Saint Petersburg, Russia Population

Population in Urban Area, now

5,496,727
  • World: 74th
  • Europe: 6th
  • Russia: 2nd

Population in City Area, 2020-09-02

5,028,000
  • 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.

Population growth

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.

Review Updated: November 28, 2020

Saint Petersburg Urban Area Population History

1950 2,903,000
1951 2,949,000
1952 2,996,000
1953 3,043,000
1954 3,092,000
1955 3,141,000
1956 3,191,000
1957 3,241,000
1958 3,293,000
1959 3,345,000
1960 3,398,000
1961 3,452,000
1962 3,507,000
1963 3,563,000
1964 3,620,000
1965 3,677,000
1966 3,735,000
1967 3,795,000
1968 3,855,000
1969 3,916,000
1970 3,980,000
1971 4,047,000
1972 4,115,000
1973 4,184,000
1974 4,254,000
1975 4,325,000
1976 4,398,000
1977 4,472,000
1978 4,547,000
1979 4,606,000
1980 4,645,000
1981 4,684,000
1982 4,724,000
1983 4,764,000
1984 4,804,000
1985 4,844,000
1986 4,885,000
1987 4,927,000
1988 4,968,000
1989 4,990,000
1990 4,989,000
1991 4,987,000
1992 4,960,000
1993 4,908,000
1994 4,866,000
1995 4,836,000
1996 4,811,000
1997 4,793,000
1998 4,771,000
1999 4,745,000
2000 4,719,000
2001 4,694,000
2002 4,668,000
2003 4,681,000
2004 4,708,000
2005 4,734,000
2006 4,762,000
2007 4,789,000
2008 4,816,000
2009 4,844,000
2010 4,872,000
2011 4,924,000
2012 4,987,000
2013 5,051,000
2014 5,116,000
2015 5,181,000
2016 5,248,000
2017 5,315,000
2018 5,383,000
2019 5,427,000
2020 5,468,000
2021 5,504,000

Saint Petersburg Urban Area Population Projections

2022 5,536,000
2023 5,561,000
2024 5,582,000
2025 5,597,000
2026 5,609,000
2027 5,617,000
2028 5,623,000
2029 5,627,000
2030 5,630,000
2031 5,633,000
2032 5,635,000
2033 5,637,000
2034 5,640,000
2035 5,643,000

Map of Saint Petersburg, Russia

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