First All-Union Census of the Soviet Union

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Promotional poster to the 1926 Census

The First All Union Census of the Soviet Union took place in December 1926. It was an important tool in the state-building of the USSR, provided the government with important ethnographic information, and helped in the transformation from Imperial Russian society to Soviet society. The decisions made by ethnographers in determining the ethnicity (narodnost) of individuals, whether in the Asiatic or European parts of the former Russian Empire, through the drawing up of the "List of Ethnicities of the USSR", and how borders were drawn in mixed areas had a significant influence on Soviet policies. Ethnographers, statisticians, and linguists were drawing up questionnaires and list of ethnicities for the census. However, they also had the more ambitious goal of deliberately transforming their identities according to the principles of Marxism-Leninism. As Anastas Mikoyan put it, the Soviet Union was: "creating and organising new nations".[1]

Previous censuses[edit]

The First All Union Census of the Soviet Union followed two partial censuses carried out by the Bolsheviks following their seizure of power in Russia. The first, the general census of 1920, took place during the Civil War and the Soviet-Polish War. It was thus unable to deal with the Crimea, much of Transcaucasia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Far Eastern, Siberian, and Central Asian parts of the Soviet Union as well as with its Far Northern parts. Yet it is worth to note that there was only 15,000,000 population increase between 1920 and 1926 constituting in some 131,304,931 people according to the TIME magazine while is still undisclosed in Russian history.[2] The 1923 Census was restricted to cities. Prior to the Russian Revolution, the only Russian Empire Census was done in 1897.

Methodology[edit]

By classifying the population in terms of narodnosti (nationalities)—as opposed to tribe or clan—along with policies which gave these nations land, resources, and rights, experts and local elites were encouraged to interfere with the information collecting.

List of ethnicities[edit]

This list, called Programmy i posobiya po razrabotke Vsesoyuznoy perepisi naseleniya 1926 goda, vol. 7, Perechen i slovar narodnostey, Moscow 1927, was developed by the Central Statistical Administration of the USSR.[3]

  1. Russian - 77 791 124
  2. Ukrainian - 31 194 976
  3. Belarusian - 4 738 923
  4. Polish - 782 334
  5. Czech
  6. Slovak
  7. Serb
  8. Bulgarian - 111 296
  9. Latvian - 151 410
  10. Lithuanian - 41 463
  11. Latgalian
  12. Samogitian (Zhmud)
  13. German - 1 238 549
  14. British
  15. Swedish
  16. Dutch
  17. Italian
  18. French
  19. Romanian - 278 903
  20. Moldovan - 278 903
  21. Greek - 213 765
  22. Albanian (Arnaut)
  23. Jewish - 2 599 973
  24. Crimean Jewish
  25. Mountain Jewish (Dag Chufut)
  26. Georgian Jewish
  27. Bukharan Jewish (Dzhugur)
  28. Karaim
  29. Finnish
  30. Leningrad Finnish (Chukhon)
  31. Karelian
  32. Tavastian
  33. Estonian - 154 666
  34. Vepsian (Chud)
  35. Vod (Vote)
  36. Izhorian (Ingrian)
  37. Kven
  38. Lopar (Sami people)
  39. Zyrian
  40. Permyak
  41. Udmurt (Votiak)
  42. Besermyan
  43. Mari (Cheremis)
  44. Mordva (Moksha, Erzya, Teryukhan, Karatai)
  45. Magyar (Hungarian)
  46. Gagauz
  47. Chuvash - 1 117 419
  48. Tatar - 2 916 536
  49. Mishar (Meshcheriak)
  50. Bashkir - 713 693
  51. Nagaybak
  52. Nogai
  53. Gypsy
  54. Kalmyk
  55. Mongol
  56. Buryat
  57. Sart-Kalmyk
  58. Mansi (Vogul)
  59. Khanty (Ostyak)
  60. Selkup (Ostyak-Samoyed)
  61. Nenets (Samoyed)
  62. Yurak
  63. Soyot (Uriankhai)
  64. Barabin (Barbara Tartar)
  65. Bukharan (Bukharlyk)
  66. Chernevyy Tatar (Tubalar, Tuba-Kizhi)
  67. Altai (Altai-Kizhi, Mountain or White Kalmyk)
  68. Teleut
  69. Telengit (Telengut)
  70. Kumandin (Lebedin, Ku-Kohzi)
  71. Shors
  72. Kharagas (Tuba, Kharagaz)
  73. Kızıl (Kyzyl)
  74. Kachin
  75. Sagai
  76. Koybal
  77. Beltir
  78. Dolgan (Dolgan-Iakut)
  79. Yakut (Sakha, Urangkhai-Sakha) - 240 709
  80. Tungus (Ovenk, Murchen)
  81. Lamut
  82. Orochon
  83. Goldai (Nanai)
  84. Olchi (Mangun, Ulchi)
  85. Negidal (Negda, Eleke Beye)
  86. Orochi
  87. Udegei (Ude)
  88. Orok
  89. Manegir
  90. Samogir
  91. Manchurian
  92. Chukchi
  93. Koryaks
  94. Kamchadal (Itel'men)
  95. Gilyak (Nivkhi)
  96. Yukagir
  97. Chuvan
  98. Aleut
  99. Eskimo
  100. Enisei (Ket, Enisei Ostiak)
  101. Aino (Ainu, Kuchi)
  102. Chinese
  103. Korean
  104. Japanese
  105. Georgian (Kartvelian) - 1 821 184
  106. Ajar
  107. Megeli (Mingrelian)
  108. Laz (Chan)
  109. Svan (Svanetian)
  110. Abkhaz (Abkhazian) - 56 957
  111. Cherkess (Adyghe)
  112. Beskesek-Abaza (Abazin)
  113. Kabard
  114. Ubykh
  115. Chechen (Nakh, Nakhchuo)
  116. Ingush (Galgai, Kist)
  117. Batsbi (Tsova-Tish, Batswa)
  118. Maistvei
  119. Lezgin
  120. Tabasaran
  121. Agul
  122. Archi
  123. Rutul (Mykhad)
  124. Tsakhur
  125. Khinalug
  126. Dzhek (Dzhektsy)
  127. Khaput (Gaputlin,Khaputlin)
  128. Kryz
  129. Budukh (Budug)
  130. Udin
  131. Dargin
  132. Kubachin (Ughbug)
  133. Lak (Kazi-Kumukh)
  134. Avar (Avartsy, Khunzal)
  135. Andi (Andiitsy, Kwanally)
  136. Botlog (Buikhatli)
  137. Godoberi
  138. Karatai
  139. Akhvakh
  140. Bagulal (Kvanandin)
  141. Chamalal
  142. Tindi (Tindal, Idera)
  143. Didoi (Tsez)
  144. Kvarshi
  145. Kapuchin (Bezheta)
  146. Khunzal (Enzebi, Nakhad)
  147. Armenian - 1 567 568
  148. Hemshin
  149. Arab
  150. Aisor (Assyrian, Syriac, Chaldean)
  151. Kaytak (Karakaitak)
  152. Bosha (Karachi, Armenian Gypsy)
  153. Ossetian - 272 272
  154. Kurd
  155. Yazid
  156. Talysh
  157. Tat
  158. Persian
  159. Karachai
  160. Kumyk
  161. Balkar (Mountain Tartar, Malkar)
  162. Karakalpak
  163. Turk
  164. Ottoman Turk (Osmanli)
  165. Samarkand and Fergana Turk
  166. Turkmen - 763 940
  167. Kirgiz (Kyrgyz, Kara-Kirgiz)
  168. Karakalpak - 146 317
  169. Kypchak
  170. Kashgar
  171. Taranchi
  172. Kazakh (Kirgiz-Kazakh, Kirgiz-Kaisak) - 3 968 289
  173. Kurama
  174. Uzbek - 3 904 622
  175. Dungan
  176. Afghan
  177. Tajik - 978 680
  178. Vakhan
  179. Ishkashim
  180. Shugnan
  181. Yagnob
  182. Yazgul
  183. Iranian
  184. Jemshid
  185. Beludji
  186. Berber
  187. Khazara
  188. Hindu (Indian)
  189. Other Ethnicities
  190. Ethnicities not noted or noted inexactly
a) Tavlin
b) Kryashen
c) Teptyar
d) Uigar
e) Oirot
f) Khakass
g) Others

191. Foreign subjects

Composition of the USSR[edit]

Soviet
Republic
Territory (km2) Population Urban Population Male Population Ethnic Russians Ethnic Ukrainians Titular Ethnicity
1 RSFSR 19 651 446 100 891 244 17 442 655 48 170 635 74 072 096 7 873 331
2 UkSSR 451 584 29 018 187 5 373 553 14 094 592 2 677 166 23 218 860
3 BSSR 126 792 4 983 240 847 830 2 439 801 383 806 34 681 4 017 301
4 Transcaucasian SFSR 185 191 5 861 529 1 410 876 3 009 046 336 178 35 423 1 797 960
5 Uzbek SSR 311 476 5 272 801 1 102 218 2 797 420 246 521 25 804 3 475 340
6 Turkmen SSR 449 698 1 000 914 136 982 531 858 75 357 6877 719 792
Total 21 176 187 147 027 915 26 314 114 71 043 352 77 791 124 31 194 976

For the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, Georgians were considered the Titular Nationality.

Population of the USSR sorted by most common nationalities in 1926[edit]

     USSR           RSFSR      Ukrainian SSR Byelorussian SSR      TSFSR      Uzbek SSR Turkmen SSR
Total 147,027,915 100,623,000 29,018,187 4,983,240 5,861,529 5,272,801 1,000,914
Russians 77,791,124 74,072,000 2,677,166 383,806 336,178 246,521 75,357
Ukrainians 31,194,976 7,873,000 23,218,860 34,681 35,423 25,804 6,877
Belorussians 4,738,923 638,000 75,842 4,017,031 3,767 3,515 864
Georgians 1,821,184 21,000 1,265 52 1,797,960 697 258
Armenians 1,567,568 195,000 10,631 99 1,332,593 14,976 13,859
Turks 1,706,605 28,000 56 0 1,652,768 21,565 4,229
Uzbeks 3,904,622 325,000 23 0 72 3,475,340 104,971
Turkmen 763,940 18,000 21 1 102 25,954 719,792
Kazakhs 3,968,289 3,852,000 98 18 61 106,980 9,471
Kirghiz 762,736 672,000 36 1 10 90,743 0
Tatars 2,916,536 2,846,734 22,281 3,777 10,574 28,401 4,769
Chuvash 1,117,419 1,114,813 905 739 92 315 555
Bashkirs 713,693 712,000 114 8 14 765 426
Yakuts 240,709 240,687 14 1 0 3 4
Karakalpaks 146,317 118,217 0 0 0 26,563 1,537
Tajiks 978,680 10,385 0 0 1 967,728 566
Ossetians 272,272 157,000 184 18 114,450 234 38
Talysh 77,323 0 0 0 77,323 0 0
Tats 28,705 223 35 0 28,443 0 4
Kurds 69,184 14,701 1 0 52,173 1 2,308
Mordva 1,340,415 1,334,700 1,171 1,051 1,238 1,805 491
Mari 428,192 428,000 122 18 14 19 18
Karelians 248,120 248,030 60 19 7 1 3
Udmurts 514,187 514,000 91 45 6 19 8
Komi 226,383 226,300 42 21 18 5 5
Permyaks 149,488 149,400 36 3 1 0 0
Buryats 237,501 237,000 3 1 2 0 1
Kalmyks 132,114 131,757 92 1 8 18 2
Germans 1,238,549 806,301 393,924 7,075 25,327 4,646 1,276
Jews 2,599,973 566,917 1,574,391 407,059 31,175 19,611 1,820
Poles 782,334 197,827 476,435 97,498 6,324 3,411 839
Greeks 213,765 50,649 104,666 55 57,935 347 113
Vainakhs 392,600 390,000 51 7 84 5 2
Moldavians 278,903 20,525 257,794 63 316 173 24
Bulgarians 111,296 18,644 92,078 22 203 321 28
Latvians 151,410 126,277 9,131 14,061 951 737 232
Lithuanians 41,463 26,856 6,795 6,853 572 311 65
Abkhazians 56,957 98 8 0 56,851 0 0

Population by republics[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Национальный вопрос и национальная култура в Северо-Кавказском крае (Итоги и перспективы): К предстоящему съезду горских народов" (Natsionalny vopros i natsionalnaya kultura v Severo-Kavkazskom kraye (Itogi i perspektivy): K predstoyashchemu syezdu gorskikh narodov), Rostov-on-Don, 1926.
  2. ^ Russia:Decennial. Overview of Russian life 10 years after the revolution by the TIME magazine (English)
  3. ^ Empire of Nations:Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union by Francine Hirsch, Cornell University Press, 2005, pp. 329–333

Further reading[edit]

  • Henry Joachim Dubester (1948). "USSR: Census of 1926". National Censuses and Vital Statistics in Europe, 1918-1939: An Annotated Bibliography, with 1940-1948 Supplement. USA: Gale Research Company.