The Nizhny Novgorod region occupies a geographically advantageous area situated in the centre of the European part of Russia (the Eastern European Plain), 400 km to the east of Moscow, at the confluence of the two largest rivers − the Volga and the Oka.
In the north-west the region borders on the Kostroma Region, in the north-east − on the Kirov Region, in the east − on the Mari El Republic and the Chuvashia Republic, in the south — on the Mordovia Republic, in the south-west — on the Ryazan Region, in the west — on the Vladimir and Ivanovo regions.
The territory of the region is 76.6 thousand square kilometers. The region is stretched out in the east-west direction (the widest part in the south is around 300 km), in the north-south direction it is stretched out for more than 400 km.
The northern boundary of the Russian black soil belt passes through the territory of the Nizhny Novgorod Region. The northern lands of the region are situated in the boreal forest zone; the southern lands are occupied with mixed and broad-leaved forests along with large meadow steppe areas.
The Volga River divides the region into two parts: the left bank lowland — Zavolzhie, and the right bank highland, which is hilly and cut by beams and ravines.
The Nizhny Novgorod Region is situated in the temperate continental climate zone. Winter is cold, long and snowy, average temperature in January — 12 degrees centigrade below zero; summer is relatively warm, average temperature in July — 19 degrees centigrade above zero. The central and southern areas are warmer. Average rain capacity — 500−550 mm per year.
Ecology and environmental protection
The Nizhny Novgorod region is one of the largest forest regions of the European part of the Russian Federation, more than 50% of the territory is occupied by forests.
The state natural biosphere reserve «Kerzhensky» (47 thousand hectares) was established in the Nizhny Novgorod Region in 1993 to preserve and restore biological diversity and integrity of indigenous types of local natural communities.
In the region there are: 15 state reserves of regional importance with an area of more than 270 thousand hectares, 1 natural monument of federal importance and 384 natural monuments of regional importance.
The Nizhny Novgorod Region population (as of January 1, 2018) is 3 million 234.7 thousand people, population density: 42.2 people per 1 square kilometer, urban population: 79.5%.
National composition (according to the 2010 census): Russians (95.1%), Tatars (1.4%), Mordovians (0.6%), Ukrainians (0.5%), other peoples (2.4%).
The administrative centre of the region is Nizhny Novgorod (as of January 1, 2018) is 1 million 259 thousand people.
The largest regional cities are: Dzerzhinsk (230.6 thousand people), Arzamas (104.1 thousand people), Sarov (95.4 thousand people), Bor (78.1 thousand people), Pavlovo (57.6 thousand people), Vyksa (53.2 thousand people), Balakhna (49.1 thousand people).
The Nizhny Novgorod Region is a part of the Volga Federal District. The region includes 389 municipalities, among them are: 13 urban districts, 39 municipal districts, 54 urban settlements, and 283 rural settlements.
Heads of executive and legislative bodies, political parties in office
The regional executive body is represented by the Government of the Nizhny Novgorod Region. The Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Region acts as the head of the region and the Chairman of the Government.
Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Region — Gleb Sergeevich Nikitin, was elected on September 9th, 2018.
Contact information: tel.: +7 (831) 439-04-98, 430−96−39. Postal address: Kremlin, building 1, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, 603082. Website: www.government-nnov.ru.
The regional legislative body is represented by the Legislative Assembly of the Nizhny Novgorod Region. It is headed by Evgeny Victorovich Lebedev, who was elected as the Chairman of the Sixth Legislative Assembly of the Nizhny Novgorod Region on October 11, 2016.
Contact information: tel.: +7 (831) 439-05-38, 439−03−02. Postal address: Kremlin, building 2, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, 603082. Website: www.zsno.ru.
According to the Sixth Legislative Assembly elections in 2016, there are 4 political parties in office: «United Russia» — 82% (ruling party); Communist Party of the Russian Federation — 8%; Russian Liberal-Democratic Party — 6%; Social-Democratic Party «Fair Russia» — 4%.
In 1221 the Russian Grand Duke Yury Vsevolodovich decided to strengthen a strategic point along the state boundary at the Oka River creek and founded there the city of Nizhny Novgorod.
Up to 1425 it existed as the Nizhny Novgorod-Suzdal Grand Duchy, which finally was included in the Grand Duchy of Moscow. As the management of the territories was carried out on the basis of localism, the surroundings eventually entered Nizhny Novgorod and together they formed the Nizhny Novgorod county.
The regional reform of Peter I in 1708 resulted in including Nizhny Novgorod with the surrounding lands in the Kazan governorate. But soon, in 1714 Peter I edited a decree which restored the city’s sovereignty and created the Nizhny Novgorod governorate. Peter I wrote: «The Nizhny Novgorod governorate is to be separate».
As a constituent part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic the Nizhny Novgorod Region was declared on January 14, 1929. On June 15, 1929, the Nizhny Novgorod Region was given more lands and transformed into the Nizhny Novgorod Territory. In 1932 the Nizhny Novgorod Territory was given the name of the soviet writer Maksim Gorky — the Gorky Territory. In 1936 the Gorky Territory lost the Mari and Chuvash Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics and it was transformed again into the Gorky Region. After the Soviet Union disintegrated, on October 22, 1990, the Gorky Region was renamed as the Nizhny Novgorod Region.
Economic and social situation, place of the region in the Russian Federation economic system
The average income in the Nizhny Novgorod Region as of 2018 is 32 073 rubles per person (increase of 10.4%). Living wage in the fourth quarter of 2018—9 222 rubles, for able-bodied population — 9 952 rubles as of 2018. Level of registered unemployment — 0.5%. The Nizhny Novgorod Region is one of 3 Russian regions with the lowest registered unemployment, whereas within the Volga Federal District our region has the lowest unemployment level.
The Nizhny Novgorod Region is a large industrial centre with high technology industries as a driving force of development.
Amount by the Nizhny Novgorod Region, billion rubles
Gross Regional Product, 2017
Gross Regional Product, 2018 (guess value)
Shipping Volume in manufacturing activity, 2018
1393.4 (increase of 9.6%)
Retail Turnover, 2018
735.8 (increase of 5.6%)
Foreign Trade Turnover, 2018
8.7 billion dollars (increase of 28%)
Capital Investment, 2018
255.0 (increase of 4.5%)
Accounting for more than a third of the gross regional product, industry plays a fundamental role in the economy of the Nizhny Novgorod Region.
Industry comprises about 600 large and medium-sized industrial enterprises, as well as about 50 branch-wise research institutes and engineering departments.
The index of production at full circle enterprises, as of 2018 is 102.7%, at manufacturing — 103.2%.
The increase in physical volumes is due to the growth in chemical industry (by 59.8%), electric equipment (by 15.5%), paper specialities (by 13.8%) and clothing (by 13.8%).
The strategic export areas are: machinery, ground means of transportation, petrochemicals, chemicals, ferrous metals products, plastics, fats and oils of animal and vegetable origin, and medical equipment.
The main promising export destinations are: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Turkey, the Netherlands, Finland.
The specific organization for supporting export activities in the Nizhny Novgorod Region is the state autonomous institution «Export Potential Development Centre of the Nizhny Novgorod Region», acting director — Sergey Vladimirovich Zvonkov. Contact information: tel.: +7 (831) 435-18-48. Postal address: Kremlin, building 2, room 5, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, 603082. Actual address: Academician Sakharov Str., 4, Nizhny Novgorod. Website: http://export-nn.ru.
As of 2018, the region’s foreign trade turnover has amounted to $ 8.73 billion increased by 28% in comparison with the level as of 2017. Particularly, exports have increased by 40% and amounted to $ 5.486 billion, while imports have increased by 12.6% and reached $ 3.244 billion.
The part of external turnover of the Nizhny Novgorod Region in the external trade of the Volga Federal District has amounted to 15%.
The trade balance is positive — $ 2.2 billion, it has increased more than twice in comparison with 2017 ($ 1 billion).
The turnover with far-abroad countries in 2018 has increased by 39.1% against of last year ($ 1.752 billion) and reached $ 6.24 billion.
Exports have increased by 60.2% ($ 1.247 billion) and amounted to $ 3.318 billion, while imports have increased by 20.9% ($ 505.5 million) and reached $ 2.922 billion.
The trade balance with these countries is positive — $ 396 million.
The turnover with the CIS countries has increased by 7.6% against of last year ($ 175.1 million) and reached $ 2.489 billion. Exports have increased by 17.2% ($ 318.3 million) and amounted to $ 2.167 billion; imports have decreased by 30.8% ($ 143.1 million) and reached $ 321.8 million.
The trade balance with these countries is positive — $ 1.846 billion.
As of 2018, the Nizhny Novgorod Region has been dealing with 139 foreign partners. The turnover with far-abroad countries has amounted to 70% of the total volume of foreign trade turnover, with the CIS countries — 30%.
The main exporting partners: Ukraine (14%), Belarus (14%), India (12%), the Netherlands (9%), Turkey (6%), Kazakhstan (5%), Finland (5%), the United States (4%), Hong Kong (4%), China (3%).
The main importing partners: Germany (17%), China (12%), France (7%), The Czech Republic (6%), Italy (6%), Belarus (5%), Austria (3%), the Netherlands (3%), the United States (3%), Spain (3%).
International Relations, Agreements with Foreign Partners
In 2018 the intensity of visits of foreign delegations to the Nizhny Novgorod Region and the interest of foreign business has increased, the geography of the countries — foreign economic partners of the region has expanded.
In 2018 94 foreign delegations (total amount 550 people) including 16 heads of diplomatic missions of foreign countries to Russia visited the Nizhny Novgorod Region which is almost 10% higher as compared to the previous year. Also the number of representatives of the diplomatic corps arriving to the region has increased by one third (to 101 people).
Only during the FIFA World Cup 14 foreign delegations visited the Nizhny Novgorod Region: Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Great Britain, Denmark, Qatar, Costa Rica, Panama, Croatia (twice), Uruguay, France, Switzerland, Sweden, the Republic of Korea, in total — more than 100 people.
The visit of President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovich to the region was the most significant.
In 2018 there have been organized 12 foreign visits to Abkhazia, Belarus (twice), Bosnia and Herzegovina (twice), Greece, the Republic of Moldova, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, the Czech Republic, Japan (twice).
Currently the Nizhny Novgorod Region has partner regions in 16 countries (Abkhazia, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, China, Moldova, Poland, Serbia, Uzbekistan, Finland, France, the Czech Republic, Japan).
There exist 52 different agreements, including 33 agreements on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation between the Nizhny Novgorod Region and the regions and state authorities of foreign countries.
At the time the Agreement on cooperation between the Nizhny Novgorod Region Government and the Hubei Province Public Government is nearly under the procedure of ratification.
Nizhny Novgorod has 16 sister cities: Essen (Germany), Philadelphia (USA), Linz (Austria), Jinan (China), Tampere (Finland), Kharkov (Ukraine), Matanzas (Cuba), Suwon (Republic of Korea), Novi Sad (Serbia), Minsk (Belarus), Sant Boi De Llobregat (Spain), Sukhum (Abkhazia), Gyor (Hungary), Beltsy (Moldova), Dobrich (Bulgaria); 4 partner cities: Brno (Czech Republic), Leipzig (Germany), Wuxi, Hefei (China), Heraklion (Greece, signed at June 13th, 2018).
Other municipalities of the region have signed 20 agreements on cooperation with 8 countries: Abkhazia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany, Lithuania, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine.
The Branch of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus to Russia in Nizhny Novgorod and 6 offices of honorary consuls: Abkhazia, Austria, Malta (opened in May 2017), Portugal, Slovenia, France (opened in June 2017) operate in the region.
Science and Education
As of 2019 11 universities including 1 non-state and 15 branches had a valid license in the Nizhny Novgorod Region.
In total in the 2018−2019 academic year there have been studying 93 147 people at higher education institutions of the Nizhny Novgorod Region, including 91 598 people (98.3%) in public institutions of higher education and 1 507 people (1.7%) in 2 non-state universities' brunches.
Among them are 3 447 foreign students (increase by 20%) from 106 countries — 1 102 people from 14 CIS states and 2 345 people from 92 far-abroad countries. The biggest number of foreign students has come from India (414), China (395), and Turkmenistan (358).
Culture, Local Traditions
The Nizhny Novgorod Region has always been famous for its crafts (more than 60% of crafts are concentrated in the region), ranking first in Russia in terms of the number of preserved folk art crafts. This is a unique experience throughout the country.
The Nizhny Novgorod Region is the birthplace of the famous Gorodets wooden painting. Among the most common subjects of the painting are festivities, tea parties, a horse with a rider, folk festivals. The painting is full of rich colors of Russian summer with its meadow motley grass, it is decorated with garlands of flowers and birds.
Gorodets pryanik — a sort of traditional sweet baked goods — is widely known. Fantastic birds, fabulous palaces, horsemen with sabers, horses, geese, roosters, fish, and later steamboats and locomotives used to be cut out on pryanik boards.
One of the largest centers of the filigree in Russia is the village of Kazakovo located in the Nizhny Novgorod Region. The first Kazakovo artel for the production of filigree articles was founded in 1939. CJSC «Kazakovo Enterprise of Artistic Products» continued the tradition and adopted skills of the artel.
Semyonov painting is a style of painting traditional for matryoshka dolls (nesting dolls) from the town of Semyonov of the Nizhny Novgorod Region. Matryoshka painting is characterized by a rather large area of unpainted wood, the use of aniline paints and a large-flowered apron painting. Painting of a matryoshka differs from the usual Khokhloma painting in the combination of colors and methods of painting.
According to the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Justice for the Nizhny Novgorod Region (in the first part of 2018) 4 040 non-profit organizations (NGOs) including 1529 public organizations, 738 religious organizations, 7 Cossack societies are registered in the region.
There are 377 mass media registered in the Nizhny Novgorod Region among which 254 printed editions, 113 electronic mass media (39 TV channels, 53 radio channels), 10 news agencies. More than 10 federal media have their offices in Nizhny Novgorod.
Federal and regional highways pass through the territory of the Nizhny Novgorod Region, the region is well placed geographically at the intersection of the two international transport corridors «West — East» and «North — South».
All the railways in the region belong to Gorky Railway (which is a subsidiary of the Russian Railways) headquartered in Nizhny Novgorod. The main railway junctions are located in the territory of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas. High-speed trains «Strizh», «Sapsan» and «Lastochka» travel between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod.
In addition to a well-developed network of roads, the region has two potentially powerful transport hubs: Strigino International Airport (organization of regular international and regional flights) and a major river port that has access to the seas washing the European part of Russia via inland waterways and further access to the ports of the Baltic States, Western Europe, Africa and Asia.
Regular navigation is carried out on the Volga, Oka, Vetluga and Sura. The largest ports are Nizhny Novgorod, Gorodets, Bor and Kstovo.
The city of Nizhny Novgorod is a major transport hub of the region that provides stable cargo traffic in any direction, both in Russia and abroad.
The Nizhny Novgorod Region is a great destination for various types of tourism: cultural and educational, recreational and medical, rural, business, event, adventure, cruise, ecotourism, hunting and fishing.
The historical and cultural heritage of the Nizhny Novgorod Region is represented by 3 534 historical, cultural and architectural monuments, 1 260 of which are monuments of federal significance. Among them are unique objects of historical, cultural and spiritual heritage: the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin (XVI century), Zheltovodsky Makaryev Convent (XVII century), Holy Trinity-Saint Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery (XIX century), etc.
In June-July 2018 Nizhny Novgorod hosted the FIFA 2018 World Cup which has appeared to be the largest international event in the history of the city.
From June 18th to July 6th the newly constructed stadium «Nizhny Novgorod» hosted games of the national teams of England, Argentina, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, France, Panama, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Sweden and Uruguay.