Where can you live well in Russia?


The feature of the territory of Russia development is a considerable nonuniformity. Moscow, St. Petersburg and other million-strong cities generate agglomerations attracting new inhabitants with higher standard of living. However, living in the big city has a number of disadvantages, besides the obvious advantages.

Comparison of the cities as the place for living is rather difficult:  it demands the consideration of both quantitative and qualitative parameters.  As a rule, the main blocks while comparison are economy parameters and labor market, infrastructure development, social security, environment, living conditions, stability and safety.

There is a large number of ratings comparing the largest cities of the world. Purposes of such comparisons are various: to set the development direction, to establish compensation level for expats, to make the decision on business expansion.

Among the Russian cities Moscow is usually included into such ratings, more rare — St. Petersburg. However there are also similar Russian projects comparing cities within the country.

The "Urbanika" territorial planning institute made the integrated rating of 100 largest cities of Russia. In 2012 Krasnodar, Surgut and Yekaterinburg were the leaders of the rating, and Moscow ranked 48th. Advantage of this rating is that it compares the cost and quality of life in the city. Assessment included life living conditions quality, retail trade development, roads load, crime rate, equipment, transport availability, improvement, environment, ecology examination. The cost of life was estimated proceeding from opportunities for housing purchase and its rent, consumption expenses and communal and housing services payment, consumer ability of the population.

As a result of comparison, Moscow is too expensive city to live in: the capital occupied one of the last lines on housing purchase and rent possibility, and also it is included into the three leaders by the level of consumer expenses and ranked 10th by housing and communal expenses level. From the point of view of life quality the capital lost out to many other Russian cities: Moscow was in the list of cities with the highest ecological pollution level, and also the city with the highest roads load.

As for other million-strong cities, St. Petersburg ranked 19th, having shown almost the same list of problems, as well as Moscow, but having added a high crime level. Novosibirsk – the third most populated Russian city — ranked 17th. Yekaterinburg as it was mentioned above ranked third. Nizhny Novgorod ranked 16th, Samara — 21st, outstripped by Kazan, Omsk ranked 24th; Chelyabinsk ranked 18th, Rostov-on-Don - tenth, Ufa - 9th, Volgograd - 25th, and Perm — 28th; Voronezh ranked 7th.

Picture 1. Ranking of million-strong cities in the rating of 2012 (the cities are sorted by the population number)

Source: «Urbanika»

The main problems of million-strong cities were limited opportunities for housing rent or purchase, high level of ecological pollution, medium or low city improvement level, average or high level of roads load.