In a country as large as Russia, it comes as little surprise that there are as many as 160 different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples living here. Of course the vast majority of the population (approximately 79.8%) is ethnically Russian and are descendents of any number of Eastern Slavic peoples, but there are also a large number of ethnic minority groups and of people who have been displaced within the country after the borders have been changed. Some examples of this include Tatars (3.8%), Ukrainians (2%), Bashkirs (1.2%), Chuvash (1.1%), Chechen (0.9%) and Armenians (0.8%). A further 10.3 % remain unspecified. Most of these groups remain in their respective regions and do not migrate to other parts of the country or neighboring countries. These are just some of Russia's Demographics worth noting.
It is interesting to note that, though Russia has a low population density, many of its cities are massive. The population density is low because of the immense size of the region – but huge populations are gathered in cities and towns and very few are spread out in the countryside. In fact, roughly 75% of the people of Russia live in urban areas. The two Russian cities with the largest populations are Moscow (over 10 million people) and Saint Petersburg (over 4.5 million people). The overall population of the country is estimated to be more than 145 million people, with the majority falling inside the European parts of the country and the remaining 40 million spread out across the Asian federal districts. Surprisingly, Russia’s population is suffering a dramatic decrease due to the low birth rates and high death rates. This is a trend which has been steadily increasing since the early 1990s and which continues to pose a problem for the government. One of the reasons for the high death rate is suicide and Russia unfortunately has the highest suicide rate in the world. The abortion rate is also higher than the birth rate since the birth of a baby often puts families on the brink of poverty.
There are currently more women in Russia than men, even though more baby boys are born than baby girls. The vast majority of the population is currently between 15 and 64 years of age with men living an average of 60 years and women living an average of 71 years. Russian is the main language of the country and is spoken by roughly 99% of the population, but there are more than 100 other languages used by various peoples within the country’s borders. The literacy rate of the country is also quite high with approximately 98.5% of people over the age of 15 being able to read and write. Most people in Russia are professed Christians (89.72%) while others usually practice Islam (9.85%), Buddhism (0.80%) or Judaism (0.16%). A further 0.23% still cling to traditional beliefs, while several other very small religious groups exist, but are only now starting to gain state recognition.