Siberia, Russia comprises an enormous geographical area approximately 1.8 times the size of the United States. Siberia borders the Arctic Ocean on the north, and extends from Europe in the west, across the entire continent to the North Pacific Ocean in the east. It is a land of extremes. The lowest elevation is a point 60 feet below sea level rising to a mountain peak of over 18,000 feet. There are broad plains of lush forests, mountain ranges, volcanoes, and permafrost that keeps nearly 65% of the land frozen year-round.
There are over 142 million Siberians, with 28% of the population under 24 years old. The population is shrinking because the birth rate is not keeping up with the mortality rate. 73% of Siberians live in urban areas.
Siberian Living Conditions
- Medical care is within reach for Siberians in urban areas where there are 4.3 doctors for every 1,000 people (versus the U.S. with 2.3 doctors for every 1,000 people). Outside the urban areas, health care is minimal.
- Literacy is high with 99.6% of 15 year olds being able to read and write. Average time in school is 14 years.
The Siberian Economy
- The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is $17,700 per capita, but this is misleading because income is concentrated in the top tier. The lowest 10% of income earners account for 2.8% of consumption while the top 10% account for almost 32%.
- The average income in Siberia is approximately $400/month.
- Young people are often employed. 18.3% of the 15-24 year old population is unemployed, while unemployment averages 6.2% for the population as a whole.
- 13.1% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Guidelines has been involved in ministry in Siberia since 1997. There is much work to do since as many as 21,000 cities in Siberia with no gospel witness. We have partnered with two families whose mission is to take the gospel into the most remote villages of Siberia. Read more about Valentin Nikonenko, and Slava Grin’s ministry.