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Magadan Oblast

Coordinates: 62°54′N 153°42′E / 62.900°N 153.700°E / 62.900; 153.700
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Magadan Oblast
Магаданская область
Coat of arms of Magadan Oblast
Coordinates: 62°54′N 153°42′E / 62.900°N 153.700°E / 62.900; 153.700
Federal districtFar Eastern[1]
Economic regionFar Eastern[2]
Administrative centerMagadan[4]
 • BodyOblast Duma[5]
 • Governor[6]Sergey Nosov[7]
 • Total462,464 km2 (178,558 sq mi)
 • Rank11th
 • Total136,085
 • Estimate 
 • Rank81st
 • Density0.29/km2 (0.76/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Rural
Time zoneUTC+11 (MSK+8 Edit this on Wikidata[11])
ISO 3166 codeRU-MAG
License plates49
OKTMO ID44000000
Official languagesRussian[12]

Magadan Oblast[a] is a federal subject (an oblast) of Russia. It is geographically located in the Far East region of the country, and is administratively part of the Far Eastern Federal District. Magadan Oblast has a population of 136,085 (2021 Census), making it the least populated oblast and the third-least populated federal subject in Russia.[9]

Magadan is the largest city and the capital of Magadan Oblast with the majority of the oblast's inhabitants living in the city itself. The coastline has a less severe climate than the interiors, although both are very cold for its latitude.

It borders Chukotka Autonomous Okrug in the north, Kamchatka Krai in the east, Khabarovsk Krai in the south and the Sakha Republic in the west. The economy is primarily based on mining, particularly gold, silver and other non-ferrous metals.



Magadan Oblast was established on December 3, 1953[3] in what had popularly been known as Kolyma. As a result of considerable raw resources, especially gold, silver, tin, and tungsten deposits, mining activities and road building had been developed during the Stalin era in the 1930s and 1940s under the coordination of Dalstroy and its forced labor camps. Upon Stalin's death, Dalstroy was disbanded and the regional administration took over many of its former responsibilities.

From then on, paid labor replaced most of the convict-based manpower, attracted by the region's rapid economic expansion, especially the gold-mining interests.

The indigenous peoples of the region, including the Evens, Koryaks, Yupiks, Chukchis, Orochs, Chuvans and Itelmens, who had traditionally lived from fishing along the Sea of Okhotsk coast or from reindeer herding in the River Kolyma valley, suffered from the industrialization of the area but were able to rely on institutional support until 1987 when Perestroika started to cause many of the older structures to close. As a result, many of those who can no longer rely on traditional sources of income are now unemployed.[13]

Chukotka Autonomous Okrug was formerly administratively subordinated to Magadan Oblast, but declared its separation in 1991.

On 4 July 1997, Magadan, alongside Bryansk, Chelyabinsk, Saratov, and Vologda signed a power-sharing agreement with the government of Russia, granting it autonomy.[14] The agreement would be abolished on 30 January 2002.[15]


Jack London Lake
Burkhalinsky Pass as seen from the Susuman side
Gertner Bay, Magadan

Magadan Oblast consists principally of mountainous desert, tundra, and taiga. The southern part of the region is partly forested with birch, willow, mountain ash, larch and alder.

Inland there are mountain ranges belonging to the Kolyma Mountains, as well as the Chersky Range, including the Okhandya Range with the highest point of Magadan Oblast, an unnamed 2,337 metres (7,667 ft) high peak.[16] There are a number of peninsulas along the oblast's coast, the chief ones being (north to south) the Taygonos Peninsula [ru], Pyagina Peninsula, Koni Peninsula, Staritskogo Peninsula, Onatsevicha Peninsula, Khmitevskogo Peninsula and the Onara Peninsula.

The main islands of Magadan Oblast are (north to south) Telan Island, the Yam Islands, Zavyalov Island, Nedorazumeniya Island and the Spafaryev Islands.



The animal species in the south include snow sheep, reindeer, moose and brown bears. There are also many varieties of birds, including ducks and seabirds. Coastal waters of the Sea of Okhotsk host notable biodiversity where large vertebrates such as bowhead whales[17] may appear, and have rich fishing grounds for pollock, herring, cod, flounder and salmon, as well as crabs and shellfish.



The economy is centered on mining interests for gold, silver and other non-ferrous metals. The city of Magadan is the only large industrial center. Agriculture is not well developed in the region. In April 2014 the Russian government has endorsed bills for extending the operations of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Magadan Oblast through to December 31, 2025.[18]



Magadan Oblast is considered one of the world's richest mining areas. Gold is the region's main resource, although silver and tin deposits are also being developed. There are nearly 2,000 placer gold deposits, 100 gold ore deposits, and 48 silver ore deposits in the territory.[19]

Recently, there has been interest in exploiting the coal resources in the region. Over the medium term, there seem to be excellent opportunities for petroleum and natural gas exploitation.



The fishing industry is the region's only food sector and is second in importance after mining. The 600,000 square kilometers (230,000 sq mi) area of the Sea of Okhotsk that borders on Magadan Oblast is one of the most productive regions of the world's oceans. Magadan Oblast has more than 15,900 kilometers (9,900 mi) of coastline and 29,016 kilometers (18,030 mi) of rivers of commercial importance. The catching vessels of the oblast's fishing companies operate mainly in Russia's economic zone, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, and to some extent in the Sea of Japan. Most of the catch comes from coastal waters. Fishing industry companies are concentrated in Magadan, Ola, Yamsk, and Evensk. The most important commercial fish are pollock, herring, cod, navaga (a member of the cod family), flounder, and various kinds of salmon. Crabs, squid, shrimp, and whelks are also caught.[19]



Owing to the severe climate, agriculture is Magadan Region's least developed economic sector; as a result, 50% of all food products must be supplied from outside. The agricultural complex consists of companies producing agricultural products, the food and processing industries, a production infrastructure, and farm enterprises. The particular areas of specialization are reindeer herding, fur farming, and traditional hunting, fishing, and fur trapping activities. Companies involved in food processing and production include Gormolzavod, a distillery, a pasta factory, a sausage factory, the Dukcha state poultry farm, and the Khasynsky state farm.[19]

Present situation


Despite rich natural resources, the economy has not prospered as much as might have been expected in recent years. The severe climate and poorly developed infrastructure are partly to blame, but the difficult transition from Soviet times has led to the collapse of a number of companies with the result that many inhabitants have left the region. Recently, there does seem to have been renewed efforts to encourage foreign investment which could lead to improvements in the economy. Indeed, on a visit to Magadan in November 2005, President Vladimir Putin supported the extension of special tax advantages for the region in order to encourage gold exploitation.[20]

Administrative divisions




Population: 136,085 (2021 Census);[9] 156,996 (2010 Russian census);[21] 182,726 (2002 Census);[22] 542,868 (1989 Soviet census).[23]

Historical population
Source: Census data

Vital statistics for 2022:[24][25]

  • Births: 1,174 (8.5 per 1,000)
  • Deaths: 1,709 (12.4 per 1,000)

Total fertility rate (2022):[26]
1.43 children per woman

Life expectancy (2021):[27]
Total — 67.41 years (male — 62.48, female — 72.51)

Ethnic groups

Ethnicities in Magadan Oblast in 2021[28]
Ethnicity Population Percentage
Russians 109,773 87.7%
Ukrainians 3,380 2.7%
Evens 2,062 1.6%
Uzbeks 904 0.7%
Koryaks 742 0.6%
Buryats 639 0.5%
Other Ethnicities 7,659 6.1%
Ethnicity not stated 10,926

Demographics for 2006 and later


Magadan is a federal subject that has the highest rate of depopulation in the Russian Federation. Its population, which stood at 384,525 in 1991, stood at 165,820 on January 1, 2008 (according to the State Committee of the Russian Federation on Statistics), falling at a rate of around 2% per year. The rural population, which had stood at 59,151, was just 8,833 in 2008 and decreasing at a rate of around 10% per year. Entire villages are being emptied out and the population of the rural areas of the districts is simply disappearing. The rural population of Yagodninsky District was reduced from 13,843 (1991) to 445 (2007). The Omsukchansky District saw its rural population plummet from 1,301 to 79. Especially extreme is the example of Susumansky District, where the rural population almost disappeared: from 9,764 in 1991 to just 116 in 2007. Emigration is evident from the fact that for the 20-24 age group, there were only 66 females living in rural areas, compared to 202 males. Male life expectancy for rural areas rose to 53.73 years in 2006 from 51.88 in 2005.[29] In 2021 the depopulation continues with approximately the same rate, as the population is about 139,000 people.

Although Magadan Oblast is a part of the program of resettlement of ethnic Russian families.[30]

District Population Urban Rural Births BR Deaths DR NGR
Magadan Oblast 171,569 161,937 9,632 1820 10.70 2242 13.20 -0.25%
Magadan 107,265 107,265 0 1171 10.90 1292 12.10 -0.12%
Olsky District 11,463 7,917 3,546 124 10.90 192 16.90 -0.60%
Omsukchansky District 5,993 5,887 106 51 8.60 61 10.30 -0.17%
Severo-Evensky District 3,129 1,797 1,332 29 9.50 55 18.10 -0.86%
Srednekansky District 4,193 2,984 1,209 35 8.70 74 18.40 -0.97%
Susumansky District 11,166 10,952 214 101 9.30 132 12.20 -0.29%
Tenkinsky District 6,523 4,433 2,090 74 11.60 96 15.00 -0.34%
Khasynsky District 9,147 8,587 560 108 12.00 140 15.50 -0.35%
Yagodninsky District 12,690 12,115 575 127 10.40 200 16.30 -0.59%


Religion in Magadan Oblast as of 2012 (Sreda Arena Atlas)[31][32]
Russian Orthodoxy
Other Orthodox
Old Believers
Other Christians
Rodnovery and other native faiths
Spiritual but not religious
Atheism and irreligion
Other and undeclared

According to a 2012 survey[31] 29.6% of the population of Magadan Oblast adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 3% are unaffiliated generic Christians, 3% is an Orthodox Christian believer without belonging to any church or adheres to other Orthodox churches, 2% of the population adheres to the Slavic native faith (Rodnovery) or to Siberian shamanism, 1% to Islam, 1% to the Old Believers. In addition, 27% of the population declares itself to be "spiritual but not religious", 13% is atheist, and 20.4% follows other religions or did not give an answer to the question.[31]




  1. ^ 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", No. 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.).
  2. ^ 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. ).
  3. ^ a b Decree of December 3, 1953
  4. ^ Charter of Magadan Oblast, Article 38.4
  5. ^ Charter of Magadan Oblast, Article 45
  6. ^ Charter of Magadan Oblast, Article 62
  7. ^ Official website of Magadan Oblast. Official Website Of Magadan Oblast (in Russian)
  8. ^ "Сведения о наличии и распределении земель в Российской Федерации на 01.01.2019 (в разрезе субъектов Российской Федерации)". Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography. Archived from the original on February 9, 2022. Retrieved August 29, 2023.
  9. ^ a b c Russian Federal State Statistics Service. Всероссийская перепись населения 2020 года. Том 1 [2020 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1] (XLS) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service.
  10. ^ "26. Численность постоянного населения Российской Федерации по муниципальным образованиям на 1 января 2018 года". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  11. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). June 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  12. ^ Official throughout the Russian Federation according to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia.
  13. ^ Perestroika's Legacy and Indigenous Peoples in Magadan, Winfried K. Dallmann, Norwegian Polar Institute. Retrieved 26 February 2007.
  14. ^ "Moscow Signs Power-Sharing Agreements With Five More Regions". Jamestown. July 7, 1997. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  15. ^ Chuman, Mizuki. "The Rise and Fall of Power-Sharing Treaties Between Center and Regions in Post-Soviet Russia" (PDF). Demokratizatsiya: 146.
  17. ^ Zvezda (TV channel). 2016. Гренландский кит устроил водное шоу у берега моря в Магадане. Retrieved on September 28, 2017
  18. ^ "Magadan Special Economic Zone in Russia's Far East to be kept up through to 2025". TASS. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  19. ^ a b c "Magadan Region- General Information". Archived from the original on October 25, 2007. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  20. ^ Magadan Still a Zone after Putin Visits, Kommersant, 23 November 2005.
  21. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). 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.
  22. ^ Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). 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] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian).
  23. ^ 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). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. 1989 – via Demoscope Weekly.
  24. ^ "Information on the number of registered births, deaths, marriages and divorces for January to December 2022". ROSSTAT. Archived from the original on March 2, 2023. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  25. ^ "Birth rate, mortality rate, natural increase, marriage rate, divorce rate for January to December 2022". ROSSTAT. Archived from the original on March 2, 2023. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  26. ^ Суммарный коэффициент рождаемости [Total fertility rate]. Russian Federal State Statistics Service (in Russian). Archived from the original (XLSX) on August 10, 2023. Retrieved August 10, 2023.
  27. ^ "Демографический ежегодник России" [The Demographic Yearbook of Russia] (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service of Russia (Rosstat). Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  28. ^ "Национальный состав населения". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved December 30, 2022.
  29. ^ "临猗较渍信用担保有限公司".
  30. ^ http://www.magadan.ru/economica/prr01.php [permanent dead link]
  31. ^ a b c "Arena: Atlas of Religions and Nationalities in Russia". Sreda, 2012.
  32. ^ 2012 Arena Atlas Religion Maps. "Ogonek", № 34 (5243), 27/08/2012. Retrieved 21/04/2017. Archived.


  1. ^ /mæɡəˌdæn ˈɒbləst/; Russian: Магаданская область, romanized: Magadánskaya óblast, IPA: [məgɐˈdanskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ]


  • Магаданская областная Дума. №218-ОЗ 28 декабря 2001 г. «Устав Магаданской области», в ред. Закона №2185-ОЗ от 14 июня 2017 г. «О принятии поправки к Уставу Магаданской области». Вступил в силу по истечении десяти дней со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Магаданская правда", №201 (18919), 29 декабря 2001 г. (Magadan Oblast Duma. Law #218-OZ of December 28, 2001 Charter of Magadan Oblast, as amended by the Law #2185-OZ of June 14, 2017 On Adopting an Amendment to the Charter of Magadan Oblast. Effective as of the day ten days after the official publication date.).
  • Президиум Верховного Совета СССР. Указ от 3 декабря 1953 г. «Об образовании Магаданской области». (Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Decree of December 3, 1953 On Establishing Magadan Oblast. ).