13 Fascinating Facts About The Majority Of Russians

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Eighty-three percent Russians approve of Vladimir Putin as president, a number that has soared from 54% last year since his annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine as well as the Sochi Olympics.

Westerners may wonder why Russians so happily approve of a man who is becoming an international pariah.

And that might get them wondering what else Russians think and what Russians are like anyway.

Taking care to avoid unfounded stereotypes, we've turned to data from polling centers, the World Health Organization, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and Pew Research Center to identify facts about the majority of Russia's 144 million citizens.

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56% of Russians aren't pleased with the quality of their drinking water, the worst of the 36 nations ranked by OECD.

56% of Russians aren't pleased with the quality of their drinking water, the worst of the 36 nations ranked by OECD.

Current data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

56% of Russians think Russia needs democracy.

56% of Russians think Russia needs democracy.

August 2013 Levada Center Poll

59% of Russians support open borders with Ukraine, though only 16% want reunification.

59% of Russians support open borders with Ukraine, though only 16% want reunification.

60% of adult Russian males smoke tobacco.

60% of adult Russian males smoke tobacco.

World Health Organization

63% of Russians don't believe they are healthy.

63% of Russians don't believe they are healthy.

Current data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

A record 65% of Russians are satisfied with their freedom to choose what to do with their lives. By comparison, that number in America is higher at 79% but 12 points lower than it was in 2006.

A record 65% of Russians are satisfied with their freedom to choose what to do with their lives. By comparison, that number in America is higher at 79% but 12 points lower than it was in 2006.

Source: Gallup, June 2014 poll

67% of Russians fear law enforcement agencies.

67% of Russians fear law enforcement agencies.

Source: Levada Center Moscow (2010)

69% of Russians believe the U.S. is one of the five most hostile nations towards Russia.

69% of Russians believe the U.S. is one of the five most hostile nations towards Russia.

May 2014 Levada Center Poll

74% of Russians live in cities, which are concentrated in the south-west. Much of the giant country is sparsely populated.

74% of Russians live in cities, which are concentrated in the south-west. Much of the giant country is sparsely populated.

World Health Organization, 2012 data

76% of Russians believe state-controlled media is the most reliable when seeking information about Ukraine.

76% of Russians believe state-controlled media is the most reliable when seeking information about Ukraine.

June 2014 Gallup Poll

83% of Russians approve of Vladimir Putin as president. Confidence is lower in their national government at 64%.

83% of Russians approve of Vladimir Putin as president. Confidence is lower in their national government at 64%.

June 2014 Gallup Poll

94% of Russians age 25 to 64 graduated from high school, the highest percentage among the 36 nations ranked by the OECD. 54% have also graduated from college, though it should be noted that Russian students rate below average on international tests.

94% of Russians age 25 to 64 graduated from high school, the highest percentage among the 36 nations ranked by the OECD. 54% have also graduated from college, though it should be noted that Russian students rate below average on international tests.

Current data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

96% of Russians disapprove of the U.S. government, while 94% disapprove of the European Union's leaders.

96% of Russians disapprove of the U.S. government, while 94% disapprove of the European Union's leaders.

June 2014 Gallup Poll

Now get to know another major set of people.

Now get to know another major set of people.

14 Fascinating Facts About The Majority Of Americans »

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