Russia Travel Guide
Demographics of Russia

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The Russian Federation is a diverse, multi-ethnic society, home to as many as 160 different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples. Though Russia's population is comparatively large, its population density is low because of the country's enormous size. Population is densest in European Russia, near the Ural Mountains, and in southwest Siberia. According to preliminary estimates, the resident population of the Russian Federation on 1 January 2009 was 141,903,979 people. In 2008, the population declined by 121,400 people, or by -0.085% (in 2007 - by 212,000, or 0.15% and in 2006 - by 532,600 people, or 0.37%). In 2008 migration continued to grow by a pace of 2.7% with 281,615 migrants arriving to the Russian Federation, of which 95% came from CIS countries, the vast majority being Russians or Russian speakers. The number of Russian emigrants declined by 16% to 39,508, of which 66% went to other CIS countries. There are also an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants from the ex-Soviet states in Russia.

73% of the population lives in urban areas. As of the 2002 Census, the two largest cities in Russia are Moscow (10,126,424 inhabitants) and Saint Petersburg (4,661,219). Eleven other cities have between one and two million inhabitants: Chelyabinsk, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Ufa, Volgograd, and Yekaterinburg.

Russia's population peaked in 1991 at 148,689,000, but began to experience a rapid decline starting in the mid-90s. The decline has slowed to near stagnation in recent years due to reduced mortality rates, increased birth rates and increased immigration. The number of deaths during 2008 was 363,500 greater than the number of births. This is down from 477,700 in 2007, and 687,100 in 2006. According to data published by the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, the mortality rate in Russia declined 4% in 2007, as compared to 2006, reaching some 2 million deaths, while the birth rate grew 8.3% year-on-year to an estimated 1.6 million live births. The primary causes of Russia's population decrease are a high death rate and low birth rate. While Russia's birth-rate is comparable to that of other European countries (12.1 births per 1000 people in 2008 compared to the European Union average of 9.90 per 1000) its population is declining at a greater rate than many due to a substantially higher death rate (In 2008, Russia's death rate was 14.7 per 1000 people compared to the European Union average of 10.28 per 1000). However, the Russian health ministry predicts that by 2011, the death rate will equal the birth rate due to increases in fertility and decline in mortality.

Source : Wikipedia Encyclopedia

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