Saturday, January 21, 2023

Tatars Declined in Number in Every Federal Subject Except Tatarstan, New Census Data Show

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 18 – While the number of Tatars in the Russian Federation as a whole declined by 597,000 between 2010 and 2011, the collapse outside Tatarstan was even greater, 709,000 given that the number of Tatars inside Tatarstan increased by 78,000 and some 31,000 people in Crimea which Russia illegally annexed only in 2014 identified as Tatars.

            In fact, the census shows that Tatars declined in number in every single federal subject of the Russian Federation.  Almost two-thirds of this loss in population was in just ten subjects, Tatar analyst Rifat Kayumov says (

            Among these ten, the city of Moscow saw the greatest decline both in numbers and percentages, with there having been 64,000 fewer Tatars recorded in 2021 than in 2011 resulting in a percentage decline of 43.4 percent. Importantly, the decline in Bashkortostan was smaller on both measures, 34,887 and 3.4 percent. 

            Perhaps not surprisingly, where Tatars were the least numerous in 2010, they suffered the greatest percentage declines over the next 11 years. In Primorsky kray, the number of Tatars fell by 6694 or 62.9 percent. The Komi Republic recorded a decline of more than 60 percent, and seven others, most in the Far East, saw declines of more than 50 percent.

            A serious potential consequence of these declines outside of Tatarstan is that Kazan will lose some of the influence it had earlier as a result of Tatars being present in large numbers in many places. In response to this collapse, some Tatar commentators are calling for new efforts by the Tatarstan government to boost its representation in various subjects.

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