Surnames Distribution as Evidence of Interregional and International Migration in Russia

Valeriy Yumaguzin , National Research University Higher School of Economics
Maria Vinnik, Higher School of Economics

Aim: To study surnames distribution for the present Russian population, including migrants, as of January 2019. Subjects and methods: Based on cell phone subscriber data, our sample has twenty nine million people and 380 thousand different surnames. Results: We made a list of the most popular surnames in modern Russia, and the top five surnames in several regions. Border regions have surnames that represents nationals or ancestors of neighbouring country citizens. The Primorsky krai, which has a common border with China and North Korea, has the East Asian surnames Li, Van and Kim. We examined the heterogeneity of surnames in the regions with the ratio we called adjusted variation. The higher the ratio, the higher the pattern spread and vice versa. Moscow and the Moscow oblast have the highest ratio, equalling 0.65, that is there are 65 different surnames among 100 persons. We think this ratio mostly demonstrates an extremely mixed population in Moscow. Conclusions: The regions with a high variety of surnames are located within the main belt of settlement in Russia, which fostered a more active exchange of the population. The regional surname distribution reflects the specificity of historical pathways of settlement, current migration processes, as well as ethnic, cultural and religious plurality.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy