Moscow may be Russia's largest city, but St. Petersburg is a close second. St. Petersburg owes much of its success to its location as a port along the Baltic Sea. Today it is known as the cultural center of Russia, and was its capital until Moscow took over in 1918. International trade and the many big-name companies with offices in St. Petersburg makes this city among the most consistently growing in Russia.
The last census in St. Petersburg was carried out in 2015. According to that census, the total population was 5,208,690. The growth rate for the period between 1996 and 2015 was .91% annually. When compared to global populations, St. Petersburg is ranked as the 50th most populated city in the world. Growth in the city is not just due to more people moving to the city, but also because the fertility rate in St. Petersburg is on the rise. The average woman in 1997 had .9 children, but a new study in 2016 showed that this had increased to 1.6 children for every woman.
The education of students has not always been the focus of the Russian government, but thankfully in recent years education in St. Petersburg has become a priority. Only 1% of the population does not have some form of education. 8% have an elementary education and 26% have completed their full secondary education. At 47%, the largest section of the population has had vocational training or higher education of some form, and 18% have studied beyond that standard to acquire a full degree. The rate of uneducated individuals continues to fall with every passing year.
The state of many economies throughout the world is quite disturbing. Unemployment rates have reached into double digit numbers in many places. Ingushetia, Russia has among the highest unemployment rate in the world at 46.9%. Luckily, for those in St. Petersburg, the rates are substantially lower. Due to an increase of job opportunities and the fact that companies regularly make their home base in the city, St. Petersburg enjoys an unemployment rate of just 1.1%. Salaries in the city range from 40,000 RUB up to 400,000 RUB, with the average salary in St. Petersburg reaching 102,500 RUB.
As a historical city, St. Petersburg is very important to life in Russia. But one aspect of the city that keeps people coming back year after year is the fact that the city has on average 21 white nights each year. A white night in St. Petersburg happens during the months of June and July. During a white night, the sun does not set the way it normally does. As a result, the night sky has a blue hue and it does not get fully dark. These nights are among the largest attractions for the city of St. Petersburg.