Investment Portal of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation

The number of Nenets people has increased and the number of Sami people has decreased

Statistics on the number of small indigenous peoples of the Far North in Russia are published.

13 January 2023

While some ethnic groups, the Nenets, are showing a marked increase, others, the Sami and Selkups, continue to decline. The Project Office for Arctic Development (POAD) writes about this. The count took place during the all-Russian census in 2021, analysed by Rosstat. 

The seven autochthonous peoples of the Far North and the Arctic showed a marked or moderate demographic increase compared to the 2010 census data. The Nenets, a semi-nomadic people living in the YNAA, Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Regions and Taimyr District, lead the way thanks to their high birth rate. The Nenets population increased by 11.5%. 

Statistics on increase in population: Nenets—49,787 (44,640 in 2010), Evenki—39,420 (38,396), Khanty—31,600 (30,943), Chukchi—16,228 (15,908), Mansi—12,308 (12,269), Dolgans—8,182 (7,885) and Yukaghirs—1,813 (1,603).

A number of the smaller northern ethnic groups continue to decline, most notably the Sami of Kola Lapland, who were deprived of much of their territorial and cultural landscape during the Soviet era, down 15%.

Peoples with a decreasing population: Evens (19,975), Koryaks (7,498), Veps (4,687), Nivkhs (3,863), Selkups (3,491), Itelmens (2,622), Ulchis (2,481), Inuits (1,659), Kamchadals (1,564), Sami (1,550), Udege (1,328) and Kets (1,096). 

A number of peoples today already belong to the very small category: Chuvans (903), Nganasans (693), Aleut people (399), Chulyms (382), Uilta people (269), Seto (242), Izhora people (227), Enets (203), Vod people (105), Alutor (97) and Kereks (23). 


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