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The rural population represents 26 percent of the total population of Russia and varies by region, from 71 percent to 5 percent.1 The largest proportion of the rural population is found in the republics of Southern Siberia and the Northern Caucasus, due to the later onset of urbanization in these areas. The highest density of rural inhabitants is in the south of Russia: 27 percent of the country’s rural population lives in the Southern Federal District and in the North Caucasian Federal District. The regions with more developed agriculture are mainly located in the southern part of the country, which has favourable agro-climatic conditions. The high density of the rural population in the south is combined with a larger size of villages that reach five to ten thousand inhabitants. The low density of the rural population in most other regions of the country is the result of a long process of depopulation and rural to urban migration. The process of depopulation in small and medium-sized villages in many regions of Russia has been going on for a long time, and the density of rural populations in large villages in the south and in suburban areas has been increasing.