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Largest Russian Cities

In a span of over seventy years, the Soviet Union underwent a transition from a largely rural agricultural society to an urban industrial society. In 1917 only about 17 percent of the population lived in cities or urban settlements; in 1961 the urban and rural population was in balance; and by 1987 two of every three Soviet citizens were urban dwellers.

The levels of urbanization in 1989 highlighted the uneven development of the regions and nationalities. The populations of the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Russian republics were 70 percent urbanized, approximating levels found in Western Europe and the United States. Four of the five Central Asian republics (the Kirgiz, Tadzhik, Uzbek, and Turkmen republics), however, continued to have a majority of the population living in rural areas, and the Tadzhik Republic's 33 percent rate of urbanization was only slightly higher than that of Albania. In the European part, the Moldavian Republic with a rural majority was an exception to the rule of higher rates of urbanization.

Until the early 1980s, the growth of large cities and the concentration of industry there went mostly unchecked. However, because of such problems as a chronic housing shortage, pollution, and a declining birth rate, authorities attempted to exercise greater control over migration to the major cities; among other things, the government encouraged greater development and growth in small and medium-sized cities. Nevertheless, the scope and tempo of big-city growth has continued. In 1970 ten cities had a population of 1 million or more, but in 1989 the number had risen to twenty-three. Most of these cities, including the three largest--Moscow, Leningrad, and Kiev--were located west of the Urals. Only five of the largest cities were east of the Urals, and the largest city in the entire eastern half of the Soviet Union (beyond the Yenisey River) was Vladivostok (615,000 inhabitants in 1987).

Despite its size and the length of its coastline, the Soviet Union's global position and climate have restricted the number of seaports to fewer than a dozen key cities (Leningrad, Odessa, Murmansk, and Vladivostok, among them). Many of the largest cities, however, are located on water, primarily on rivers, that have long been powerful settlement-forming influences and key transportation arteries. The Volga and its tributaries remain the key geographic features toward which people and commerce continue to gravitate. Two of the youngest and fastest growing cities, Tol'yatti and Naberezhnyye Chelny, were boom towns that sprang up in the 1970s around giant automobile and truck plants on the Volga and Kama rivers, respectively.

This table includes cities with populations exceeding 100 000 people. All figures are estimates for 2002.

Urban
Area
World
Rank
City
Pop
Rank
CityCity PopulationUrban Area Population
1413Moscow837600012100100
5630Sankt Peterburg46198004891100
270160Novosibirsk13968001429100
184172Nizhniy Novgorod13464001918800
280184Yekaterinburg12600001389400
254217Samara11500001478300
336221Omsk11379001148300
365234Kazan11095001109500
375242Ufa10949001094900
319247Chelyabinsk10812001211600
312266Rostov10125001248600
406268Perm10025001028400
304277Volgograd9874001292200
422303Voronezh905600979300
462315Krasnoyarsk870100910400
358316Saratov8679001122200
565384Tolyatti727600740100
607429Ulyanovsk664800683000
631438Izhevsk652400652400
557444Krasnodar643000751400
667463Yaroslavl611300611300
676471Khabarovsk606100606100
658476Vladivostok596800619700
682478Irkutsk594200594200
652502Barnaul575600627500
716527Novokuznetsk556800568400
715558Lipetsk530400568700
748559Penza530400545300
766565Ryazan526000530400
755571Orenburg522200538000
793586Naberezhnyye Chelny513200513200
804599Tyumen507000507000
750615Tula497500543300
772627Kemerovo489300526000
839629Astrakhan488400488400
637636Tomsk483800640300
816661Kirov464100501200
862667Cheboksary460200462000
849674Bryansk455700477600
872678Ivanovo453800453800
873679Tver453800453800
887698Kursk443200443200
902718Magnitogorsk427800427800
907723Kaliningrad425200425200
957804Nizhniy Tagil385400385400
983841Ulan-Ude370800370800
997856Sochi366100366100
1006865Kurgan364400364400
1007867Murmansk361000361000
1014875Arhangelsk355500355500
1026890Smolensk351900351900
1034904Belgorod348200348200
1042914Stavropol346800346800
1047919Oryol343700343700
1067943Kaluga336800336800
1069944Mahackala336500336500
1071947Vladimir336100336100
1091972Cherepovec324800324800
11241015Vladikavkaz313100313100
11311022Saransk311800311800
11381030Tambov309200309200
11461041Chita306400306400
11541052Vologda303500303500
12151119Kostroma288900288900
12231128Komsomolsk-na-Amure286600286600
12261131Volzhskiy286300286300
12361144Taganrog282700282700
12401148Petrozavodsk281500281500
12411149Bratsk280800280800
12591171Surgut275300275300
12601172Dzerzhinsk273700273700
12621174Orsk273400273400
12921207Sterlitamak267000267000
13131230Angarsk263400263400
13771303Yoshkar-Ola248600248600
14381372Rybinsk236100236100
14491386Nalchik233900233900
14511388Prokopyevsk233500233500
14721412Nizhnevartovsk230300230300
14871430Velikiy Novgorod227900227900
14901433Syktyvkar227800227800
15011443Nizhnekamsk226100226100
15201464Biysk223800223800
15211465Blagoveshchensk223700223700
15221466Severodvinsk223500223500
15451492Shahty220200220200
15531500Staryy Oskol218500218500
16051558Zelyenograd211100211100
16431600Novorossiysk205700205700
16501607Balakovo205100205100
17041665Pskov198700198700
17281689Zlatoust195300195300
17591722Yakutsk192500192500
17621725Podolsk192300192300
17841747Engels189200189200
17861749Syzran188900188900
17881751Kamensk-Uralskiy188800188800
17891752Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy188800188800
18341801Novocherkassk183300183300
18561825Berezniki180800180800
18751845Yuzhno-Sahalinsk179500179500
18941866Volgodonsk176700176700
19451916Abakan171100171100
19801953Maykop167900167900
19941968Armavir166700166700
20031977Miass165900165900
20332007Lyubercy163200163200
20602036Rubtsovsk160400160400
20772054Kovrov158700158700
20962073Salavat156900156900
21082085Mytishchi155900155900
21182095Nahodka155500155500
21192096Ussuriysk155500155500
21922171Kolomna149500149500
22472228Elektrostal145900145900
22772259Kolpino143600143600
23252307Almetyevsk140900140900
23262308Murom140800140800
23642348Dimitrovgrad137500137500
23892373Novomoskovsk136000136000
23962380Pervouralsk135700135700
24092394Norilsk134800134800
24172402Pyatigorsk134400134400
24192404Nevinnomyssk134200134200
24422427Himki132900132900
24532437Balashiha132200132200
24642448Korolyov131500131500
24822466Serpuhov130200130200
25392523Odincovo126500126500
25902574Orehovo-Zuyevo124300124300
26042588Groznyy123300123300
26052589Kamyshin123300123300
26102594Kislovodsk123200123200
26132597Novocheboksarsk123000123000
26232607Cherkessk122600122600
26622646Achinsk120600120600
26682652Nazran120300120300
26842668Yelets119800119800
27152700Michurinsk117900117900
27582742Velikiye Luki115500115500
27652749Neftekamsk115300115300
27712755Magadan115000115000
28442828Oktyabrskiy112100112100
28482832Leninsk-Kuzneckiy112000112000
28952880Sergiyev Posad110200110200
29022887Arzamas109900109900
29122898Novotroitsk109600109600
29432928Kiselyovsk108400108400
29532938Obninsk108100108100
30032988Glazov106100106100
30092994Kansk106000106000
30253011Solikamsk105400105400
30323018Elista105000105000
30353021Sarapul104900104900
30533039Mezhdurechensk104100104100
30703056Ust-Ilimsk103500103500
30783064Kyzyl103300103300
30993085Usolye-Sibirskoye102600102600
31323118Votkinsk101100101100
31383124Novoshahtinsk100900100900




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Page last modified: 30-08-2020 18:45:44 ZULU