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 subject: Astrakhanskaya oblast
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 federal okrug: Southern
 economic region: Povolzhie
 area: 44.1 th.sq.km.
 population: 1 029 th.p.
 index of car numbers: 30
 Geographical location

The region was founded on the 27th of December, 1943. Astrakhanskaya guberniya was established by Peter the First in 1717. The region is situated in the south-west of Russia. Area - 44.1 thousand square km, that is 0.3% of all territory of the Russian Federation. Length from west to east - 120 km, from north to south - 375 km. Climate is continental, dry. About 70% of the region`s territory is in zone of deserts. Relief is plain.

Area of agricultural land is 63%: pasture covers 74.8%, hayfields - 13%, ploughed fields - 12.1%; industry, transport and communication occupy about 13% of the territory. Forest covers 940 square km. More than 1/10 of the territory are under water. Territories near the Caspian Sea are exposed to sinking.

Through Astrakhanskaya region Russia has outlet to the Caspian Sea, boundaries with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran. Perspective ways to Middle East, Middle Asia and Indo-China are opening.

In the region the Caspian fleet is based.

 Natural resources

The region is rich in natural resources: gas, sulphur, oil, salt (the lake Baskunchak-115 square km-one of the largest in the world). There are great supplies of gypsum, potassium salt, bromine, iodine and others. Mineral water is mined there. On the resort "Tinaki" reserves of mud-cure are elaborated.

Communication: length of railways-600 km, highways-3000 km, waterways-1500 km.

 Administrative division

Population - 1032.8 thousand people, representatives of more than 150 nationalities: Russians - 72%, Kazakhs - 12%, Tatars - 7%. 67% live in town, 33% - in village. 56.6% of the population are capable of working. Astrakhanskaya region comprises 11 districts, 442 villages and settlements. The regional centre is Astrakhan with population 488.3 thousand people. In the region there are 6 towns, the biggest of them: Akhtubinsk (50.4 thousand), Kazymyak (15,8 thousand), Znamensk (34.7 thousand), Kharabali (19.1 thousand).

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