Kazakhstan is a country in Central Asia with a land area of 2,724,900 square kilometres; it has borders with Russia in the north, China in the east, and Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan in the south. The capital is Nur-Sultan, formerly known as Astana. It was moved from Almaty, the country's largest city, in 1997. Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country, and the ninth-largest in the world. It has a population of 18.8 million, and one of the lowest population densities in the world, at fewer than 6 people per square kilometre.
The territory of Kazakhstan has historically been inhabited by nomadic groups and empires. In antiquity, the nomadic Scythians inhabited the land and the Persian Achaemenid Empire expanded towards the southern territory of the modern country. Turkic nomads, who trace their ancestry to many Turkic states such as the First and Second Turkic Khaganates, have inhabited the country throughout its history. In the 13th century, the territory was subjugated by the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan. By the 16th century, the Kazakhs emerged as a distinct group, divided into three jüz.