The Kazakh language has its speakers (mainly Kazakhs) spread over a vast territory from the Tian Shan mountains to the western shore of Caspian Sea. Kazakh is the official state language of Kazakhstan, in which nearly 10 million speakers are reported to live (based on the CIA World Factbook’s estimates for population and percentage of Kazakh speakers). More than a million speakers reside in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The 2002 Russian Census reported 560,000 Kazakh speakers in Russia. Other sizable populations of Kazakh speakers live in Mongolia (fewer than 200,000). Large numbers exist elsewhere in Central Asia (mostly in Uzbekistan) and other parts of former Soviet Union, and in Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and other countries. There are also some Kazakh speakers in Germany who immigrated from Turkey in the 1970s.
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