Russia (Russian: Россия, Rossiya), officially also the Russian Federation (Russian: Российская Федерация, Rossijskaja Federatsija), is a country that is geographically located partly in Europe (European Russia) and partly in Asia. From a political perspective, however, it is European, because the most important parts (including the capital) are in the European part and more than 70% of the population lives in the European part. Moscow is the largest city, capital and economic heart of Russia. This is where the government sits.
With an area of 17,098,246 km², Russia is the largest country in the world, almost twice the size of the next country, Canada. Russia is the ninth largest country in the world in terms of population. Russia shares its borders with the following fourteen countries (counterclockwise from northwest to southeast): Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and Northern Korea. Furthermore, it is separated from the United States (Alaska) and Japan by a narrow strait. Kaliningrad Oblast is an exclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.
The country was the core of the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1991 as the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). Russia is an independent country and influential member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In diplomatic affairs, Russia is seen as the successor state of the Soviet Union.
Russia had 146,270,330 inhabitants on January 1, 2015, according to data from the Russian government. This number includes the inhabitants of the disputed Crimea. Excluding this region, the population was 143,975,923.
Russia has a large population, but a low population density. In the 20th century, the Russian population has grown relatively slowly, from 70 million in 1900 to 'only' double now. The population of the Russian Federation is estimated by the CIA at 141,722,205 (2020) (see List of countries by population), compared to nearly 149 million in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. The population decline was tempered on the one hand by immigration of ethnic Russians from the other former Soviet republics, but on the other hand exacerbated by emigration to Europe and the United States in particular.
The country has a large female surplus. On January 1, 2012, there were 10 million more women than men in the country. There are large differences between the number of men and women, especially over the age of 55. The largest part of the population lives in European Russia, the Ural region and in southwestern Siberia. The Russian Far East and most of northern Russia are relatively sparsely populated. The fastest growing regions in terms of population are Moscow (by migration) and its environs and the Islamic Republic of Dagestan (by natural growth).
More than three quarters of Russia's population lives in cities. The urbanization of Russia is increasing and Moscow is particularly popular. About 13% of the population lived in Moscow or the surrounding oblast in 2010. The move to the city means that more and more villages in the countryside are emptying. For example, between 2002 and 2010, the number of villages with no population increased from 13,000 to 19,000. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the population has been declining due to deteriorating living conditions. Fertility has fallen, while mortality, especially among men, has risen enormously as a result of deteriorating working conditions and alcoholism. The government is striving for less alcohol consumption and a healthier lifestyle. The policy has been reasonably successful, between 2011 and 2016 the average alcohol consumption among people older than 15 years has fallen from 15.8 liters of pure alcohol per head to 11.7 liters. Men still drink more than three times as much as women. Partly because of this, there is a large