Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 74th
- Europe: 6th
- Russia: 2nd
Population in City Area, 2020-09-02
- World: 38th
- Europe: 3rd
- Russia: 2nd
Saint Petersburg Urban Area Population Graph
Saint Petersburg Population Review
Saint Petersburg is the second-largest city in Russia with 5.4 million residents. It sits on the Neva River and is the fourth-most populous city in Europe and the most-populous city on the Baltic Sea. As a key Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it is governed as a federal city by the Russian government. Originally founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703, the city has long been a key historic and cultural location associated with Russian history.
Associated closely with the beginnings of the Russian Empire, as well as with Russia’s entry into modern history as a great power, it originally served as the capital of the Tsardom of Russian and the Russian Empire until 1918. Subsequent to the October Revolution, the government was moved to Moscow.
Saint Petersburg has a steadily growing population. The current metro population of Saint Petersburg increased 0.76% from 2019 to 2020, keeping in line with the city’s projected growth rates. By 2035, Saint Petersburg is estimated to have 5.6 million people, however, the population of the city is predicted to stagnate after this.
In the 20th century, the city experienced three major depopulation events. The first started in 1916 when the sharp deterioration in food supplies, coupled with the February Revolution caused many residents of Saint Petersburg to leave the city for rural areas. In 1941, the Siege of Leningrad (as Saint Petersburg was then called) resulted in one of the costliest and deadliest sieges in human history. Finally, the demographic degradation in the 1990s as the Soviet Union stood on the edge of political and economic collapse caused the city to take yet another hit to its total population.
A huge tourism location
Known as the “Cultural Capital of Russia”, Saint Petersburg is one of the most important tourism centers in all of Russian. In 2018 alone, the city saw 15 million tourists come to visit the city—almost triple the city’s population. The city has many attractions for tourists, including the State Hermitage Museum, the Winter Palace, Peterhof, the Catherine Palace, and the church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood.
Unfortunately, a large black market of tourist accommodations and services in the city means that some of the funds generated by the tourist industry don’t actually go back into the city’s coffers. Even then, tourism still generates $10.3 billion annually in revenue for Saint Petersburg. The city is also looking into the concept of luxury tourism, which is meant to attract wealthier guests. Currently, only 4% of foreign guests visiting Saint Petersburg are considered luxury tourists. To increase that number, Saint Petersburg may look to Chinese tourists, who could increase the luxury tourism market by up to 10%.
Real estate trends in Saint Petersburg
In the 1,439 square kilometer city of Saint Petersburg, most residents live in apartments and not single homes. From 1918 to the 1990s, the Soviet Union nationalized housing and residents were forced to share communal apartment, with 68% of residents living in shared flats by the 1930s. While shared apartments are not uncommon, new boroughs being built on the outskirts in the 50s to 80s appealed to low-income families and over 500,000 families eventually received free apartments in these areas. While the economic and social activity is located in the richest part of the city—the historic city center—most people actually live in commuter areas on the outskirts.
Religion in Saint Petersburg
More than 50% of residents of Saint Petersburg believe in God. Out of this, the largest numbers of residents are Orthodox, with 57%. There are also smaller minority communities of Muslims, Protestants, and Catholics. In total, around 59% of the population of Saint Petersburg are Christian, and 90% of these people are Orthodox.