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Previously, the Central Statistical Bureau issued statistical tables based on fiscal lists (ревизские списки).
The second Russian Census was scheduled for December 1915, but was cancelled because of the outbreak of World War I one and a half years earlier (in July 1914). It was not rescheduled before the Russian Revolution. The next census to take place in Russia only occurred at the end of 1926, almost three decades later.
The census was performed in two stages. In the first stage (December 1896 — January 1897) the counters (135,000 persons: teachers, priests, and literate soldiers) visited all households and filled in the questionnaires, which were verified by local census managers. In the second stage. (9 January 1898 [O.S. 28 December 1897]) the counters simultaneously visited all households to verify and update the questionnaires. Despite this being the only census they ever took, Historians were able to find out the Russian Empire's population in earlier periods of time still from collecting city censuses.
The data processing took 8 years using Hollerith card machines. Publication of the results started in 1898 and ended in 1905. In total, 119 volumes for 89 guberniyas, as well as a two-volume summary, were issued.
The questionnaire contained the following questions:
- Family name, given name, patronymic or nickname (прозвище)
- Relation with respect to the head of the family or household
- Marital status
- Social status: sosloviye (estate of the realm), rank or title (сословіе, состояніе, званіе)
- Place of birth
- Place of registration
- Usual place of residence
- Notice of absence
- Mother language
- Occupation (profession, trade, position of office or service), both primary and secondary
In the census summary tables, nationality was based on the declared mother language of respondents.
The first page of a census form from Kiev Governorate.
The second page of a census form from Kiev Governorate.
The third page of a census form from Kiev Governorate.
A description page for a census form from Kiev Governorate.
The total population of the Russian Empire was recorded to be 125,640,021 people (50.2% female, 49.8% male; urban 16,828,395, median age of 21.16 years).
By native tongue
The most spoken languages, from which nationality was determined were:
|Rank||Language||Speakers||% of population|
|1||Russian (as “Great Russian”)||55,667,469||44.31|
|2||Ukrainian (as “Little Russian”)||22,380,551||17.81|
|5||Belarusian (as “White Russian”)||5,885,547||4.68|
|10||Kartvelian languages (Georgian, Mingrelian, Svan)||1,352,535||1.08|
|11||Aukštaitian (as "Lithuanian", excluding Samogitian)||1,210,510||0.96|
|13||Moldavian and Romanian||1,121,669||0.89|
|17||Greek (mainly eastern Pontic Greek), spoken especially by Greeks in southern Russia and Georgia, and by Caucasus Greeks of Russian Caucasus province of Kars Oblast||186,925||0.15|
|Rank||Religion||Followers||% of population|
|6||Old Believers and others split from Pravoslavs||2,204,596||1.75%|
|8||Buddhists and Lamaists||433,863||0.34%|
|15||Other Christian denominations||3,952||0.003%|
Population by modern-day countries
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- Russia 67,476,000 (from this Siberia 5,758,822)
- Ukraine 23,430,407 (from this Crimea 1,447,790)
- Poland (Vistula basin) 9,402,253
- Belarus 6,927,040
- Kazakhstan 4,000,000
- Lithuania 3,135,771
- Georgia 2,109,273
- Uzbekistan 2,000,000
- Moldova 1,935,412
- Latvia 1,929,387
- Azerbaijan 1,705,131
- Estonia 900,000
- Armenia 829,556
- Kyrgyzstan 750,000
- Tajikistan 646,000
- Turkmenistan 350,000
Largest cities of the Empire according to the census:
- Saint-Petersburg – 1,264,900
- Moscow – 1,038,600
- Warsaw – 626,000
- Odessa – 403,800
- Łódź – 314,000
- Riga – 282,200
- Kiev – 247,700
- Kharkiv – 174,000
- Tbilisi (Tiflis) – 159,600
- Vilna (Vilnius) – 154,500
- Saratov – 137,100
- Kazan – 130,000
- Rostov-on-Don – 119,500
- Tula – 114,700
- Astrakhan – 112,900
- Ekaterinoslav (Dnipro) – 112,800
- Baku – 111,900
- Kishinev (Chişinău) – 108,500
- Helsinki – 93,000
- Nikolayev – 92,000
- Minsk – 90,900
- Nizhny Novgorod – 90,100
- Samara – 90,000
- Orenburg – 72,400
- Yaroslavl – 71,600
- Dvinsk (Daugavpils) – 69,675
- Vitebsk – 65,900
- Reval (Tallinn) – 64 572
- Libava (Liepāja) – 64,489
- Yekaterinodar (Krasnodar) – 65,600
- Tsaritsyn (Volgograd) – 55,200
Each enumeration form was copied twice, with the three copies filed in the county archives, the governorate archives, and the Central Statistical Bureau in St. Petersburg. The copies in St. Petersburg were destroyed after they had been tabulated. Most of the copies stored at the local and regional level have also been destroyed; however, the complete census for the Arkhangelsk and Tobolsk governorates has been preserved, and the census for portions of several other governorates is also extant.
As in many other census in the era of nationalism, the results reflect the views on national policy of the authorities. In this case, the population of Russian ethnicity was inflated. Thus for example, the number of Poles is underrepresented. Imperial officials classified the Ukrainian and Belarusian languages as belonging to Russian group and labeled those nationalities as Little Russian for Ukrainians and White Russian for Belarusians.
- Первая всеобщая перепись населения Российской Империи 1897 г. Распределение населения по родному языку, губерниям и областям (in Russian). Demoscope Weekly. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Демоскоп Weekly - Приложение. Справочник статистических показателей
- "Russia, Jewish Families in Russian Empire Census, 1897". Ancestry. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- "Russia Census". FamilySearch. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- "1897 Census of Imperial Russia". Find Russian Heritage. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- "Documents of the First General Census of the population of Russian Empire in the Ukrainian Archives". Alex Dunai's personal website.
- Anna Geifman, Russia Under the Last Tsar: Opposition and Subversion, 1894-1917, Wiley-Blackwell, 1999, ISBN 1-55786-995-2, Google Print, p. 118-119
- Piotr Eberhardt, Jan Owsinski, Ethnic groups and population changes in twentieth-century Central-Eastern Europe, M.E. Sharpe, 2003, ISBN 0-7656-0665-8, Google Print, p.27
- Jerzy Borzęcki, The Soviet-Polish peace of 1921 and the creation of interwar Europe, Yale University Press, 2008, ISBN 0-300-12121-0, Google Print, p.10
- Первая всеобщая перепись населенiя Россійской Имперіи. Под редакцiею Н. А. Тройницкаго. — СПб.: Изданiе центральнаго статистическаго комитета министерства внутреннихъ делъ, 1905. (The First Total Census of Russian Empire. A publication of the central statictical bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Editor N. A. Troynitsky.)
- РОССИЯ. Полное Географическое Описание Нашего Отечества. Под ред. П. П. Семенова-Тян-Шанского. — СПб., 1913. (Semenov-Tyan-Shanskiy, P. P. (Ed.): RUSSIA. Complete Geographical Description of our Fatherland. — St. Petersburg, 1913. This latter work reproduces most of the results of the census, and is a good deal easier to find in western libraries than the original publication.)
- Первая всеобщая перепись населения Российской Империи 1897 г. Распределение населения по родному языку и регионам (First General Russian Empire Census of 1897. Population breakdown by mother tongue and regions) (Demoscope.ru) (in Russian)
- The First General Census of the Russian Empire of 1897. Breakdown of population by mother tongue and districts in 50 Governorates of the European Russia (1777 territorial units)