| Geographical location|
The republic of Mary El is situated in the centre of the European part of the RF, on the left bank of the Volga. Length of the territory from north to south is 150 km, from west o east is 275 km. It borders on the republics of Chuvashia and Tatarstan in the south, on Nizhegorodskaya region in the west, on Vyatskaya region in the east and the north.
In the republic there are about 500 rivers. In the republic there is a sanctuary. The Republic has great supplies of sand, building stone, peat. Main natural wealth is forest, which occupies 57% of the Republic`s territory.
The climate is temperate continental with cold winter and warm summer.
| Administrative division|
The republic is divided into 14 districts, 3 towns of the republican submission, 1 town of regional submission, 20 town settlements, 166 villages.
Capital of the republic is Ioshkar-Ola, founded in 1584. Distance to Moscow - 862 km.
Population: 766.2 thousand people (475.2 thousand - in town, 289.1 thousand - in village). Maries are the natives of the Republic.
Density of population: 33 persons per sq. km.
Industry: Machine-building, metal-working, radio-technical, forest, wood-working, pulp and paper, food, textile, medical, micro-biological, industry of building materials, fuel and others.
Foreign activity: it has got a serious impulse. Trading partners are more than 40 states, among them Italy, France, Germany, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova and others.
Export: machine-building, oil chemical production, wood, pharmaceutical industry.
Import: technologies, equipment, food products.
Branches of industry, oriented to export: pharmaceutical, wood-working, electronic.
| Science and education|
There are 8 higher educational establishments, 15 secondary special colleges, 32 junior professional colleges, 439 schools of general education, 344 kindergartens, 104 institutions of additional education.
Museums: 4 museums, 16 departments.
Libraries: 329 mass and universal.
In the republic there is orchestra, philarmonia, National Theatre, Academy Theatre of Drama, theatre of Opera and Ballet, Puppet Theatre.
Art schools: 45 musical and art schools.