The population of Russia in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 143,246,000, which placed it as number 8 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 13% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 18% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 88 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is -0.57%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 133,429,000. The population density in 2002 was 8 per sq km (22 per sq mi). Distribution is unequal; the rural areas are very sparsely populated.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 78% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Moscow, had a population of 9,314,000 in that year. Other large urban areas include St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), 5,132,000; Novosibirsk, 1,476,000; Nizhniy Novgorod (formerly Gorkiy), 1,461,000; Yekaterinburg (formerly Sverdlovsk), 1,420,000; Samara (formerly Kuybyshev), 1,260,000; Omsk, 1,214,000; Chelyabinsk, 1,183,000; Kazan, 1,135,000; Ufa, 1,138,000; Perm, 1,117,000; Rostov-on-Don, 1,048,000; Volgograd, 1,021,000; Krasnoyarsk, 975,000; Voronezh, 938,000; and Saratov, 917,000. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 0.2%.