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Largest cities in Russia 2020

Russia's capital Moscow was the largest city of the country with nearly 12.7 million residents as of January 1, 2020. Less than one half of Moscow's population resided in Saint Petersburg, the second most populous city of the country. The third largest city, Novosibirsk was located in the Siberian Federal District, being the highest populated city in the Asian part of Russia.

Why is Moscow so populated?

The Russian capital is the center of political, industrial, business, and cultural life in Russia. Despite being one of the most expensive cities worldwide, it continues to attract people from Russia and abroad, with its resident population increasing by nearly one million over the past decade. Wages in Moscow are higher than in Russia on average, and more opportunities for employment and investment are available in the capital. Furthermore, the number of people living in Moscow was forecast to continue rising, exceeding 12.8 million by 2035.

Urbanization in Russia

In 2020, 101 million Russian residents lived in cities. That was approximately three quarters of the country’s population. The urbanization rate increased steadily over the 20th century, leading to a decline in rural population. Among the country’s regions, the Northwestern Federal District had the highest share of residents in urban areas, measured at nearly 85 percent. In the Central Federal District, the tendency was that more people moved to Moscow and cities in the Moscow Oblast.

Largest cities in Russia as of January 1, 2020, by population

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Release date

July 2020



Survey time period

As of January 1, 2020

Supplementary notes

Takes into account the resident population, including persons constantly living on a particular territory and those temporary absent on the date of survey.
Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Demographics in Russia"

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