Leningrad Oblast enjoys a favorable geographical location in the
north-west of the Russian Federation.
Oblast territory covers 83.9 thousand sq. km. The region shares a
frontier with the following EU countries: Finland and Estonia. Also,
it has a common border with five subjects of the Russian Federation:
the Republic of Karelia, Vologda, Novgorod and Pskov oblasts, and
the city of Saint-Petersburg. The region sides with the largest
lakes of Europe - Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega, and also provides
direct access to the Baltic Sea through the Gulf of Finland.
As of 1 January, 2006, Leningrad Oblast accommodated a population of
1643.9 thousand inhabitants, urban population is 1089.5 thousand and
rural is 554.4 thousand. The population density makes 19.6
inhabitants per sq. km.
Since 1 January, 2006, there has been introduced a new
administrative and territorial division of Leningrad Oblast: 17
municipal regions and 1 urban district constitute municipal areas of
the second level, besides, 63 urban and 142 rural settlements, also
on the territory of the region, represent the first municipal level.
56% of Leningrad Oblast territory is taken up by woods, 14% is
occupied by lakes, and 17% covered by marshland of different kinds.
Leningrad Oblast possesses considerable reserves of natural
resources – timber and water resources, minerals, varied flora and
fauna. Actively developed are resources of oil shale, bauxite,
phosphorite, granite, limestone, sand; refractory, metallurgical,
and cement clay; dolomite, quartzite, mineral paints, and so on. The
industrial development of ferrimanganese burs in the Gulf of Finland
has been started.
Due to its favorable geographical position at the intersection of
water, air, and land communication lines, the region in recent years
has turned into an implementation platform for some of the major
trade and economic projects in Russia.