Statistics and Market Data on Russia
Russia (officially The Russian Federation) is the largest country in the world, with a surface of over 17 million square kilometers, almost twice as much as the second largest, Canada. Although it has one of the lowest population densities in the world, with only 8.4 inhabitants per square kilometer, it is still one of the most populous countries, with almost 144 million inhabitants. Russia’s population is mostly urban (271343), with more than 73 percent of its inhabitants living in cities, of which the capital Moscow is the largest, with almost 12 million residents. St. Petersburg, the former capital of the empire, still remains an important economical and cultural hub and is home to over 5 million people. The unemployment rate has fluctuated in the past decade, reaching its peak in 2009, at 8.4 percent, but has slowly decreased to 5.6 percent in 2014. Life expectancy at birth has been constantly increasing, reaching an average of 69 years in 2011.
Today, the Russian Federation, which succeeds the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, is a semi-presidential federal republic. It is formally structured as a multi-party representative democracy, although international observers consider it a centralized semi-authoritarian state under the rule of President Vladimir Putin, who first assumed office in 2000. A worldwide survey of leadership performance approval ratings for the United States, China, Russia, United Kingdom and Germany governments, shows Russian leadership to be the least popular. Due to a number of political and military moves, such as the 2014 annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, the current politics of Russia are criticized by many governments, international organizations and private citizens.
Russia is one of the world's leading producers and exporters of oil, natural gas, metals, wood, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures. Its main export partners are the Netherlands, China and Germany. It imports mostly vehicles, pharmaceutical products, plastic, meat, fruits and nuts, as well as optical and medical instruments from its closest import partners, such as China, Germany and Ukraine. It is also one of the four BRIC countries, a group that unites Brazil, Russia, India and China, due to their similar stage of economic development.
In 2014, the gross domestic product of Russia amounted to over 2 trillion U.S. dollars, which placed the country amongst the top 10 countries with the largest GDP in the world. The GDP growth rate however has been declining from 4.5 percent in 2010 to 0.24 percent in 2014. Furthermore, the devaluation of the Russian ruble and a decrease in oil prices caused an overall decline of the economic growth towards the end of 2014 and subsequent forecasts of a negative GDP growth in 2015.