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Cultural Diversity

The population of Russia is made up of over 160 different ethnic groups speaking more than 100 different languages. The official language of the country is Russian, which the majority of the population speaks, but other popular languages include Tatar and Ukrainian. Students wondering why study in Russia are drawn to the culturally rich environment created by the incredibly diverse population of Russia.

Population and society

Russia has the world’s fifth largest population (148,8 million people) after China, India, the United States and Indonesia. Russia is a multiethnic society. The largest ethnic groups include Russians (81.5%), Tatars (3.8%), Ukrainians (3%), Chuvash (1.2%), Bashkir (0.9%), Belarusians (0.8%), Moldovans (0.7%), etc. Over 80 % of the population name Russian – the official language of the country – as their native. Other languages are used in ethnic minority regions. Russia has equal religious diversity: with the main religions being Russian Orthodox Christianity and Muslim overall over 150 confessions could be found across the country.
Also, 73 % of Russian citizens live in urban areas. The Russian Federation has 1067 major cities, with 13 of them inhabited by one million and more people each.


Russia is a multi-ethnic and multi-faith nation. Orthodox Christianity is Russia’s largest religion with 75% of the population belonging to the Orthodox Christian denomination. Islam is professed by 5% of the population. Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism and Buddhism are professed by 1% of the population each. Other religious denominations represent 1% of the population, while 8% consider themselves atheists.

Culture and folk art

Russia has over 50,000 state public libraries in total possession of over a billion books. There are about 1500 museums (historical, ethnographic. memorial, of folk crafts, fine and applied arts, theatre, music, natural sciences, technology and many others). Twenty open-air ethnographic museums present folk architecture, arts and everyday life. Today, folk art in Russia survives in two basic forms – handicrafts practiced on a broad scale and works of art created by gifted persons working at home.