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Astana (/əsˈtɑːnə/,[4] US /æsˈtɑːnə/;[5] Kazakh: Астана) is the capital city of Kazakhstan. It is located on the Ishim River in the north portion of Kazakhstan, within Akmola Province, though administrated separately from the province as a federal city area. The 2014 census reported a population of 835,153 within the city, making it the second-largest city in Kazakhstan.[2]

Founded in 1830 as Akmolinsk (Russian: Акмолинск) and renamed as Tselinograd (Russian: Целиноград) in 1961, the city has evolved into a cultural and administrative centre of Virgin Lands Campaign.[1] In 1992, it was renamed as Akmola (Kazakh: Ақмола), the original name meaning "white holy place" or "white abundance".[1] On 10 December 1997, Akmola became the capital of Kazakhstan. On 6 May 1998, it received the name of Astana, which means "the capital" in Kazakh.[1] Since becoming the capital, Astana has undergone tremendous growth.[6] It is home to many futuristic buildings, hotels and skyscrapers.[7][8][9] In addition to serving as government headquarters, Astana is center for industry, sports, healthcare and education
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