990s. This period has very frequently been under special focus of many scholars who explore the return migration from Kazakhstan. At the same time, the roots of this huge wave of outmigration were in the late Soviet period. Migration between Soviet republics, had highly negative migration balance (more 1.5 mln. people) in Kazakhstan from late 1960-s to 1991. The negative migration exchange with other Soviet republics was caused by various factors. They include the changes in the priorities of the state migration policy, agricultural crises and poor living standards in rural areas, rapid growth of young working age population of indigenous nationality, difficulties in professional realization of Slavic young people, increasing Kazakh national consciousness, unsuccessful attempts of the Soviet government to solve existing economic, social and national problems.



Recommended Citation

Malikov, A. (2021). From Soviet periphery to Kazakh heartland: Economic crises, ethnic politics, and the Great Russian emigration from Kazakhstan, 1970-2000 (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from

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