Top 20 Russian monotowns

The combined population of Russian monotowns reaches 14 million. Economic situation in many of Russia’s monotowns is rapidly deteriorating.

A monotown (Russian: моногород) is a city / town whose economy is dominated by a single industry or company.

Monotowns are heritage of the Soviet planned economy when hundreds of them were created, often in geographically inhospitable areas. Current economic situation in many of Russia’s monotowns is rapidly deteriorating. Workers with no alternative employment options have seen their salaries decline. The share of many monotowns’ population under the poverty line has increased.

According to the official Russian estimates, there are more than 300 cities and smaller towns which are classified as monotowns. The combined population of monotowns reaches 14 million, which is a tenth of the Russia’s entire population.

The 2014 Russian government decree classified 94 monotowns as those with very acute social and economic situation, meaning they are close to economic collapse or bankruptcy. Regional defiance or mass protests in monotowns are likely in case of growing economic decline.

The map below depicts 20 Russia’s largest monotowns. Click on a tag to see the monotown’s name, its population and the largest city’s employer.