Posted 16 января 2023,, 08:47

Published 16 января 2023,, 08:47

Modified 16 января 2023,, 10:45

Updated 16 января 2023,, 10:45

Results of the population census: where Tatars and Ukrainians dis disappear

Results of the population census: where Tatars and Ukrainians dis disappear

16 января 2023, 08:47
There are 5 million fewer Russians in Russia, and the number of Ukrainians has halved. Other ethnic groups also demonstrate an almost twofold decrease. Only Chechnya has noticeably "grown up" in terms of its national composition.

Yekaterina Maksimova

Rosstat has published another batch of data on the results of the All-Russian Population Census of 2021 (VPN-2021): the national composition of Russia is presented.

Novye Izvestia, comparing the figures with the 2010 census, states: since the last nationwide survey, the situation has changed markedly. 

According to the results of the VPN-2010, the top five ethnic groups included Russians (111 million people), Tatars (5,310 million), Ukrainians (1,927 million), Bashkirs (1,584 million). The fifth and sixth places with a minimum gap were occupied by Chuvash (1.435 million) and Chechens (1.431 million). 

After 10 years, the composition of the top five has changed. Ukrainians dropped out of the TOP 5. And their number has almost halved: from 1,927 to 884 thousand people (or -54%). And according to the VPN-2021, the top five now looks like this: Russians, Tatars, Chechens, Bashkirs, Chuvash. At the same time, there were almost 5 million fewer Russians (105.5 million versus 111 million).

And there are almost 600 thousand fewer Tatars (4.71 million versus 5.31 million). The number of Chuvash decreased by 368 thousand (1.067 million instead of 1.435 million). Bashkirs have almost everything stable (1.57 million vs. 1.58 million). But the growth (by 17% at once)  only Chechnya showed it (from 1.431 million to 1.674 million). 

The Chechnya Effect

Historian, political scientist, jurist Azhdar Kurtov suggested that the situation in Chechnya is partly explained by the end of the well-known conflicts (the first and second Chechen wars).


"After that, Chechnya developed economically, and therefore socially, at a much faster pace than other North Caucasian republics. Plus, after the war, this is a world practice, the birth rate is increasing. In addition, after the departure of the Russian-speaking population from the republic, Chechnya became strong by one ethnic group. This, I think, also played in favor of statistics. In addition, the North Caucasian peoples traditionally have large families. This is a more patriarchal people, and in a patriarchal society, family, children, family ties are valued. There are fewer divorces. All this also affects statistics," Kurtov estimated.  

Candidate of Economic Sciences, leading researcher at the Institute of Demographic Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Arkhangelsky also notes that the peoples of the North Caucasus have a special ancestral culture from the point of view of family and children, therefore there are large families in the Caucasus. He also recalled that Chechnya, plus Ingushetia and Tuva, traditionally demonstrated the highest birth rates in Russia. Tuva, by the way, is one of the few ethnic groups that has added in statistics (295.3 thousand against 263.9 thousand in 2010).  

Russians and Ukrainians in census figures

As noted by ethnopolitologist Vladimir Zorin, Russians continue to experience a demographic decline.

But according to the results of the last census, it was the comparative percentage of Russians that slightly increased. 

"But I think that, first of all, this is due to the fact that Belarusians and Ukrainians from mixed marriages, who were previously recorded by Belarusians and Ukrainians, have now signed up as Russians, because the number of Belarusians and Ukrainians in the country has decreased.

There are doubts that due to the growth of Russian identity in Russia, Belarusians and Ukrainians who have lived in our country for a long time now indicate their nationality differently. Have there been fewer Russians - yes.  But whether we are really talking about 5 million, we need to analyze the data more deeply", - Vladimir Zorin said.Political scientist Sergey Markov also believes that the population of Ukrainians in Russia has not decreased.

"They just correspond with Russians. They do not hide their nationality, Ukrainians are part of the Russian people. You can say bordeaux, or you can say red, but this is one color," Sergey Markov noted. 

"Our nationality is determined by self-determination. At one census, people could consider themselves a different nationality. This factor also affects," adds Vladimir Arkhangelsky.  

The Tatars were Europeanized  

Vladimir Zorin recalls that historian and political scientist Damir Iskhakov, analyzing the results of the 2010 census, wrote that a few years ago a group of scientists tried to predict the number of Tatars by 2025.

According to these forecasts, there should have been half a million fewer Tatars compared to 2002. 

"Perhaps, Iskhakov said many years ago, it's about assimilation, mixed marriages, a decrease in the birth rate and a decrease in the proportion of children in families. Physically, the Tatars have not disappeared anywhere. However, despite the fact that there were fewer Tatars between 2002 and 2010, in percentage terms, Iskhakov noted, the situation has not changed," noted ethnopolitologist Zorin.  And he added that if we talk about Tatarstan and the decrease in the number of Tatars by more than 11% in 2021, then in terms of their lifestyle and industrial level and culture, Tatars are closest to the European part of the population, where the lowest population growth is observed. 

The course is strictly on the wane

Among the indigenous peoples of Russia, the decline in the number of Finno-Ugrians continues most noticeably.

Some ethnic groups in this group showed an almost twofold decrease. 

So, according to the VPN-2021, the Mordvins "lost" almost a quarter of a million (484.4 thousand against 744.2 thousand in 2010). There are more than 160 thousand fewer Udmurts (386.4 thousand against 552.9 thousand). 32.4 thousand people indicated themselves as Karelians (against 60.8 thousand), Komi-Permians 55.7 thousand (against 94.4 thousand), Komi 143.5 thousand (against 228.2 thousand). 

Sergey Markov explained the statistics on the Finno-Ugric group briefly: a lot of alcohol and a depressed economy. 

Over 10 years, there has been a reduction in such constituent nations as Ossetians (485.6 thousand vs. 528.5 thousand), Khakas (61.3 thousand vs. 72.9 thousand), Adygeans (111.4 thousand vs. 124.8 thousand). A meager decrease in the Buryats (460.053 thousand vs. 461.3 thousand). The Yakuts, on the contrary, slightly increased (478.4 thousand against 478.085 thousand). 

In general, Sergey Markov notes, the level of urbanization affects the national composition of Russia - there are few children in cities, many in villages. "In the modern economy, for example, the Caucasian peoples participate in the archaic rural economy. And the mentality, for example, of Tatars, Chuvash is modern. With such a mentality, the norm is one or two children, for the Caucasian peoples the norm is three, four or five children," the political scientist notes. 

Vladimir Arkhangelsky draws attention to another aspect: family traditions and value orientations. "We have a little something - urbanization. The issue of family values, orientation towards family and children among representatives of different nationalities is also important. In many ways, the religious factor also influences. In the same Chechnya, Islam is significant, and the Tatars, although they are also Muslims, but the influence of religion on their behavior is significantly less than that of the Muslims of the North Caucasus," Arkhangelsk believes. 

Vladimir Zorin adds: "In each individual case, each nation has its own reasons for changing the number, and they require an unbiased and non-politicized analysis. In general, the trends have been known to demographers for a long time." There is a difference between those born and those who died, which is why the number of Russians is decreasing. 

As for the results of the last population census in general, Zorin recalls that a significant number of people do not have their nationality indicated in the census form (only 130.5 million participants of the VPN indicated their nationality). 

"It is methodologically correct to use not absolute data on the number of persons of a particular ethnic group/subgroup, but relative data on the proportion of persons of the corresponding ethnic group/subgroup among persons whose nationality is indicated in the census forms, when analyzing the national composition of the population according to the results of the VPN-2020. It is correct to compare these structural characteristics with similar data from past population censuses," says Zorin. 

Russian Russians have decreased in number, but the Russian population is the most numerous and accounts for 80.8% of the number of persons who indicated their nationality during the census. In 2002, the share of Russians was 80.6%, and in 2010 80.7% of those who indicated nationality. 

"There is no more accurate and complete knowledge of the national composition of the population of the country and its regions than the census data. All other "estimates" are unsubstantiated, since none of the critics of the census results can present even a tenth of the data that the census shows as an argument," Vladimir Zorin summed up.

Recall, according to the results of the VPN, at the end of 2021, 147.2 million people lived in Russia. There are 207 nationalities. 

Between the two censuses – from 2010 to 2021 – the population of Russia grew by 1.4%. The number of residents has grown only in 28 regions of the Russian Federation. The agency's data show that 74.8% of the country's population live in cities. And the level of urbanization continues to increase. In 2010, the ratio of urban and rural population was 73.5% and 26.5%, respectively.