Soviet Census (1989)

Last updated
1989 Soviet National Census
State Emblem of the Soviet Union.svg
Soviet State Emblem
1989 Cccp census.jpg
Census Logo
General information
CountrySoviet Union
Date takenJanuary 12, 1989 (1989-01-12)
January 19, 1989 (1989-01-19)
Total population286,730,819
Percent changeIncrease2.svg 9.3%
Most populous republic Russia
Least populous republic Estonia
1989 Soviet census information pamphlet Perepis1989 banner.jpg
1989 Soviet census information pamphlet
1989 census form Perepis1989 list.jpg
1989 census form

The 1989 Soviet census (Russian : Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989, "1989 All-Union Census"), conducted between 12-19 January of that year, was the last one that took place in the former USSR. The census found the total population to be 286,730,819 inhabitants. [1] In 1989, the Soviet Union ranked as the third most populous in the world, above the United States (with 248,709,873 inhabitants according to the 1 April 1990 census), although it was well behind China and India.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, over two decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.



In 1989, about half of the Soviet Union's total population lived in the Russian SFSR, and approximately one-sixth (18%) of them in Ukraine. Almost two-thirds (65.7%) of the population was urban, leaving the rural population with 34.3%. [2] In this way, its gradual increase continued, as shown by the series represented by 47.9%, 56.3% and 62.3% of 1959, 1970 and 1979 respectively. [3]

Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Republic in the USSR (1922–1991) and sovereign state (1917–1922 and 1990–1991)

The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, previously known as the Russian Soviet Republic and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, as well as being unofficially known as the Russian Federation, Soviet Russia, or simply Russia, was an independent state from 1917 to 1922, and afterwards the largest, most populous and most economically developed of the 15 Soviet socialist republics of the Soviet Union (USSR) from 1922 to 1991, then a sovereign part of the Soviet Union with priority of Russian laws over Union-level legislation in 1990 and 1991, during the last two years of the existence of the USSR. The Russian Republic comprised sixteen smaller constituent units of autonomous republics, five autonomous oblasts, ten autonomous okrugs, six krais and forty oblasts. Russians formed the largest ethnic group. The capital of the Russian SFSR was Moscow and the other major urban centers included Leningrad, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara.

Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic one of fifteen constituent republics of the Soviet Union (USSR); founding member of the United Nations Organization in 1945

The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, also known as the Soviet Ukraine, was one of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union from the Union's inception in 1922 to its breakup in 1991. The republic was governed by the Communist Party of Ukraine as a unitary one-party socialist soviet republic.

The last two national censuses (held in 1979 and 1989) showed that the country had been experiencing an average annual increase of about 2.5 million people, although it was a slight decrease from a figure of around 3 million per year in the previous intercensal period, 1959-1970. This post-war increase had contributed to the USSR's partial demographic recovery from the significant population loss that the USSR had suffered during the Great Patriotic War (the Eastern Front of World War II), and before it, during Stalin's Great Purge of 1936-1938. The previous postwar censuses, conducted in 1959, 1970 and 1979, had enumerated 208,826,650, 241,720,134, and 262,436,227 inhabitants respectively. [3]

World War II casualties Wikimedia list article

World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history. An estimated total 70-85 million people perished, which was about 3% of the 1940 world population.

Eastern Front (World War II) theatre of conflict during World War II, encompassing Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northeast Europe (Baltics), and Southeast Europe (Balkans)

The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of conflict between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.), Poland and other Allies, which encompassed Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northeast Europe (Baltics), and Southeast Europe (Balkans) from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It has been known as the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet Union and modern Russia, while in Germany it was called the Eastern Front, or the German-Soviet War by outside parties.

Great Purge Soviet campaign of political repression, imprisonment, and execution

The Great Purge or the Great Terror was a campaign of political repression in the Soviet Union which occurred from 1936 to 1938. It involved a large-scale purge of the Communist Party and government officials, repression of wealthy landlords and the Red Army leadership, widespread police surveillance, suspicion of saboteurs, counter-revolutionaries, imprisonment, and arbitrary executions. In Russian historiography, the period of the most intense purge, 1937–1938, is called Yezhovshchina, after Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, who was executed a year after the purge. Modern historical studies estimate the total number of deaths due to Stalinist repression in 1937–38 to be between 681,692-1,200,000.

In 1990, the Soviet Union was more populated than both the United States and Canada together, having some 40 million more inhabitants than the U.S. alone. However, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in late 1991, the combined population of the 15 former Soviet republics stagnated at around 290 million inhabitants for the period 1995-2000.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

Dissolution of the Soviet Union Process leading to the late-1991 breakup of the USSR

The dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on 26 December 1991, officially granting self-governing independence to the Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). It was a result of the declaration number 142-Н of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. The declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), although five of the signatories ratified it much later or did not do so at all. On the previous day, 25 December, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the USSR, resigned, declared his office extinct and handed over its powers—including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes—to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. That evening at 7:32 p.m., the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag.

This significant slowdown may in part be due to the remarkable socio-economic changes that followed the disintegration of the USSR, that have tended to reduce even more the already decreasing birth rates (which were already showing some signs of decline since the Soviet era, in particular among the people living in the European part of the Soviet Union). The next census was possibly planned for 1999.

History of the Soviet Union (1982–91) aspect of history

The history of the Soviet Union from 1982 through 1991 spans the period from Leonid Brezhnev's death and funeral until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Due to the years of Soviet military buildup at the expense of domestic development, economic growth stagnated. Failed attempts at reform, a standstill economy, and the success of the United States against the Soviet Union's forces in the war in Afghanistan led to a general feeling of discontent, especially in the Baltic republics and Eastern Europe.

Birth rate total number of live births per 1,000 of a population in a certain period of time (usually a year)

The birth rate is the total number of live births per 1,000 in a population in a year or period. The rate of births in a population is calculated in several ways: live births from a universal registration system for births, deaths, and marriages; population counts from a census, and estimation through specialized demographic techniques. The birth rate are used to calculate population growth.

Largest cities of the USSR according to the 1989 census. Largest cities USSR 1989.svg
Largest cities of the USSR according to the 1989 census.

SSR Rankings

Soviet Republic
Population as of
1979 Census
Population as of
1989 Census [4]
1Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.svg  Russian SFSR 137,551,000147,400,5379,849,537 Increase2.svg7.2% Increase2.svg
2Flag of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.svg  Ukraine 49,755,00051,706,7421,951,742 Increase2.svg3.9% Increase2.svg
3Flag of the Uzbek SSR.svg  Uzbekistan 15,391,00019,905,1584,514,158 Increase2.svg29.3% Increase2.svg
4Flag of the Kazakh SSR.svg  Kazakhstan 14,684,00016,536,5111,852,511 Increase2.svg12.6% Increase2.svg
5Flag of Byelorussian SSR.svg  Byelorussia 9,560,00010,199,709639,709 Increase2.svg6.7% Increase2.svg
6Flag of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.svg  Azerbaijan 6,028,0007,037,8671,009,867 Increase2.svg16.8% Increase2.svg
7Flag of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.svg  Georgia 5,015,0005,443,359428,359 Increase2.svg8.5% Increase2.svg
8Flag of Tajik SSR.svg  Tajikistan 3,801,0005,108,5761,307,576 Increase2.svg34.4% Increase2.svg
9Flag of Moldavian SSR.svg  Moldavia 3,947,0004,337,592390,592 Increase2.svg9.9% Increase2.svg
10Flag of Kyrgyz SSR.svg  Kirghizia 3,529,0004,290,442761,442 Increase2.svg21.6% Increase2.svg
11Flag of Lithuanian SSR.svg  Lithuania 3,398,0003,689,779291,779 Increase2.svg8.6% Increase2.svg
12Flag of the Turkmen SSR.svg  Turkmenistan 2,759,0003,533,925774,925 Increase2.svg28.1% Increase2.svg
13Flag of Armenian SSR.svg  Armenia 3,031,0003,287,677256,677 Increase2.svg8.5% Increase2.svg
14Flag of Latvian SSR.svg  Latvia 2,521,0002,680,029159,029 Increase2.svg6.3% Increase2.svg
15Flag of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.svg  Estonia 1,466,0001,572,916106,916 Increase2.svg7.3% Increase2.svg
 Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union 262,436,000286,730,81924,294,8199.3%

See also

Demographics of the Soviet Union

According to data from the 1989 Soviet census, the population of the Soviet Union was 70% East Slavs, 12% Turkic peoples, and all other ethnic groups below 10%. Alongside the atheist majority of 60% there were sizable minorities of Russian Orthodox Christians and Muslims.

Republics of the Soviet Union top-level political division of the Soviet Union

The Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or Union Republics were the ethnically based proto-states of the Soviet Union. For most of its history, the USSR was a highly centralized state; the decentralization reforms during the era of Perestroika ("Restructuring") and Glasnost ("Openness") conducted by Mikhail Gorbachev are cited as one of the factors which led to the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.

Soviet Census (1937)

The Soviet Census held on January 6, 1937 was the most controversial of the censuses taken within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The census results were not published because the census showed much lower population figures than anticipated, although it still showed a population growth from the last census in 1926, from 147 million to 162 million people in 1937.

Related Research Articles

The demographics of Estonia in the twenty-first century result from historical trends over more than a thousand years, as with most European countries, but have been disproportionately influenced by events in the last half of the twentieth century. The rise and fall of the Soviet Union, including the annexation and eventual independence of Estonia, has had a major effect on Estonia's ethnic makeup and educational achievement.

Demographics of Kazakhstan

The demographics of Kazakhstan enumerate the demographic features of the population of Kazakhstan, including population growth, population density, ethnicity, education level, health, economic status, religious affiliations, and other aspects of the population. Some use the word Kazakh to refer to the Kazakh ethnic group and language and Kazakhstani to refer to Kazakhstan and its citizens regardless of ethnicity, but it is common to use Kazakh in both senses.

Demographics of Kyrgyzstan

The Demographics of Kyrgyzstan is about the demographic features of the population of Kyrgyzstan, including population growth, population density, ethnicity, education level, health, economic status, religious affiliations, and other aspects of the population. The name Kyrgyz, both for the people and the country, means "forty girls" or "forty tribes", a reference to the epic hero Manas who unified forty tribes against the Oirats, as symbolized by the 40-ray sun on the flag of Kyrgyzstan.

Demographics of Latvia

This article is about the demographic features of the population of the historical territory of Latvia, including population density, ethnic background, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

The demographics of Russia is about the demographic features of the population of the Russian Federation including population growth, population density, ethnic composition, education level, health, economic status and other aspects.

Demographics of Uzbekistan

The demographics of Uzbekistan are the demographic features of the population of Uzbekistan, including population growth, population density, ethnicity, education level, health, economic status, religious affiliations, and other aspects of the population. The nationality of any person from Uzbekistan is Uzbekistani, while the ethnic Uzbek majority call themselves Uzbeks. A lot of data is estimated because the last census was carried out in Soviet times in 1989.

Lipetsk Oblast First-level administrative division of Russia

Lipetsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia. Its administrative center is the city of Lipetsk. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 1,173,513.

A population decline in humans is any great reduction in a human population caused by events such as long-term demographic trends, as in sub-replacement fertility, urban decay, white flight or rural flight, or due to violence, disease, or other catastrophes.. Contrary to contemporary belief, depopulation can be largely beneficial for a region, allocating more resources and less competition for the new population, in addition to exempting the disadvantages of overpopulation, such as increased traffic, pollution, real estate prices, and environmental destruction. Per-capita wealth may increase in depopulation scenarios, in addition to improvement of environmental quality-of-life indicators such as improved air and water quality, reforestation, return of native species, etc. The accompanying benefits of depopulation have been termed Shrink and Prosper, with benefits being similar to the Post Civil War Gilded Age, Post World War 1 Economic Boom and the Post World War 2 Economic Boom.

Russians in Kazakhstan Ethnic group in Kazakhstan

There has been a substantial population of Russian Kazakhstanis since the 19th century. Although their numbers have been reduced since the breakup of the Soviet Union, they remain prominent in Kazakh society today. Russians formed a plurality of the Kazakh SSR's population for several decades.

Demographics of Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia, after Moscow. 2002 census recorded population of the federal subject 4,661,219, or 3.21% of the total population of Russia. The city with its vicinity has an estimated population of about 6 million people.

Russians in Georgia

There is a small Russian population in Georgia of less than 0.5% of the total population. For many years, Georgia was a part of the Russian Empire, and later the Soviet Union. As the two countries share a border, many Russians settled in various regions of Georgia. In recent years, the number of Russians living in Georgia has sharply declined.

Ethnic demography of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is multiethnic country where the indigenous ethnic group, the Kazakhs, comprise the majority of the population. According to the 2016 census there are two dominant ethnic groups in Kazakhstan: ethnic Kazakhs (66.48%) and ethnic Russians (20.61%) with a wide array of other groups represented, including Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Germans, Tatars, Uyghurs, Koreans, and Meskhetian Turks.

Censuses in Ukraine is a sporadic event that since 2001 has been conducted by the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine under the jurisdiction of the Government of Ukraine.

The Soviet Census conducted in January 1959 was the first post-World War II census held in the Soviet Union.

Soviet Census (1970)

The Soviet Census conducted in January 1970 was the first census held in Soviet Union (USSR) in eleven years.

In January 1979, the Soviet Union conducted its first census in nine years. Between 1970 and 1979, the total Soviet population increased from 241,720,134 to 262,084,654, an increase of 8.42%.


  1. This is the total "de facto" population (nalichnoye naseleniye – наличное население); the "permanent" population (postoyannoye naseleniye – постоянное население) was about 1 million persons fewer. Over time, the State Statistics Committee changed its method of reporting population totals in censuses. In the 1959 and 1970 censuses, it used the permanent population; in 1979 and 1989 it used the de facto or present population. See Barbara A. Anderson and Brian D. Silver, "'Permanent' and 'Present' Populations in Soviet Statistics," Soviet Studies , Vol. 37, pp. 386-402, July 1985.
  2. Encyclopædia Britannica Book of the Year 1991, Soviet Union, page 720.
  3. 1 2 United Nations: Demographic Yearbook, Historical supplement - Population by sex, residence, and intercensal rates of increase for total population, each census: 1948-1997, on the UN Statistics Division website ( Archived 2010-06-16 at the Wayback Machine ).
  4. Almanaque Mundial 1996, Editorial América/Televisa, Mexico, 1995, pages 548-552 (Demografía/Biometría table).

Further reading