Sverdlovskaya Oblast is situated within the limits of Middle and Northern Ural and in the adjoining part of the West Siberian plain. Its territory resembles a huge triangle, the northern point of which is in latitude of Petrozavodsk and the southern is in latitude of Moscow. The boundary between Europe and Asia goes through the oblast.
Sverdlovskaya Oblast borders upon Kurganskaya, Chelyabinskaya, Permskaya, Tyumenskaya oblasts and the republics of Bashkortostan and Komi.
The main rivers are the rivers of the basins of Ob and Kama (Tavda, Tura). The climate is continental. The average temperature of January varies from -16 to -20 degrees, of July - from +16 to +19 degrees centigrade. Precipitations are about 500 mm a year.
The area is 194,8 thousand sq. km. (1,14 % of the total area of the Russian Federation).
Sverdlovskaya Oblast was formed on January 17, 1934. It includes 30 districts, 44 cities and towns, 12 urban districts, 97 urban settlements and 428 villages. The regional centre is the city of Ekaterinburg (since 1924 till 1991 - Sverdlovsk). The city was founded in 1722.
The distance between Moscow and Ekaterinburg is 1667 km.
The population (on January 1, 1998) is 4646,4 thousand people. Density of population (on January 1, 1998) is 23,9 per 1 sq. km.
The largest cities are Ekaterinburg (1272,2 thousand inhabitants), Nizhny Tagil (399,2), Kamensk-Uralsky (192,1), Pervouralsk (135,7), Serov (100,0), Asbest (81,7).
People of about 90 nationalities live here. The major part of the population is the Russians (88,7 %). Besides here live (in %) the Tatars (3,9), the Ukrainians (1,8), the Bashkirs (0,9), the Germans (0,7), the Maris (0,7), the Byelorussians (0,6), the Udmurts (0,5), the Chuvashs (0,3), the Mordovians (0,3), etc.
Minerals are iron and copper ores, bauxites, coal, asbestos, talc, marble, gold, platinum, precious and jobbing stones.
The leading branches are the black and nonferrous metallurgy, machine-building, chemical, timber, woodworking, light and food industries, military production, manufacture of consumer goods.
Agriculture is also highly developed here.
Sverdlovskaya Oblast has the developed railway network connecting it with the western and east regions of Russia and the countries of the CIS. Freight density is the characteristic of the railway transport. In the northeast of the oblast cargoes are transported by the river Tavda.
There are the gas-mains Medvezhiye - Punga - Nizhny Tagil - Ekaterinburg and Bukhara - Ural.
Air transport is also developed here.
Ural is the motherland of the well-known Russian writer Pavel Petrovich Bazhov. It is the outstanding Russian writer and the author of stories and novels about Ural and its people.
Bazhov's land is "the territory of metallurgists, gold-diggers, workmen and charcoal burners".
Today it is the store of natural resources as well.