Siberia is a large area of Northern Asia which is part of central and eastern Russia. All in all it covers around 13.1 million square kilometres, which comprises 77% of Russia’s land, but due to its harsh climate and remoteness it is home to only around 40 million people – 28% of the country’s population.
The majority of Siberia’s population lives in cities to the south, where the climate is more temperate, such as Novosibirsk and Tomsk. There are, however, many simple rural villages and tribes who live in the colder northern areas. The climate varies: southern summers can be mild and the grasslands are lush with flowers and crops, whereas in winter temperatures can plummet to -25°C. The north is considerably colder, with around one month of summer every year and recorded low temperatures of -71°C.
Siberia is rich in minerals, oil and natural gas which play a large part in the economy of the area and Russia as a whole. It is home to some of Russia’s most dramatic and famous geographical features such as the Ural and Altai Mountains and Lake Baikal, and is traversed by the Trans-Siberian railway.