Area: Volga Federal District area is 6,1% of the total Russian territory, and it is the second most populous district after the Central Federal District. It consists of 14 units: 6 republics (Bashkortostan, Mari El, Mordovia, Tatarstan, Udmurtia, Chuvashia), Perm Krai and 7 regions (Kirov, Nizhny Novgorod, Orenburg, Penza, Samara, Saratov, Ulyanovsk). Nizhny Novgorod is the center of Volga Federal District.
Population: Volga Federal District is populated by the following ethic groups: Russians (over 70%), Tatars, Bashkirs, Chuvashs, Udmurts, Mordva, Mari, Komi-Permyaks, as well as representatives of other nations and nationalities.
The majority of the District’s population profess Orthodoxy (about 70-75%); over 20% of population practice Islam. The local Moslems figure up to 40% of Islam adherents in Russia. The main Muslim theological research institutions, spiritual directorates and places of worship are located in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. However, Muslim religious and administrative units (muftiats, mosques, prayer halls and missionaries as standalone agents of the confession) are presented in each of the District’s regions.
Besides that, the adherents of Judaism (there are working synagogues in Perm, Samara, Ufa, Nizhny Novgorod), Catholicism (Perm, Ufa), Lutheranism (Perm, Saratov) and some other confessions (for example Baptists and representatives of Armenian Gregorian Church in the South Volga provinces) conduct their business within the District's area.
Due to the development of democratic social structures, we can notice the rebirth of such religious trends and ethnical faiths as paganism (Mari El, Mordovia, Perm Krai) and the Old Belief (Perm Krai, Nizhny Novgorod, Kirov).
Industrial potential: Significant industrial capacity is one of the main features of Volga Federal District. It consolidates a quarter of total industrial production, 85% of automobile production, 65% of aircraft engineering, 40% of petrochemistry, 30% of shipbuilding, 30% of defense industry complex manufacture in Russia. The District's gross regional product excels by large percentage of manufacturing industry – 24,5% (19,3% of the national) and mining – 13,7% (10,5% of the national).
5 district’s units (Republic of Bashkortostan, Republic of Tatarstan, Perm Krai, Nizhny Novgorod region, and Samara region) are among leaders in the polls of the total investment potential of constituents in the Russian Federation. These regions demonstrate high rates of production, finance, innovation, natural resource and consumer factors of investment evaluation.
The district's traditional profile is automotive industry. Local enterprises, compared to other federal districts, make the largest deposit to added value in this industry (over 33% of the national amount). Over 73% of cars (and over 90% of trucks), over 85% of buses, over 80% of auto engines are produced in Volga region. This industry is represented by largest Russian enterprises: Volzhsky, Gorkovsky, Kamsky, Ulyanovsky, and other automotive manufacturers.
Rocket and missile engineering, power engineering, shipbuilding, instrument engineering, machine-tool building are well-developed industries in many regions of the district. The district leads the fields of mineral fertilizers, synthetic resin, plastics, tires, and caustic soda production. The multi-functional agro-industrial complex owned by Volga Federal District provides a quarter of agricultural products and a third of grain in Russia.
Extraction of oil (20% of oil extraction in Russia is realized in regions) and natural gas (Orenburg region) in Volga district is second only to that of Ural Federal District.
Transit position: Volga region has a unique transit location due to its position at the crossing of international "North - South” and “East - West” transport corridors, connecting Siberia with the Far East as well as East Asia with European part of Russia and Europe. Another advantage of the district’s geographical location is an expedite access to West Kazakstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
The fact that most of pipelines from Western Siberia are spread on the district’s territory contributes to the development of chemical industry, reducing the cost of providing the regions with fuel resources, including gas. The main coal streams from the Kuznetsk Basin to North-West and Black Sea ports are transited through its territory.
The development of the district’s transport infrastructure is at rather high level. The density of railways ranks third in Russia (143 km of tracks per 10K sq m) after the Central and the South districts. The density of highways in the district ranks second in Russia (140 km of roads per 1000 sq m).
Volga Federal District on the map:
This article uses the information from the official website of Russian Presidential Envoy in the Volga Federal District: