ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Lyudmila A. Belyaeva Doctor of Sociology
Institute of Philosophy RAS, Moscow, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0003-0538-7331
Eastern vector of mass migrations in Russia in domestic studies of the 19th - first half of the 20th centuries.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2023. Vol. 14. No. 1. P. 13-28

Дата поступления статьи: 12.12.2022
Topic: Transformation of Russian society in sociological retrospective

For citation:
Belyaeva L. A. Eastern vector of mass migrations in Russia in domestic studies of the 19th - first half of the 20th centuries. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2023. Vol. 14. No. 1. P. 13-28


Modern Russia clearly demonstrates the trend of recent decades - the movement of the population from the East and North to the European Central and Southern part of the country. The main reasons for relocation to these regions are the developed social and socio-cultural infrastructure, employment and professional opportunities that would allow families to lead a full life. An eastward turn of migration flows could gradually solve the problem of overpopulation in the megacities of the European part of the country. But, as statistics show, the process of outflow of the population from the eastern regions has only slowed down so far, but has not stopped. In the history of Russia there were various spontaneous and organised movements of large masses of people, mainly in eastern directions, in connection with the continuous expansion of its borders and the need to develop new territories. These processes became especially active in the 19th century. First, as an independent resettlement of peasants with small allotments, later in the middle of the century with the state support. At the beginning of the 20th century organised migration accelerated in connection with the implementation of the Stolypin reforms. In just four years (1907–1911), 2.6 mln people moved to the East of Russia. The article presents the works of Russian researchers of the 19th - early 20th centuries, dedicated to mass migrations of the population from the Center of Russia to the East. The works can be organised in two groups. One group introduces the public to the natural, ethnographic, and sanitary conditions in the new territories, and tells the history of the conquest and settlement in these places. In other works, migration practices themselves are studied, with the study of information about migrants, their composition, socio-demographic and other characteristics. Questioning methods were used, tracing the reasons for resettlement, assessments of new places, psychological motives for resettlement. The revolutionary changes in Russia in 1917 accelerated the migration of the population. In the first fifteen years after the revolution, these processes were studied quite actively (O.V. Kvitkin, S.G. Strumilin). Since the mid-1930s, the study of migration has been curtailed, although this was a period of intensive voluntary and forced displacement of the country's inhabitants, amateur and organised migrations. The main flow of migrants was directed from the village to the city, from the Center to the East, that was associated with the accelerated urbanisation and industrialisation of the country.


domestic studies of migration, causes of mass migrations, return migration

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