The current (2016) population of Russia is either 144,192,450 (not including Crimea) or is 146,519,759 (including Crimea).

Most of the population of Russia is found in the West and South of the country. These regions have a much higher population density than either Siberia or the Russian Far East.

The Russian Federation used to be a part of the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the number of people living in Russia began to fall. Over the last decade that population decline has slowed and over the past few years Russia’s population has begun to grow slowly.

Russian Population Decline

The population of Russia was at its highest in 1991, when it hit a high of 148,689,000. The economic and political upheaval that followed the end of the Soviet Union led to an increase in death rates. This, combined with low birth rates, led to a fall in population. At one point Russia’s population was falling by 0.5% every year – that’s about a quarter of 1 million people every year.

Between 1995 and 2005, the population of Russia remained relatively stable – it neither increased nor decreased substantially. In 2009, for the first time since 1991, the number of people living in Russia increased. Since then Russia’s population has been slowly but steadily growing.

Crimea and Russian Population

On 18 March 2014 Russia annexed Crimea, a part of Ukraine. The 2,248,400 people who lived in Crimea became Russian citizens. Because of this they are included in official Russian population statistics. Ukraine believes that the relaxation of Crimea was illegal. It believes that Crimea is still part of Ukraine, and this is why there are two population figures for both Ukraine and Russia.


Ethnic groups in Russia

There are more than 150 ethnic groups in Russia. The largest group by far is ethnic Russians (77%). This is followed by Tatars (3.7%) and Ukrainians (1.4%).

Are there black people in Russia?

One question that we are commonly asked is how many black people within Russia?

Experts believe that there are about 40,000 black people, commonly known as Afro Russians, in Russia. That is less than 0.1% of the population.

There have been Africans in Russia for centuries, although there were very few. Abram Petrovich Gannibal, an African adopted by Peter the Great who was Alexander Pushkin’s great-grandfather, is one prominent example.

Many Africans came to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. In total almost half 1 million Africans study in the Soviet Union, and some stayed in Russia. They, or their descendants, a Russian citizens.

Russia today has a reputation for racism, and black Russians today along with people from other visible minorities face prejudice in their daily lives.

What was the population of the Soviet Union

Russia was the largest public in the Soviet Union. However, in 1991, Russia was just one of 15 republics in the USSR.

In 1990, just one year before the end of the Soviet Union, there were believed to be 291,938,469 people living in the USSR.

Although the population of Russia and the other post-Soviet republics fell after 1991, the Soviet Union’s population grew in the 20 years before its collapse. Population rose from 242 million in 1972 to 292 million people in 1990.