The Population of Moscow in 2011 is officially 11,514,300 – this data comes from the 2010 Russian Census (link goes to official census site in Russian), which was conducted in October 2010. However, the question of ‘What is the Population of Moscow?” isn’t answered quite so easily.
The Census only recorded those who had official permanent residency in Moscow. It did not count the 1.8 million people legally living in Moscow, but holding permanent residency elsewhere (for example, other Russian cities, or other countries), and nor did it count the estimated 1 million people living illegally in Moscow. If we add these people into the figure, then the total population in Moscow is in the order of 14.3 million people and, if the number of people living in Moscow illegally isn’t estimated correctly, could be considerably higher.
Moscow Population Changes Over the Years
(Graphic courtesy of the wonderful Russian Sphinx)
Moscow has always been the capital city of Russia, and its largest city. But its growth has been dramatic. If you take a look at the graph on this page, you can see that the population in 1911, exactly a hundred years ago, was less than 2 million people.
Since then, the growth of Moscow has been rapid, with the exception of a big drop in population during the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War. Since the 2002 census, which recorded the population of Moscow as 10,382,754, the population has grown by an impressive 10.9%. This compares with a drop of 1.6% in the country as a whole over the same period – the population of Russia in 2011 is, according to the census, 142,905,200 people.
At the time of writing, only preliminary data is available from the 2010 Russian Census, and there is no detailed breakdown of Moscow’s ethnic diversity. However, figures from the 2002 census show that the population of Moscow was:
- East Slavic 88%
- Caucasian 3%
- Turkic 2%
- Central Asian 1%
- Jewish 1%
- Asian 1%
- Not stated 4%
Largest city in Europe?
With its population of 11.5 million (or 14.3 million, depending on how you count), Moscow is the largest city in Europe. Istanbul comes a very close second, with 11.372,613 residents (according to Wikipedia). London, the capital of the United Kingdom and third largest city in Europe, has an official population of 7,556,900.
Moscow is also the sixth largest city in the world.