Russian cities

Фотобанк Лори

Let’s talk about the largest cities in Russia.

Cities in Russia are only considered cities if a settlement received an official city status. That is why some Russian cities may be smaller in population than some of the villages, which are not considered in the calculation of the urban population.

The figures that are presented in this article are based on the data from the State Statistics Committee of Russia as of January 1, 2014.

The State Statistics Committee data is not absolute. Basically, this is the data from the census of the population of Russia in 2010, with the addition of the number of births and moves to the cities, as well as the reported deaths.

Of course, the actual numbers of people living in cities may be higher, especially in large Russian cities. Many people come to big cities from the surrounding towns for work on a daily basis or for some period of time: it is much easier to find a job in big cities.

Also, the presented data doesn’t take into account the number of labor migrants from neighboring countries or other continents. Here, we are talking about millions of people annually.

In addition, a jump in the population of the city of Moscow (more than 20% in just a couple of years since the census of 2010) is explained by the inclusion in the capital of Russia the cities of Moskovsky, Scherbinka, Troitsk and many settlements (2012).

Russian cities with population of more than 1 million people

Data on the cities is presented in descending order of population, in millions of people.

1. Moscow – 12.1

2. St. Petersburg – 5.1

3. Novosibirsk (Novosibirsk region) – 1.5

4. Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk region) – 1.4

5. Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novgorod region) – 1.3

6. Kazan (Republic of Tatarstan) – 1.2

7. Samara (Samara region) – 1.2

8. Chelyabinsk (Chelyabinsk region) – 1.2

9. Omsk (Omsk Region) – 1.2.

10. Rostov-on-Don (Rostov region) – 1.1

11. Ufa (Bashkortostan) – 1.1

12. Krasnoyarsk (Krasnoyarsk territory) – 1.0

13. Perm (Perm region) – 1.0

14. Volgograd (Volgograd region) – 1.0

15. Voronezh (Voronezh region) – 1.0

 Diagram of the urban population of RussiaDiagram of the urban population of Russia

Most of the largest cities in Russia are located in the European part of the country. In the Asian part of Russia there are only 5 million-plus cities: Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Omsk and Krasnoyarsk.

Interestingly, there are not that many more Russian cities with a population of 500 thousand – 1 million people then the million-plus cities. There are only 21. This indicates a high concentration of population in the largest cities of Russia: the largest cities are growing even faster, while small towns are slowly disappearing.

Largest Russian cities: distance from the capital of Russia, Moscow

The cities are listed from the closest to the furthest.

1. Nizhny Novgorod – 439 km.

2. Voronezh – 467 km.

3. St. Petersburg, 651 km.

4. Kazan – 797 km.

5. Volgograd-1073 km.

6. Samara – 1098 km.

7. Rostov-on-Don – 1226 km.

8. Perm-1386 km.

9. Ufa-1519 km.

10. Ekaterinburg-1667 km.

11. Chelyabinsk-1919 km.

12. Omsk – 2555 km.

13. Novosibirsk – 3191 km.

14. Krasnoyarsk-3353 km.

Interestingly, within a few hundred kilometers from Moscow there are no million-plus cities. Moscow is so attractive to people that many prefer to just move straight to the capital.

2 largest cities in Russia by surface area

Data on surface area is given as of the beginning of 2014.

1. Moscow-2550

2. St. Petersburg – 1439


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