Russia Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Russia Country Overview

Where is Russia located? Russia, which is also officially called ‘Russian Federation’, is located in northern Eurasia and is the country with the largest area on earth. Thanks to this fact, Russia is spread over 9 time zones. The time zone map divides countries according to their time difference from the world time into zones. In Russia they extend from east to west and the distance between the time there and official world time (UTC) increases towards the west. On the one hand there is the Eastern European Time, which is 2 hours before the Universal time (UTC+2) Second there is Moscow time, which covers most of European Russia and is 3 hours ahead of world time Third is Yekaterinburg time which is 5 hours ahead of world time Then there is Omsk time with 6 hours and the Krasnoyarsk time with 7.In addition, there is the Irkutsk time with a difference of 8 hours and Yakutsk with 9. On the western edge of Russia there are also the Vladivostok time and Magadan time with a difference of 10 and 11 hours.

Russia National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Russia is 141,722,205, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 141,722,205
Population growth rate -0.16%
Birth rate 11.00 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 69.85 years
Men life expectancy 64.04 years
Women life expectancy 76.02 years
Age structure
0-14 years 17.21%
15-64 years 68.13%
65 years and above 14.66%
Median age 39.10 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.86
Population density 8.29 residents per km²
Urbanization 73.30%
80% Russians, 4% Tatars, 2% Ukrainians; also Bashkirs, Chuvashes, Chechens, Armenians, Mordvins, Belarusians, Germans and others
Russian Orthodox, Muslims, Others
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.824
HDI ranking 49th out of 194

People in Russia

Most of the Russians, more than three quarters, live in the European part of the large country. The further east you go, the fewer people live here. 75 percent of the population live in a city.

Russia is a multi-ethnic state. Just under 80 percent of the population are Russians. The remaining 20 percent belong to 100 different races. The largest among them are the Tatars (4 percent), Ukrainians (2.2 percent), Armenians (1.9 percent), Chuvashes (1.5 percent) and Bashkirs (1.4 percent). After all, 0.8 percent are Germans. Other peoples are Chechens, Mordvins, Avars, Ossetians and Yakuts. In the far north live numerically smaller Indian peoples like the Nenets or the Sami.

Republics were established for some of the non-Russian people. There are 21. They belong to Russia (or the Russian Federation), but have their own constitution and legislation. They have the greatest degree of self-determination and independence within Russia. The republics include, for example, North Ossetia, Chechnya, Tatarstan, Mordovia, Altai and Sakha (Yakutia).

Languages in Russia

Russian is the official language in Russia. Russian is considered one of the world languages ​​because it is spoken as a second language or even as an official language in many other countries, for example in Belarus or Kazakhstan. In the countries of the Eastern Bloc, Russian was the first foreign language children learned during the Soviet Union. That was also the case in the GDR.

Russian is written in Cyrillic script. It is named after Kyrill von Saloniki. He did not invent Cyrillic, but a script that is considered the predecessor of Cyrillic. He wanted to evangelize the Slavs in Moravia, i.e. convince them of his (Christian) faith. And this script should help him with that. From it (it is called Glagolitic script) and the Greek, the Cyrillic script developed.

The Russian alphabet has 33 letters. You see them in the picture. As with our alphabet, every letter is in upper and lower case. Ten of the letters stand for vowels: а, е, ё (spoken: jo), и (spoken: i), о, у (spoken: u), ы (spoken similar to: ü), э (spoken: ä), ю (spoken: ju) and я (spoken: yes). 21 letters form consonants. And then there are ъ and ь. They are the “hardness and softness” sign. They are not used to create a sound of their own, but rather indicate whether the preceding consonant is pronounced hard or soft.

There are also dialects in Russian. However, the differences are small and all dialect speakers can understand each other (while, for example, a North German does not understand a Bavarian in every case). In the European part of Russia there are three dialects from north to south: North Russian, Central Russian and South Russian.

The non-Russian peoples living in Russia have their own languages. In the individual republics, the respective vernacular is mostly used as the second official language. It is estimated that a total of 100 languages ​​are spoken in Russia ! Most of the speakers speak Tatar, Bashkir, Chuvash, Chechen, Mordovian, Avar and Ossetian.

Religions in Russia

In the time of the Soviet Union, i.e. until 1990, the state stipulated that people should not believe in any God. The Russian Orthodox Church, to which most of the Russians belonged, was suppressed by the state during this period.

With the end of the Soviet Union, many people returned to religious values. Thirty percent of the population do not adhere to any faith, but the majority of the people profess the Russian Orthodox faith. There are no reliable figures, their share is estimated at 40 to even 75 percent. The Russian Orthodox Church is one of the Christian churches. The proportion of Muslims in Russia is seven to 15 percent. Muslims live mainly in Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, Dagestan and Chechnya.