IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Zipf’S Law Appearance In The Russian Cities



    () (World Economy Chair – Belgorod State National Research University, Russia,

  • Inna MANAEVA

    () (World Economy Chair – Belgorod State National Research University, Russia,


The understanding of concentration processes about resources, population, enterprises in some regions and in the cities is very significant for economists and policy-makers. It’s caused by the worldwide urbanization trend and local trend of economic activity agglomeration that increase the regional development differentiation within the country. Issues of economic activity locations and space distribution are solved by scientists over the past two centuries. Recent works show the increasing interest of economists to the Zipf’s law testing in the regional system and the rank-size distribution of the cities. Research aims are to test the Zipf’s law in the Russian cities and to test the hypothesis that the Russian Zipf coefficients depends on the size of the geographical territory of the Federal District.Methodology. In the paper it’s used least square method for tasting the Zipf’s law in Russian cities in general and separately for the federal districts. There is 1,123 Russian cities panel (cities with over 1,000 people population in 2014).Results. The Zipf’s law is confirmed in the territory of Russia in general. According to the Federal Districts the Zipf coefficients range from -0.65 (Far Eastern Federal District) to -0.9 (the Urals and the North Caucasian Federal Districts). Equitability of cities hierarchy in the Ural and the North Caucasus Federal Districts dues to the fact that there are 139 cities located in the 1,789 thous. km2 in the Urals and 56 cities in the 170 thous. km2 in the Caucasus. In the Far East the city location is very disperse - 66 cities in the area of 6000 thous. km2 (Zipf coefficient - 0.65). Conclusions. Testing of the Zipf’s law for the Russian cities in general shows that it’s valid for the small (8,600 – 15,300 peoples) and large cities (66,700 – 331,000 peoples). For cities panel with population exceeds 100 thous. people. The Zipf’s law is not valid for cities of more than 1 million people. (exception – the city of St. Petersburg). The result of the study is the confirmation of the hypothesis that the Zipf coefficient depends on the size of the Federal District.

Suggested Citation

  • Svetlana RASTVORTSEVA & Inna MANAEVA, 2016. "Zipf’S Law Appearance In The Russian Cities," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(1), pages 51-59, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrs:journl:v:viii:y:2016:i:1:p:51-59

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zengwang Xu & Robert Harriss, 2010. "A Spatial and Temporal Autocorrelated Growth Model for City Rank—Size Distribution," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 47(2), pages 321-335, February.
    2. Maria GOULA & Christos Ap. LADIAS & Olga GIOTI-PAPADAKI & Nikolaos HASANAGAS, 2015. "The Spatial Dimension Of Environment-Related Attitudes: Does Urban Or Rural Origin Matter?," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(2), pages 115-129, December.
    3. Cameron, Trudy Ann, 1990. "One-stage structural models to explain city size," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 294-307, May.
    4. Svetlana N. RASTVORTSEVA & Anna S. CHENTSOVA, 2015. "Regional Specialization And Geographical Concentration Of Industry In Russia," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(2), pages 97-106, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Vsevolod Andreev, 2017. "Territorial Distribution of the Population in the Russian Federation," Economy of region, Centre for Economic Security, Institute of Economics of Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, vol. 1(3), pages 803-811.
    2. Andreev, Vsevolod & Lukiyanova, Violetta & Kadyshev, Evgenii, 2017. "Analysis of people territorial distribution in regions of the Volga Federal District on the base of Zipf and Gibrat laws," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 48, pages 97-121.

    More about this item


    location theories; the Zipf’s law; the city; the rank-size distribution; the cities of Russia;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hrs:journl:v:viii:y:2016:i:1:p:51-59. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dimitrios K. Kouzas). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.