Russian Poverty Index: Tolyatti, Astrakhan, Penza, Volgograd and Saratov are Russia’s poorest cities while Vladivostok , Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, and Tyumen suffer from the least urban deprivation, according to a poverty index compiled by the state-run Financial University.
The index, which covered 35 Russian cities with populations of over 500,000 was calculated on the proportion of critically poor and low-income young men and women aged between 18 and 30. Respondents were asked to describe how far their earnings typically go, on a scale from “just barely enough for food” to “enough for everything, including real estate.”Those who could buy food and nothing more were classified as “critically poor,” while those who could afford food and a few other necessities were classified as “low-income.”
With 13% of its 720,000 inhabitants classified as “critically poor” Togliatti topped the list. Birthplace of the emblematic Lada car where it is still manufactured, it has suffered in the face of the competition that has transformed Russia’s automotive industry in the post-Soviet era. The second poorest town included in the survey was Astrakhan that was famous for caviar and fish, now almost moribund due to over fishing and the discovery of oil and gas in the Caspian Sea.
With its strategic location as a gateway to China and other Asian markets and its proximity to the massive oil fields in the Sea of Okhotsk, Vladivostok has been enjoying a renaissance in recent years and joins Moscow at the other end of the scale. Tatar-Inform, The Moscow Times