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'What happens in Sibera stays in Siberia...unless it is covered by The Siberian Times'

Siberia is the happiest place in Russia, says a major new survey

By Kate Baklitskaya
23 August 2013

People feel better about themselves and their lives, defying the international stereotype of Siberia.

In all, Siberia has 9 regions where happiness is 'very high' compared with 6 in the rest of Russia. We won't argue with this. Picture from Omsk, Western Siberia: The Siberian Times

There are more regions with a 'very high' happiness rating east of the Urals than west, according to a league table based on surveys conducted for the Foundation for the Development of Civil Society. 

The highest rankings in the country were registered in the Yamalo-Nanets Autonomous Okrug, based on Salekhard, a town which straddles the Arctic Circle.

One of Russia's coldest regions, why is it so happy? Gas maybe a factor.

It has more than 90% of Russia's natural gas, and 12% of the country's oil, and is now one of the most affluent places.  Whatever the reason, this survey finds it is happier than Moscow, which came 9th place, achieving 95 points in the survey against the capital city's 70, and 17 points ahead of its nearest rival.

Runner up in the happiness table, with 78 points, was Tyumen, the region surrounding the city of the same name, founded in 1586 as the first Russian settlement east of the Ural Mountains.

It is now rich and prosperous from oil, and is sometimes called the Russian Texas. 

In all, Siberia has 9 regions where happiness is 'very high' compared with 6 in the rest of Russia. We won't argue with this. 

Siberians are the happiest in Russia says 2013 survey


Siberians are the happiest in Russia says 2013 survey


Siberians are the happiest in Russia says 2013 survey

Siberia is the happiest place in Russia, says a major new survey. Pictures: Foundation for the Development of Civil Society, The Siberian Times

Other high ranking regions are the Republics of Buryatia, Tyva, Alti, and Khakassia, the territories of Kemerovo and Altai, and the autonomous okrug of Khanty-Mansiysk, all in the top 15. All of these achieved a higher score than - for example - St Petersburg. 

The findings confound the grim view of Siberia often portrayed in the Western media, all the more so since it table was drawn up based on the views of locals about their regions. 

The territory of the Russian Federation was divided into four categories with a rating of 'very high', 'high', 'medium' and 'below average' levels of happiness.

None of the Siberian or Russian Far East regions were in the lowest category. 

The three lowest scoring regions east of the Urals were Zabaikalsky Region, the Jewish Autonomous Region and Kamchatka Region.

Comments (3)

I have been teaching English in 2 universities this year in Kemerovo, and can say that the people I have met here have been very, very friendly and hospitable. Most have a smile on their face and go out of their way to be kind and helpful to me. I am here until the end of November and don't want to leave. Kemerovo is a beautiful city with enough to keep me happy, plus it has some of the most gorgeous women ever seen, every time I leave the house it's like being in heaven!
David, Kemerovo, but originally from Wales
13/10/2013 23:13
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I like the glimpses I get of Siberia through Siberian Times. Keep up the great work
Steve, Colorado Springs, Colorado
08/09/2013 21:21
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wher these photos are taken
Muhammad, pakistan
26/08/2013 14:27
2
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1

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