The country that has overcome the cold

Russia is often compared with Canada, which is not surprising — our countries are comparable in size and identical in natural conditions. So which of them is "north"? And as these two countries have managed to adapt to life in the northern latitudes?

Murmansk  city in the Arctic Circle, the northernmost ice-free port in the world

Area smaller than the area of Canada in Russia 1.7. Thus in Canada are 34 million people — 4.2 times less than in Russia, with a population of 143 million inhabitants. Accordingly, density of population in Canada is 2.4 times less than in Russia.

90% of Canada’s population lives in a narrow zone along the southern U.S. border, a width of 100 km. More than 97% of the inhabitants of this country located to the south of the 55th parallel  the latitude of Moscow, and to the north of it in Canada, no settlements larger than Russia or Urengoja Surgut. In Russia, north of the 55th parallel are 9 cities with a population of over 7 million people and cities with a population of over 500,000 people. For example, the latitude which most countries would be barely habitable, is St. Petersburg  one of the most beautiful cities in the world, a city of legend, the greatest masterpiece of world architecture. It is the northernmost city in the world among cities with a population of over a million people, despite the fact that the population of St. Petersburg is 4.6 million.

Moscow is also the northernmost city in the world with a population of over 5,000,000 inhabitants, despite the fact that in Moscow there are over 10 million people.

The Arctic Circle in Canada built several tiny villages. In Russia, the 67th parallel of home to 1.5 million people. About the same number of Canadians living north of the latitude of Moscow. In Russia there are Murmansk and Norilsk — the largest cities in the world north of the Arctic Circle.

Figuratively speaking, Russia, the "reduced" to Canada, would have a population of 50 million people, of which 40-45 million would live near the southern borders of the country.

Russia, however, worked out a lot more, and a legitimate pride of the Russians may be that they have created, without exaggeration, a great civilization in the world’s harshest environmental conditions. Analogs such phenomenon in the world has never been and is not.

To gain a more complete understanding of Russia, it is interesting to list some of its records:

  • The extreme northern (Cape Cheliuskin) and the extreme eastern (Cape Dezhneva) point Russia — both extremes of Eurasia. Interestingly, while Cape Dezhneva is already in the Western Hemisphere since the Chukotka peninsula crosses the 180th meridian;
  • Russia — the territory with the largest distribution of permafrost in the area of permafrost for more than 60% of the country, mainly in the territory of Central and Eastern Siberia and the northern part of the Far East;
  • In Russia is a cold pole in the Northern Hemisphere. It is located in the village of Oymyakon in northeastern Siberia, Yakutia. The minimum temperature recorded at Oymyakon -67,7 ° C. It also has the greatest temperature fluctuations in Eurasia during the year — from -67,7 ° C in winter to +37 ° C in summer.;
  • In Russia "the biggest Arctic in the world", especially if we consider the Arctic seas and islands. About 3 million square kilometers, or 20% of the country is located above the Arctic Circle. There’s also live 1.5 million. It’s only 1% of the population, but it is several times larger than all the other lives in the polar regions of the world combined.
  • In Russia — the world’s largest area of tundra — 3,000,000 square meters. km, or 18% of the country.

The conclusion is obvious: the country with a vast territory, incredible length from west to east, is located in the northern latitudes and forced to build the economy in extremely harsh conditions.

And while Russia — one of the most economically powerful countries in the world. The magnitude of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Russia is a 5-9th in the world (depending on the method of calculation). Russia ranks third in the world in the area of arable land — 130 million hectares (after the United States with 185 million hectares and India with 166 million hectares) and the first — the total area of potential agricultural land. At the same time the climate severely limits the productivity of the land (as in the case of growth forests).

For a number of positive indicators of economic development of Russia is among the world leaders:

  • 1-2nd in the world for oil and gas production;
  • 7th place for the extraction of coal;
  • 4th largest producer of iron ore;
  • 4th place for the production of electricity (after the U.S., China and Japan);
  • 2nd place by the length of railways (after the U.S.) and 1st — by the length of electrified railways, in addition, takes on Russia’s longest railway in the world — the Trans-Siberian;
  • 4th place for the production of grain (after China, India and the U.S.), and 4 th — the production of milk, 6 th — for meat production;
  • 4th place in the production of steel and cast iron (after China, Japan and the United States).

Saint Petersburg  

Russia is among the world leaders in terms of public education, scientific and technical achievements, including the development of outer space and the Arctic. Russia has the world’s most powerful icebreaker fleet, the world‘s only atomic icebreaker fleet and has mastered the most northerly in the world of water line — the Northern Sea Route.


In general, Russia has no analogues in the world as the placement of the population in the high latitudes and areas with extreme environmental conditions, and the results in the field of economy and science, which was achieved under these conditions.

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