What is the population of Russia


Prof. Dr. Jörg Stadelbauer

Prof. Dr. Jörg Stadelbauer

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Prof. Dr. Jörg Stadelbauer is director of the Institute for Cultural Geography at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg i. Br.

Russia is full of differences: densely populated areas contrast with the almost deserted Eastern Siberia. Unstable and uncertain economic conditions also lead to strong internal migration.

The population of Russia is very unevenly distributed. The population density ranges from 74.4 inhabitants / km² in Chuvashia to 0.03 inhabitants / km² in the Evenk Autonomous District in Eastern Siberia. License: cc by-nc-sa / 2.0 / de (rasenfalkenstein)

Russia is sparsely populated across the country. Converting the population (2009: 141.9 million) results in an average population density of only 8.31 inhabitants / km². There are differences between the regions - apart from the two metropolitan regions Moscow and St. Petersburg - the population density ranges from 74.4 inhabitants / km² in Chuvashia to 0.03 inhabitants / km² in the Evenk Autonomous District in Eastern Siberia (which is now in the Krasnoyarsk Territory was incorporated).

Population density. Here you can find the map as a download PDF. (& copy www.kartographie-kaemmer.de)
The population distribution only partially reflects the areas favorable for agriculture. The massive urbanization policies of the Soviet era resulted in 73% of the population living in urban settlements. Since numerous cities exercise administrative functions and therefore must not be too unevenly distributed, the distances between the centers are relatively long. Despite modern communication technology, some problems persist because the pronounced alignment of the transport links with Moscow and a few other major centers necessitates long detours. The costs for infrastructure expansion are also significantly higher than in more densely populated countries.

Since the late 1980s, natural population growth has been characterized by low birth rates, rising death rates and falling life expectancy. While in 1990 13.4 births per 1,000 inhabitants were compared to 11.2 deaths, in 1994, at the height of the transformation crisis, there were 9.6 births to 15.7 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants, and the demographic crisis continues in Russia. The rather aging rural population is particularly affected by population losses. The high losses of the Stalin era and the Second World War are still noticeable in the age structure; In the next generation of today's 30-year-olds, they resulted in below-average weak cohorts. In the present, the consequences of these past failures are superimposed on the consequences of birth control and birth failures, which are caused by the current socio-economic situation. This means that the population will continue to decline if it is not possible to attract additional immigrants. The decline affects the ethnically Russian population more than most non-Russian ethnic groups, which tend to have higher natural growth rates. This could mean that the balance between the majority population and minorities could shift slightly in the medium term.

The fact that Russia did not experience any higher absolute population losses during the transformation phase of the 1990s is mainly due to massive immigration from the non-Russian successor states of the Soviet Union. Above all Russians, who had achieved a significant share in all non-Russian Soviet republics, immigrated to Russia in these republics if the language and naturalization laws were unfavorable. They were able to compensate for the emigration losses that resulted from the relocation of Russian Germans to Germany and of Jews to Central Europe, North America or Israel. While migrations between Russia and the other successor states of the Soviet Union from 1992 to 1998 showed a positive net migration in favor of Russia (net immigration: 3.6 million people). H. the countries outside the CIS, a negative balance of around 70 000 people.

International migration is surpassed by internal migration. There is still ongoing migration from the areas of the Far North, which were developed at great expense during the Soviet era. The example of Chukotka, where settlements were evacuated due to acute supply shortages, is extreme: between 1990 and 2006, the population there fell from 155,700 to 51,000, and thus to a third. Important reasons for this emigration are: a dramatic deterioration in the supply situation in the remote northern areas, a significant increase in consumer prices, the abolition of previous financial benefits, demilitarization effects, further claims of the indigenous population on natural resources, a reorganization of the economic interrelationships that only the northern areas have grants a subordinate rank (except in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region with the use of natural gas resources).

While the total volume of migration increased rapidly in the first half of the 1990s compared to the Soviet period, the wave of immigration has declined significantly since around 1996. This is due to the lower willingness to emigrate in the countries of origin, but also to the stabilization of the economic situation since 1998. The emigration from the Far North and immigration from the Caucasian and Central Asian successor states continue to lead to problems with the settlement of migrants and with job creation.

Excerpt from: Jörg Stadelbauer: Russia's Geography. Landscape zones, mineral resources, climate change and population, in: Pleines, Heiko / Schröder, Hans-Henning (Ed.): Country Report Russia, Federal Center for Political Education, Bonn 2010, p. 11ff.
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