Russia Population 2018


There are no official figures for the population of Russia in 2016, but the 2010 census, the results of which were released in late 2011 and early 2012, reports that the official population of Russia was 142.9 million. The most current estimate for 2018 reports that the population is around 143.96 million.

The Census results are probably the most reliable indicator, but other estimates of the Russia population are available. Rosstat, the official Government statistics agency, suggested that the population of Russia in 2011 was 141.8 million, and the CIA estimated that the population was even lower: 138.7 million.

Russia is one of the few countries with a negative growth rate, and its 2018 population is estimated at 143.96 million, a decline from an estimated population of 146.3 million in 2015. It's currently the 9th most populous country on earth, despite being the largest by area.

Like most countries, Russia undertakes a census every decade or so. There is no fixed schedule, though, and until 2009 it was not certain that the 2010 census would even take place. It was only a late intervention from the Russian Government,) allocating 10 billion roubles, that prevented it from being pushed back to 2013.

The full Russian census results were released in sections throughout 2011 and 2012; these can be viewed at the official Russian Census website (in Russian language).

For the headline figures, this Russian population infographic created by Russian news agency RIA Novosti is informative.

The estimated 2014 population of Russia, which was 142.5 million, was pretty interesting, as Russia released its latest batch of data, as reported by Forbes. This information shows that Russia's run of increasing births and decreasing deaths may be ending. From January to March 2013, the number of births shrank by about 4,000, while the number of deaths increased the same amount. This means the natural loss of population was about 20% larger than in the previous year.

Russia's natural change in population over the past twenty-five years has been fairly unstable, decreasing in the early 90s, leveling out and then climbing beginning in 2005 before leveling out again.

Russian Demographics

As you can see from the graphic, almost half of all Russians live in just two areas: the Central and Volga federal districts. The further east you go --to Siberia and beyond -- the less dense the population is.

The graphic also demonstrates that Russia is a fairly ethnically diverse country. Although almost 81% of Russian citizens identify themselves as ethnic Russians, there are also other large ethnic groups. 3.9% of Russians are Tartars, 1.4% Ukrainians, 1.2% Bashkirs, 1.1% Chuvashs and 1.0% Chechens. 3.9% of the population did not declare any ethnic origin.

In total, there are more than 185 different ethnic groups in Russia. Russian is the official language of the country and spoken by almost everyone. There are a total of 35 official languages in Russia, and more than a hundred other languages that do not have official recognition. Some are close to extinction.

The Russian state religion is Orthodox Christianity. There is no official census data on religion, but a 2012 survey indicated that 41% of Russians were Russian Orthodox Christians, 13% were non-religious, 6.5% were Muslims, and 5.5% were "undecided."

Largest Russian Citiies

Moscow is the largest city in Russia with a population of 12.1 million people, which also makes it the 11th largest city in the world. Saint Petersburg is the second largest Russian city, with 5.1 million people, making it the 50th largest city in the world.

Interestingly, Russia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, in part due to its harsh climate. The country has a population density of just 8.4 people per square kilometer (22 per square mile), but the population is most dense in the European area of the country around Saint Petersburg and Moscow.

Russia is mostly an urban country; according to the census results, 74% of Russians live in urban areas -- either towns or cities. Ten other Russian cities have a population of more than a million people. You can see the full list below.

RankCity NamePopulation
1Moscow 11,514,330
2Saint Petersburg 4,848,742
3Novosibirsk 1,473,737
4Yekaterinburg 1,350,136
5Nizhny Novgorod 1,250,615
6Samara 1,164,896
7Omsk 1,153,971
8Kazan 1,143,546
9Chelyabinsk 1,130,273
10Rostov-on-Don 1,089,851
11Ufa 1,062,300
12Volgograd 1,021,244

Interestingly, the population of Russia’s cities has increased over the past ten years, reflecting the increasing urbanization of Russia as people move from the countryside to cities in search of better employment.

Russian Population Decline

The Russian population has been steadily declining for almost two decades now. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the population of Russia was recorded at 148,538,000.

Over the next decade, the population decreased at a fairly steady rate of a half percent per year. The causes for this were twofold. Firstly the number of people dying increased due to a fall in living standards, and among men who were hit hardest, alcoholism. The average life expectancy for women held fairly steady at 75 years, but Russian male life expectancy dropped dramatically to 63 years.

Combined with this, birth rates fell sharply as well. From around 17 per 1,000 persons in the mid 1980s, the rate fell to below 10 per 1,000 in the mid-1990s – well below the rate needed to sustain a population. Economic uncertainty was a major factor in this, persuading people against having children.

Russian Population Increase

The Russian economy grew strongly during the first decade of the 20th century, and in 2009 the Russian population saw a small but significant increase. The increase was reported as between 15,000 and 25,000 people and was attributed to a falling death rate and increasing migration.

There are also indications that birth rates may be increasing slightly – probably due to a combination of increased confidence in Russia’s economic prospects and government incentives to new mothers -- especially a $10,000 payment which is made to mothers who have three or more children.

Population growth and demographics have long been a problem for Russia, as a decade ago the nation was losing 1 million people a year, and many doubt Vladimir Putin's plans will work. Time will tell if Russia is able to overcome its issues and see greater growth, as otherwise it will be prone to collapsing infrastructure with its massive land area and untapped natural resources.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 18 seconds
One death every 16 seconds
One net migrant every 3 minutes
Net loss of one person every 26 minutes

Russia Population in 2018Source: By MyName (Bradmoscu (talk)) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons

Russia Population Pyramid 2018

0k200k400k600k800k1M1M1MRussia Male Population0k200k400k600k800k1M1M1MRussia Female Population10095908580757065605550454035302520151050

Russia Median Age







Russia Population by Age

There are 114,737,170 adults in Russia.

Census Years

Year Date
201025 October 2010
20029 October 2002
198912 January 1989

Population Data via United Nations WPP (2015 Revision, Medium Variant)

Russia Population Growth

After 15 years of declining growth, Russia finally recorded population growth for the first time again in 2009, and in 2013, Russia had a total fertility rate of 1.7 children per woman, which is the highest in Eastern Europe.

Contrary to popular opinion in the West, Russia's population is actually growing, not shrinking, although its growth is very, very small. While the population was shrinking in the 1990s and early 2000s, at the moment it is slowly growing. Despite this, it's likely that the population will shrink again between now and the next ten or twenty years, as the country's very small growth is completely driven by immigration, not natural growth.

While projections into the future of Russia are very difficult, it's estimated that Russia will fall from the 9th most populous country to 17th by 2050. Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin has announced that he plans to boost Russia's dwindling population by encouraging immigration and higher birth rates, but estimates show that Russia's population will drop from 2014's 142 million to only 128 million by 2050.

About Russia

Official NameRussian Federation
Languages SpokenRussian
Is LandlockedNo
Currencies UsedRussia Ruble

Russia Population Density

Russia Top 20 Cities by Population

Name Population
Saint Petersburg5,028,000
Nizhniy Novgorod1,284,164

Russia Population Clock

The population of Russia (as of 6/18/2018)?143,965,369
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2018)143,964,709
Births Per Day4,876
Deaths Per Day5,369
Net Migrations Per Day 438
Net Change Per Day -55
Population Change Since January 1st-9,295

Russia Population Indicators

Crude Birth Rate 12.379 births/thousand
Crude Death Rate 13.632 deaths/thousand
Crude Net Migration Rate 1.112 people/thousand
Life Expectancy (Both Sexes) 71.19 years
Male Life Expectancy 65.59 years
Female Life Expectancy 76.76 years
Total Fertility Rate 1.751 children/woman
Net Reproduction Rate 0.835 surviving daughters/woman
Sex Ratio At Birth 1.054 males per female
Infant Mortality Rate 7.032 deaths/1,000 live births
Under Five Mortality 8.678 deaths/thousand
Mean Age at Childbearing 28.825 years
Rate of Natural Increase -1.253

Russia Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate

Russia Population by Year (Projections)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
Data Sources
  1. Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat)
  2. Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat)
  3. World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1959, 1970, 1979, 1989, 2002 and 2010 censuses, with offical population estimates through 2016, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration.

  4. GeoNames Gazetteer