DEMOGRAPHIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL SITUATION OF POLISH DIASPORA IN KAZAKHSTAN
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This article puts forward main characteristics of the Polish population living in today's Kazakhstan. It outlines the question of exact numbers of Polish minority, its demographic, social and employment structure, education levels, Polish languages competence and attitudes toward learning it. In drawing a picture of Polish presence in Kazakhstan, national census data and information supplied by the Embassy in Almata were used, along with results of author's sociological research in Polish communities and interviews with its language teachers. According to census data there are 47297 Poles living in Kazakhstan today. The true number is probably higher than that, since data is based on a formal declaration of nationality featuring on the individual's identity documents. However, author states that the probable number does not exceed 60 thousand. Comparison with the 1989 census shows a decline in numbers of ethnic Poles of more than twelve thousand. Such considerable change is attributed to strong migration pressure among members of non-Kazakh minorities in that country. The common perception is that from all ethnic groups in Kazakhstan Poles are an example of mostly assimilated and gradually loosing their national identity. It also shows that the policy of Polish language and culture promotion results in creating and amplifying repatriation initiatives and strategies rather than establishing and strengthening Polish minority presence in Kazakhstan.
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