Mari El Republic

The Republic of Mari El, a constituent entity of the Russian Federation, is a part of the Volga Federal District, bordering the Kirov Region in the north and north-east, the Republic of Tatarstan in the south-east, the Chuvash Republic in the south and the Nizhny Novgorod Region in the west.


The republic is located in the central European part of Russia in the middle Volga valley. It comprises three cities of republican subordination, one city of district subordination, 14 districts, 16 towns, 180 rural administration, and 1,632 villages.


23,200 square kilometres


Ioshkar-Ola, located 862 kilometres from Moscow

Main cities

Ioshkar-Ola, Volzhsk, Kozmodemyansk, Zvenigovo


The republic has a temperate continental climate with the average January temperature of -19 C (-2.2 F) and the average July temperature of +20 С (68 F).

Main natural resources

The republic's main resources include construction, timber and mineral resources, including developed deposits of glass-making and dry sands, brick clays and carbonate rocks. The republic also has 60 lake putrid mud (sapropel) deposits totalling 11 million tonnes, plus one developed crude hydrocarbons deposit and proven quality oil reserves.


The republic's population is 721,900 people, with 335,200 males and 386,700 females. Over 63% of population is urban, while rural residents account for 36.4%. The economically active population is 455,400 people, of whom 325,300 people are employed. The unemployment rate, calculated using ILO methods, is 12.2%, with senior citizens and minors accounting for 25.9% and 10.8%, respectively. The rate of natural increase is negative and stands at -6.1 per 1,000.


President of the Republic of Mari El: Leonid Markelov

He has been in office since January 2001.

Mayor of Ioshkar-Ola: Oleg Voinov

Speaker of the regional legislature: Yury Minakov

Regional problems and prospects

The socioeconomic development of the region is hindered by demographic, production and transport problems. The share of material production in the local gross regional product is declining against the growing share of services. The volumes of engineering products are also shrinking. To a considerable extent, the republic's development is held back by the recessionary state of the region's agro-industry. At the same time, a more active use of the region's transit, economic and transport potential is afforded by the republic's geographical location. The Volga River, in particular, has great potential, and the tourist sector can also offer many opportunities in terms of the region's economic development.


Official website:

Expert RA