Oblast (Russian: Чити́нская о́бласть, tr.
Chitinskaya oblast, IPA: [tɕɪˈtʲinskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ]) was
a federal subject of
Russia (an oblast) in southeast Siberia, Russia.
Its administrative center was the city of Chita. It had extensive
international borders with
China (998 km) and Mongolia
(868 km) and internal borders with Irkutsk and Amur Oblasts, as
well as with the Buryat and the Sakha Republics. Its area was 431,500
square kilometers (166,600 sq mi). Population:
1,155,346 (2002 Census); 1,377,975 (1989 Census).
The oblast was established on September 26, 1937. On
March 1, 2008, Chita
Oblast merged with Agin-Buryat Autonomous
Okrug to form Zabaykalsky Krai.
The territory that made up the former Chita
Oblast was first explored
Cossacks led by
Pyotr Beketov in 1653. People began to move into
and develop the area in order to strengthen Russia's border with China
and Mongolia, extract mineral resources, and build the Trans-Siberian
Railway. In 1920, Chita became the capital of the Far East Republic,
which merged with
Russia in November 1922, a month before the Soviet
Union was constituted.
The oblast was rich in ferrous, non-ferrous, rare, and precious
metals, coal, charcoal, and mineral waters. Russia's estimated
reserves of ores with a high uranium content are 145,400 tons.
Most of these deposits are located in the former Chita Oblast, near
Krasnokamensk, site of the Priargunsky Mining and Chemical Combine
(PMCC). Forests cover about 60% of its territory. As a result, the
oblast's main industries were metallurgy, fuel, and timber. It also
had advanced light and food industries. Local agriculture focused on
cattle, sheep, and reindeer breeding.
Main article: Administrative divisions of Chita Oblast
Birth rate: Quite high at 13.77 (2004), but still there were more
deaths than births (2005 official figures).
The population were mostly
Russians and Buryats, along with some
Ukrainians and a few Evenks. There were 1,000 Jews, who mostly speak
Yiddish in the regional capital. According to the 2002 census,
Russians made up 89.8% of the population while
Buryats were 6.1%.
Other significant groups were
Belarusians (0.26%), Azeri (0.18%),
Evenks (0.13%), Nemts (0.11%),
Bashkirs (0.11%), Moldvins (0.07%),
Uzbeks (0.06%) and Dargwa (0.05%).
In 2007, Chita
Oblast recorded a small natural population increase
(+0.03% without taking any migration into account), becoming one of
the only two Russian federal subjects to reverse its population
decline in 2007. The other federal subject was Kamchatka Oblast, with
a NGPR of +0.005%. Chita
Oblast is one of only twenty Russian federal
subjects to have a positive natural growth of population.   But
population of Chita actually decreased in 2007 due to very heavy
Vital Statistics for 2007: Source
Birth Rate: 14.63 per 1000
Death Rate: 14.33 per 1000
Net Immigration: -3.2 per 1000
NGR: +0.03% per Year
PGR: -0.29% per Year
Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004).
"Численность населения России,
субъектов Российской Федерации в
составе федеральных округов, районов,
городских поселений, сельских
населённых пунктов – районных
центров и сельских населённых пунктов
с населением 3 тысячи и более
человек" [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal
Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural
Localities—Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with
Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская
перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia
Population Census of 2002] (in Russian). Retrieved August 9,
^ Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись
населения 1989 г. Численность
наличного населения союзных и
автономных республик, автономных
областей и округов, краёв, областей,
районов, городских поселений и
сёл-райцентров" [All Union Population Census of 1989:
Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous
Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and
Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers].
Всесоюзная перепись населения
1989 года [All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian).
Институт демографии Национального
Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at
the National Research University: Higher School of Economics].
Retrieved August 9, 2014.
Coordinates: 52°2′N 113°30′E / 52.033°N 113.500°E