|Саратовская область (Russian)|
|— Oblast —|
|Established||December 5, 1936|
|Government (as of March 2011)|
|- Governor||Valery Radayev|
|- Legislature||Oblast Duma|
|Area (as of the 2002 Census)|
|- Total||100,200 km2 (38,687.4 sq mi)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|- Density||25.17 /km2 (65.2 /sq mi)|
|Time zone(s)||MSK (UTC+04:00)|
Saratov Oblast (Russian: Сара́товская о́бласть, Saratovskaya oblast) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast), located in the Volga Federal District. Its administrative center is the city of Saratov. Population: 2,521,892 (2010 Census).
The name "Saratov" is encountered in the name of a people on the Lower Volga (Ptolemy, 2nd century) and in the titles of Russian epic poems (bylinas) of the Saratov Mountains, the Saratovka River, and the Saratov Steppe. It also survives in the names of the city of Saratov and Saratov Region. Legends and scientific evidence both say that two great turning points in human history-the revelation of monotheism and domestication of the horse-are associated with the Saratov Volga region. This territory was poetically called the "Land of Apple Trees" and the "Land of Licorice." The Volga, the steppe, and oak forests were the main elements of nature in the region.
The Saratov Volga appears to be the location of one of the centers of the Old Russian state system (Volga Rus). From the 13th to the 15th centuries, these lands belonged to the Golden Horde and then to the Great Horde. The history of the Golden Horde city of Ukek (Uvek) is closely tied to the history of the new Russian city of Saratov, whose name is said to come from the Tatar words sary tau (Yellow Mountain). Thus, in a way, Saratov can be considered one of Russia's oldest cities.
Saratov's history began in the second half of the 16th century, when, after completing the formation of a centralized Russian state, Tsar Ivan the Terrible finally defeated the remnants of the Golden Horde on the Middle and Lower Volga. Following his plan, a series of fortified towns, including Saratov (1590), were built on the southeastern edge of the extended state boundaries.
Saratov first arose on the right bank of the Volga just above the city's present-day location, where the Guselka River flows into the Volga, forming a cape with a gently sloping plateau. The first town of Saratov was located in the center of this plateau; it was a fortress designed to protect Russian settlers and the Volga trade route from nomads. Two army commanders (voevody), Prince Grigory Osipovich Zasekin and strelets leader Fedor Mikhailovich Turov [the streltsy were members of special military corps set up by Ivan the Terrible], began construction of Saratov Fortress in July 1590.
Since ancient times, the main Old World trade routes from the Black Sea coast, the Caucasus, Persia, Khorezm, the Urals, and Rus had passed through the Saratov Volga. All of this had an impact on the overall cultural level of the resource-rich territory, on the extent of its development, and on its importance in the Russian state system.
In June 1965, the "Saratov" train set out on its first trip to Moscow. Construction of a highway bridge across the Volga was completed in July of the same year.
Saratov Region is part of the Volga economic district and is in third place within it in the scale of industrial development. Engineering and the chemical, oil refining, and food industries account for the largest share of production.
The electronics and instrument-making industries are characterized by a high concentration of original technologies and specialists skilled in high-end production. These enterprises have associated research institutes and experimental design offices that work on high-level scientific developments.
Saratov Oblast has a variety of subsurface resources, including gas, oil, salts, and building materials, which have been deposited according to the region's particular geological structure. The first natural gas source was discovered in Elshanka near Saratov in 1941; and a gas pipeline was later built between Saratov, Nizhny Novgorod, and Cherepovets. Today, the region delivers gas not only to large Russian cities, but also abroad. The gas consists of 94% methane. Oil was found soon after the gas discoveries.
Administrative divisions 
Ethnic groups: most of the ethnic Germans who used to live in the area have been repatriated. The German Consulate in Saratov closed in June 2004, stating that there were only 18,000 ethnic Germans left in the oblast (including 2,000 in the city of Saratov)
There were twenty recognized ethnic groups of more than two thousand persons each in Saratov Oblast at the time of the 2010 Census. The ethnic composition was reported to be:
- 2.1% others.
- 64,878 people were registered from administrative databases, and could not declare an ethnicity. It is estimated that the proportion of ethnicities in this group is the same as that of the declared group.
- Births (2008): 27,492 (10.7 per 1000)
- Deaths (2008): 39,291 (15.2 per 1000)
- Vital statistics for 2012
- Births: 28 364 (11.3 per 1000)
- Deaths: 35 664 (14.2 per 1000) 
- Total fertility rate: 1.55(e)
Note: Data for Total fertility rate (2012) is estimate based on age and sex structure of Saratov Oblast at the beginning of 2012, number of births in 2012 and fertility structure in previous years.
According to a 2012 official survey 30% of the population of Saratov Oblast adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 4% are unaffiliated generic Christians, 1% adheres to other Orthodox Churches. 2% are Muslims, 1% of the population adheres to Slavic Rodnovery (Slavic Neopaganism), and 0.5% to forms of Hinduism (Vedism, Krishnaism or Tantrism). In addition, 38% of the population deems itself to be "spiritual but not religious", 16% is atheist, and 7.5% follows other religions or did not give an answer to the question.
See also 
- Президент Российской Федерации. Указ №849 от 13 мая 2000 г. «О полномочном представителе Президента Российской Федерации в федеральном округе». Вступил в силу 13 мая 2000 г. Опубликован: "Собрание законодательства РФ", №20, ст. 2112, 15 мая 2000 г. (President of the Russian Federation. Decree #849 of May 13, 2000 On the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in a Federal District. Effective as of May 13, 2000.).
- Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
- Official website of Saratov Oblast.  Valery Vasilievich Radaev, Governor of Saratov Oblast (Russian)
- Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Территория, число районов, населённых пунктов и сельских администраций по субъектам Российской Федерации (Territory, Number of Districts, Inhabited Localities, and Rural Administration by Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation)". Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
- "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- The density value was calculated by dividing the population reported by the 2010 Census by the area shown in the "Area" field. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox is not necessarily reported for the same year as the population.
- Правительство Российской Федерации. Постановление №725 от 31 августа 2011 г. «О составе территорий, образующих каждую часовую зону, и порядке исчисления времени в часовых зонах, а также о признании утратившими силу отдельных Постановлений Правительства Российской Федерации». Вступил в силу по истечении 7 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №197, 6 сентября 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Resolution #725 of August 31, 2011 On the Composition of the Territories Included into Each Time Zone and on the Procedures of Timekeeping in the Time Zones, as Well as on Abrogation of Several Resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. Effective as of after 7 days following the day of the official publication.).
- Official the whole territory of Russia according to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia.
- "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. May 21, 2004. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров." [All Union Population Census of 1989. Present population of union and autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts and okrugs, krais, oblasts, districts, urban settlements, and villages serving as district administrative centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года (All-Union Population Census of 1989) (in Russian). Institute of Demographics of the State University—Higher School of Economics. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Arena - Atlas of Religions and Nationalities in Russia. Sreda.org
- 2012 Survey Maps. "Ogonek", № 34 (5243), 27/08/2012. Retrieved 24-09-2012.
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