Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Russia’s Residents Continue to Move South and West, Boosting St. Petersburg's Population Even More Rapidly than Moscow’s, Mkrtchyan Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 14 – Over the last decade, Russians have continued to migrate from the north to the south and the east to the west and to become concentrated in the two capitals, extending a longstanding trend, albeit at slightly slower rates than earlier, according to Nikita Mkrchyan, a demographer at the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service.

            In an article in the latest issue of the Demographic Review, the scholar reports that the largest outflow came from the Middle Volga, with slightly fewer but still significant numbers from the North Caucasus, Siberia, and Far Eastern Federal Districts and from rural areas of the other federal districts into their urban centers (

            Mkrchyan says that nearly 800,000 people left the north for the south, with almost 500,000 of them being from the Asiatic North and 300,000 from the European North. But in both cases, the annual rate of departures slowed slightly by the end of the decade, although it remained significant because the remaining population in these places is so small.

            Moscow and St. Petersburg continued to grow not only as a result of migration from more distant regions but from rural areas immediately surrounding them, with two million coming into Moscow and one million into St. Petersburg, double the percentage increase in both cases than other Russian cities of more than 250,000.

            The demographer points out that despite what many think, the St. Petersburg urban agglomeration has been growing even faster than the Muscovite one.


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