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The last All-Union census of the population in the USSR began

12 January 1989

The first All-Russian scientifically organized census of the population was carried out in 1897 on the initiative of an eminent Russian scholar P.P. Semenov-Tyan-Shansky. Later the general census of the population took place in 1926, 1937, 1939, 1959, 1970, 1979.

On January 12-19, 1989 in the USSR took place the last All-Union census of the population. It was carried out by means of survey conducted at the actual residence of the citizens. The survey and the filling out the answers in census papers was conducted by specially trained employees census-takers involved in the work from different enterprises, institutions and organizations. The information was written down according to the words of the interrogated people without them presenting any documents certifying the rightfulness of the answers.

Three months after the end of the census, in April of 1989, were published the preliminary statistics on the population size and distribution in each region of the country. The final resume of the census including the information relating to the population size and age, marriage status, family size, education level, ethnic origin and language, livelihood were summarized in the beginning of 1990.

According to the last census data in the USSR the population size of the Soviet Union was 286.7 million people including 188.8 million for urban people, that is 66% (in 10 years after the census of 1979 this number increased by 24.3 million people, that is 9%). The population size of the RSFSR was 147.4 million people.

The particularity of the 1989 census was the fact that for the first time along with the data regarding the population itself there was collected the information on the housing conditions of different population groups in all regions of the country including the information on the housing cooperation development and the provision of accommodation for people and its improvement.

The first census after the USSR collapse took place in Russia on October 9-16, 2002.

Lit.: Авдеева М. А. История переписей населения в России и СССР [Электронный ресурс] // Демография России. 2000-2004. URL:; Борисов В. А. Демографическая ситуация в современной России [Электронный ресурс] // Демографические исследования. № 1. 17.03.2006. URL:

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