UN, May 17. /TASS/. The Russian urban population will increase by 3 million people and exceed 110.6 million by the middle of the 21st century, despite the demographic crisis, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) reported.
The population decline will be the highest in villages, the report says. The number of rural residents will plunge to 22.1 million from 36.8 million by 2050.
In contrast, the rural population in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (part of the Soviet Union) in 1950 - the year when the UN had started collecting statistics-was 57.5 million. It has been consistently thinning out since then because of urbanization.
According to the UN's figures, which are based on the assessments of national statistics agencies, about 144 million people are currently living in Russia, with 74.4% (107.2 million) of them being the urban population. According to the latest forecasts, this indicator will reach 83.3% by 2050 and the total population of the countryside will shrink to 132.7 million.
The population of Moscow, which became a city of 10 million in 2000 and surpassed the 12-million mark three years ago, will be growing at a slower pace in the near future, according to UN experts. After 2025, the number of Moscow residents will reach 12.8 million and will hover at this level until 2035, the final year for the UN DESA’s forecast. That said, Moscow would remain Europe’s most populated city (according to the UN’s classification, Turkey and its largest city Istanbul are part of West Asia).
St. Petersburg’s population will also grow slightly by 2035, from the current 5.4 million to 5.6 million. Krasnodar will reach one million people, and Sochi will closely approach the 500,000 mark, while the population of Bryansk will keep diminishing simultaneously. The population of Arkhangelsk, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don and other cities will either stabilize or slightly grow.