20 Biggest Cities In Russia

By Geoffrey Migiro on November 20 2018 in World Facts

Russia has multiple cities with over a million people.
Russia has multiple cities with over a million people.

Russia is the largest nation on earth occupying an area of about 6,612,100sq miles. It is the ninth most populous country with over 144.5 million people. Due to Russia's large size, it is bordered by a number of European and Asian countries including China, North Korea, Mongolia Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Poland, Lithuania, Norway, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland among others. The country has over 1,110 towns and cities with Moscow being the biggest and capital city of Russia.

Largest Russian Cities


Moscow is the most populous Russian city with over 11.5 million residents. The city’s population has been increasing steadily from 1897 (1,038,625) people to 2010 (11.5 million). The population grew by 10.8% from 2002 to 2010. According to the 2010 official census, the ethnicity makes up of the city was made up of Russians (91.65%), Ukrainian (1.42%), Armenian (0.98%), Jewish (0.5%), Tatar (1.38%), and the Georgians among others. It is the critical scientific, cultural, economic and political center of the country and Eastern Europe. Forbes ranked Moscow as the ninth most expensive city to live in on earth in 2014. It has one of the biggest municipalities in the continent which accounts for over one-fifth of the country’s GDP (gross domestic product).

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is the second biggest Russian city with over 4.88 million residents. The population of Saint Petersburg dropped from over 5.023 million people in 1989 to 4.33 million in 2010 before increasing to over 5.3 million in 2017. Some of the main ethnic groups in the city include Russians (80.1%), Jewish (0.5%), Armenian (0.6%), Tatar (0.6%), Belarusians (0.8%), and Ukrainian (1.3%) among others. It is the cultural capital of the country and one of the modern Russian cities. It serves as the industrial and financial center of the country. Some of the industries in the Saint Petersburg include aerospace industry, shipbuilding yards, and the gas and oil trade.


Novosibirsk is the most highly populated city is Asian Russia with over 1.47 million residents. The population of the city decreased from 1.43 million in 1989 to 1.42 million in 2002 before increasing to 1.47 million in 2010. Novosibirsk has over eighty nationalities and ethnicities with the main ones being the Russians, Belarusian, Jewish, German, Yakut, Tatar, and Ukrainian. It is a large industrial city with over two hundred and fourteen average and large sized industrial enterprises.


Yekaterinburg is at the center of the Eurasian continents right on the Isle River. It is considered to be the third Russian capital city due to the size of its tourism and transport sectors, culture, and economy. The population of the Yekaterinburg increased from 1.29 million in 2002 to 1.35 million in 2010. The ethnic makeup of the city includes Russians (89.04%), Jews (4.339%), Tatar (3.72%), Bashkir (0.96%), Ukrainian (1.03%), Azerbaijan, Jews, and Belarusians among others. It is one of the most important Russian economic centers which has experienced population and economic growth over the last few years.

Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod is the capital of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and Volga Federal District. The city was previously referred to as Gorky (1932-1990) after Gorky Maxim, a known writer who was born in the region. The city served as a great trading center for the Russian Empire in 1817. Nizhny Novgorod had a population decrease from 1.43 million in 1989 to 1.25 million in 2010. It is one of the IT centers in the country.


Samara is on the southeastern side of European Russia right at the confluence of rivers Samara and Volga. The city is currently an important cultural, industrial, economic, political, and social center in European Russia. Samara had a population of over 1,164,685 people by 2010. The riverfront is one of the favorite recreational places in the country for both the tourists and the locals.


Omsk is the capital of Omsk Oblast. It serves as the staging area for River Irtysh and Trans-Siberian’s train station. It is the seventh biggest Russian city by size with over 1,154,116 people. The population of the Omsk has been growing from 53,050 in 1900 to over 1.14 million in 1989. The city’s population reduced from 1.148 million in 1989 to 1.13 million in 2002 before growing to 1.15 million in 2010. It is a prominent educational center with numerous educational institutions, music venues, theaters, and museums.


Kazan is the largest and capital city of Tatarstan with over 1,243,500 residents. It is one of the biggest educational, scientific, political, economic, religious, sports, and cultural centers in the country. Kazan was granted the right to call itself the third Russian capital by the Russian patent office in April 2009. The population of the country grew from 1,094,378 in 1989 to 1,105,289 in 2002 with the main ethnic groups in the city being Russians (47.9%) and Tatars (48.2%). Other ethnicities include the Jews, Vietnamese, Azerbaijanis, Ukrainians, and Chuvash.


Chelyabinsk is on the northeastern sides of Chelyabinsk Oblast. It is the capital of Chelyabinsk Oblast. It is the main industrial center of Russia with some of the heavy industries dominating the region including Chelyabinsk Tube-Rolling Plant and the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant. The population of the city increased from 1,077,174 in 2002 to 1,130,132 people in 2010. The Chelyabinsk has numerous universities with the oldest being Chelyabinsk-State Agro-engineering Academy.


Rostov-on-Don is the capital and port city of Rostov Oblast that is situated on the southeastern side of the East European Plain. The population of the city increased from 1,054,900 people in 2006 to 1,089,900 in 2010. Rostov-on-Don developed into a significant communication Hub and trading center during the nineteenth century.

Population Density In Russia

The country is situated in Eurasia, and over 77% of the Russians reside in the European part of the country. European Russia occupies less than 25% of the country’s area, and this includes the two biggest Russian cities (Saint Petersburg and Moscow). European Russia has a population density of about 26 people per square kilometer. The population density of Asian Russia is 2.5 individuals per square kilometers making it the least densely populated part of the world. The average population density of the country is 8.4 persons per square kilometer. Russia experienced its first growth in fifteen years in 2009 after its population grew by 10,500.

20 Biggest Cities In Russia

RankCityPopulation (2010 census)
1Moscow11.50 million
2St. Petersburg4.88 million
3Novosibirsk1.47 million
4Yekateringburg1.35 million
5Nizhny Novgorod1.25 million
6Samara1.16 million
7Omsk1.15 million
8Kazan1.14 million
9Chelyabinsk1.13 million
10Rostov-on-Don1.09 million
11Ufa1.06 million
12Volgograd1.02 million
13Perm0.99 million
14Krasnoyarsk0.97 million
15Voronezh0.89 million
16Saratov0.84 million
17Krasnodar0.74 million
18Tolyatti0.72 million
19Izhhevsk0.63 million
20Ulyanovsk0.61 million

More in World Facts