Primary Source

Soviet population table by nationality, 1970

  • A table of the Soviet population sorted by nationality in 1970.


This table provides a general overview of the Soviet population in 1970, with a breakdown for the most populous national groups. As the table indicates, Russian were by far the largest single ethnic group, yet they still made up less than one-half of the total population of approximately 240 million people. As this table also indicates, several national groups with their "own" national republic (Estonian, Latvian, and Kirgiz) were smaller than several "minority" populations within the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic (such as the Tatar, Chuvash, or German populations). This disparity demonstrates how the size of an ethnic group did not necessarily equate to political or administrative power within the larger state.

This source is a part of the Nationalities and the Breakup of the Soviet Union, 1989-2000 teaching module.

Rein Taagepera, "Soviet population table by nationality," 1970, Making the History of 1989.


Figures from Rein Taagepera, "The 1970 Soviet Census: Fusion or Crystallization of Nationalities?" Soviet Studies, 23/2 (October 1971), p. 218.

How to Cite This Source
Soviet population table by nationality, 1970 in World History Commons,