I need geo-referenced data on ethnic groups specifically in Russia (global data would work fine also as long as it includes Russia).

So far I can only find the GREG dataset: http://worldmap.harvard.edu/data/geonode:GREG_0vV.

However, this data is based on the classical Soviet Narodov Mira or "Atlas of the peoples of the world" which was completed in 1964. The population movements that occurred with the fall of the Soviet Union with ethnic groups returning to ancestral lands after forced relocation, this data seems outdated especially in the periphery and Southern regions of Russia.

Does anyone know of contemporary geo-referenced ethnic group data for Russia?

  • 1
    Does Russia collect ethnicity information as part of their census? If so, these questions about Russian census data might help: opendata.stackexchange.com/search?q=russia+census
    – csk
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 18:55
  • Unfortunately the 2002 census data does not have localized or georeferenced data and only provides national level composition. The 2010 census has regional level data but only has population data on total persons, density, and percent change translated into English. I'm not certain if the 2010 census contains ethnicity data or not as I do not read Russian.
    – JollyFriar
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 20:59
  • 1
    Side comment: narodov mira is Russian for "[atlas of] the peoples of the world", not the author name as your phrasing seems to imply.
    – svavil
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 10:18

2 Answers 2


These Russia census bureau regional level data on nationalities may be what you need https://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/perepis2010/croc/perepis_itogi1612-tom4.htm Take p.4 https://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/perepis2010/croc/Documents/Vol4/pub-04-04.xlsx and there are more data from 2010 population census


I've done work in this space and my recollection is that Ethnologue, George P. Murdock's Standard Cross Cultural Sample, and the Ethnographic Atlas (also by Murdock) were the more commonly used datasets in research requiring georeferenced data. The problem is that Ethnologue is certainly not open and Murdock's datasets are not guaranteed to be up to date. For example, SCCS is designed to include 186 distinct cultural groups observed at their pre-industrial state. Doesn't sound like this will work for you.

Alternatively, I've personally found the data gathered by the Joshua Project and Glottolog, derived from various sources including those listed above, to have the most current georeferenced data on ethnolinguistic characteristics and their spatial distribution. Note that the Joshua Project is a cultural resource designed for the purposes of evangelical outreach and Glottolog is a database of linguistic references drawn in large part from Ethnologue. From the JP data, it seems they have data for 180 cultural groups located in modern Russia:

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