Mari El

The Mari El Republic (Russian: Респу́блика Мари́й Эл; Mari: Марий Эл Республика) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation (a republic). The direct transliteration of the republic's name is Respublika Mariy El. The republic is also sometimes called Mariy El in English.

Template:Federal subject of Russia



The Republic is located in the eastern part of the East European Plain of the Russian Federation, along Volga River. Swampy Mari Depression is located in the west of the republic. 57% of the republic's territory is covered by forests.

Time zone

Mari El is located in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).


There are 476 rivers in Mari El. Most of them are all considered to be minor: 10-50 m wide and .5-1.4 m deep. They usually freeze from mid-November till mid-April. Major rivers include:


There are over 200 lakes in Mari El, most of them with the area of less than 1 km² and depth of 1-3 m. Many lakes are located among swamps. Swamps cover large areas (10-70 km², up to 100 km²), and usually freeze in December. Average depth of the swamps is .5-1.5 m (up to 3 m), but they are impassable in fall and spring due to flooding.

Major lakes include:

Natural Resources

There are virtually no natural resources of industrial significance in the republic. Other resources include peat, mineral waters, and limestones.


Climate is moderately continental. Winters are moderately cold, snowy. Summers are warm, often rainy.

  • Average January temperature: −13°C
  • Average July temperature: +19°C
  • Average annual precipitation: 450-500 mm

Administrative division

Main article: Administrative division of Mari El


The Mari, formerly known as Cheremis, are a Volga-Finnic people speaking two closely related languages, Meadow Mari (марий йылме) and Hill Mari (мары йӹлмы). Meadow Mari is official in the republic, along with Russian, and Hill Mari is considered to be a variant.

The Mari did not have a designated territory before Russian Revolution in 1917. Now only 48.3% of the Mari live within Mari El. 4.1% of the Mari live outside of Russia.

Russians account for 47.5% of the population, followed by the Mari (42.9%) and Tatars (6.0%). Other ethnic groups include over 50 nationalities accounting for 3.6% of the population.

  • Population: 727,979 (2002)
    • Urban: 459,687 (63.1%)
    • Rural: 268,292 (36.9%)
    • Male: 338,485 (46.5%)
    • Female: 389,494 (53.5%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1,151
  • Average age: 36.7 years
    • Urban: 36.7 years
    • Rural: 36.7 years
    • Male: 34.0 years
    • Female: 39.0 years
  • Number of households: 263,382 (with 717,938 people)
    • Urban: 173,246 (with 455,006 people)
    • Rural: 90,136 (with 262,932 people)


Mari Autonomous Oblast was established on November 4, 1920. It was re-organized into Mari ASSR on December 5, 1936.

The autonomous Mari El Republic in its present form was formed on December 22, 1990.


The head of government in the Mari El Republic is the President. As of 2004, the president is Leonid Igorevich Markelov, who was elected in January of 2001.


The most developed industries are machine construction, metal working, timber, woodworking, and food industries. Most of the industrial enterprises are located in the capital Yoshkar-Ola, as well as in the towns of Kozmodemyansk, Volzhsk, and Zvenigovo


In the republic, there is one airport, 15 train stations, 53 bus stations, and a river port in Kozmodemyansk (on Volga River), as well as four other minor river ports.


There are eight museums in Mari El. The largest ones include the National Museum, the Museum of History, and the Republican Museum of Fine Arts in Yoshkar-Ola, and the Museum of Arts and History in Kozmodemyansk.


The most important facilities of higher education include Mari State Technical University, Mari State University, and Mari State Pedagogical Institute; all located in Yoshkar-Ola.


The most common confessions include Russian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Old Believers, and Islam. Traditional Mari religion (marla faith—Christianity with elements of Totemism and Shamanism) is also popular.


Mari El is a favourite place of Tatarstan tourists. There is Marii Chodra national park in the valley of Ilet, with various attractions, such as boating, riding, mushrooming, ect. Marii Chodra is also favourite place of Kazan Tolkienist, where they use to play their battles.

External links

Template:Russian federal subjectscv:Мари Эл de:Mari El et:Mari Eli Vabariik eo:Mariio nl:Mari El ja:マリ・エル共和国 pl:Mari Eł ru:Марий Эл fi:Marin tasavalta sv:Marij El


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