Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan is located in Eurasia and ranked as the ninth largest country in the world. It is also ranked the world's largest landlocked country, its territory of 2,727,300 km² is greater than Western Europe. It is neighbored clockwise from the north by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and also borders on a significant part of the Caspian Sea. The capital was moved in 1997 from Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city, to Astana. Vast in size, the terrain of Kazakhstan ranges from flatlands, steppes, taigas, rock-canyons, hills, deltas, and snow-capped mountains to deserts. With 16.2 million people, Kazakhstan has the 62nd largest population in the world, though its population density is less than 6 people per square kilometre. Kazakhstan declared itself an independent country on December 16, 1991, the last Soviet republic to do so. The country is a member of many international organizations, including the United Nations, Individual Partnership Action Plan with NATO, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

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