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Russian Empire Census

The Russian Empire Census of 1897 was the first and the only census carried out in the Russian Empire. It recorded demographic data as of .

Previously, the Central Statistical Bureau issued statistical tables based on fiscal lists (ревизские списки).

The second Russian Census was scheduled for 1915, but was cancelled because of the World War I (and never happened in the Russian Empire because of the Russian Revolution of 1917).



The census project was suggested by famous Russian geographer and chief of the Central Statistical Bureau Pyotr Semenov-Tyan-Shansky in 1877, and was approved by Tsar Nicholas II in 1895.

The census was performed in two stages. In the first stage (December 1896 — January 1897) the counters (135,000 persons: literate soldiers, teachers and priests) visited all households and filled in the questionnaires, which were verified by local census managers. In the second stage () the counters simultaneously visited all households to verify and update the questionnaires.

The data processing took 8 years using Hollerith card machines. Publication of the results started in 1898 and ended in 1905. In total, 119 volumes for 89 guberniyas, as well as a two-volume summary, were issued.

The questionnaire contained the following questions:

In the census summary tables, nationality was based on the declared mother language of respondents.

Census results

The results of the census are too broad to publish, but its online Russian version can be found here:

The total population of the Russian Empire was recorded to be 125,640,021 people (50.2 % female, 49.8 % male).

By native tongue

The most spoken languages, from which nationality was determined were:

Largest cities

Largest cities of the Empire according to the census (thousands of inhabitants):


As many other census in the era of nationalism, the results of this census are biased and skewed towards the nationality preferred by the authorities, in this case, Russian, in order to inflate the numbers of population of Russian ethnicity.[1] Thus for example, the number of Poles is underrepresented.[2][3] Imperial officials also classified Ukrainian and Belarusian languages as belonging to Russian group and labeled those nationalities as Little Russian for Ukrainians and White Russian for Belarusians.[1]


  1. a b Anna Geifman, Russia under the last tsar: opposition and subversion, 1894-1917, Wiley-Blackwell, 1999, ISBN 1557869952, Google Print, p.118-119
  2. Piotr Eberhardt, Jan Owsinski, Ethnic groups and population changes in twentieth-century Central-Eastern Europe, M.E. Sharpe, 2003, ISBN 0765606658, Google Print, p.27
  3. Jerzy Borzęcki, The Soviet-Polish peace of 1921 and the creation of interwar Europe, Yale University Press, 2008, ISBN 0300121210, Google Print, p.10


lt:1897 m. Rusijos gyventojų surašymas nl:Volkstelling in het Russische Rijk ru:Перепись населения Российской империи (1897)

Russian Empire–United States relations

The relations between the Russian Empire and the United States (1776-1922) predate the Soviet-United States relations (1922-1991) and the Russo-United States relations (1991-present). The relations between the two countries were established in 1776.

Establishment of relations (1776)

The relations between the two states are usually considered to have begun in 1776, when the United States declared its independence from the British Empire and became a state. Earlier contacts had occurred between Americans and Russians however: In 1698, Peter the Great and William Penn had met in London, and in 1763 a Boston merchant had anchored his ship at the port of Kronstadt after a direct transatlantic voyage.

19th century

During the 19th century, Russian and American frontiers met in Alaska. Russia had colonized Alaska.

American Civil War

During the American Civil War, Russia was one of the few European powers to fully support the Union. This was prompted by France and Britain's lukewarm relations with Russia and their contemplation of supporting the Confederacy. France and Britain were considering war with Russia at the time over the latter's actions in the Bosphorus. As a result, during the winter of 1861-2, the Imperial Russian Navy sent two fleets to join the Union Navy, to prevent the possibility of them being trapped in ice and therefore immobilized for possible use against the French and British.

In 1867, Russian Alaska was sold to the United States. The United States claimed Wrangel Island, Herald Island, Bennett Island, Jeannette Island, and Henrietta Island in 1881.


In 1900, Russia and America were allied during the Boxer Rebellion. They defeated the Boxer rebels in the Qing Empire. Russia had occupied Manchuria at this time.

During World War I, the United States allied with Russia in 1917.

See also