Ethnosocial profile of Tuvans

Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy. 2016;0(2)


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy

ISSN: 2079-8482 (Online)

Publisher: Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Communities. Classes. Races

Country of publisher: Russian Federation

Language of fulltext: Russian

Full-text formats available: PDF



Valeriya S. Kan (Тувинский институт гуманитарных и прикладных социально-экономических исследований)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 18 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The article examines the ethnosocial profile of contemporary Tuvans, with a focus on the dynamics of population change, human environment, self-consciousness, interethnic relations and language command. Our study was based on the official data of the Federal Census and the current statistics we obtained from Tuva territorial branch of the Federal State Statistics Service, as well as on the outcomes of the opinion polls held by a team lead by the author in 2008-2015. Due to traditionally high birth rate, the Tuvan population of Russia continues to grow (243422 in 2002, 263934 in 2010). This is also true for their share in the total population of Russia (0.17% in 2002, 0.19% in 2010). The main features of Tuvan human environment are their compact settlement within the Republic of Tuva (249299, or 95% of overall population), as well as living largely in a monoethnic environment, low level of ethnocultural and linguistic diversity and prevalence of rural population. The share of indigenous population in the region has been steadily increasing (64% in 1989, 77% in 2002, 82% in 2002), while those of other groups have been decreasing over time. The net migration remains negative due to ethnic Russians leaving the socially and economically dysfunctional region. Tuvans account for 92% of rural population, and 73% of the urban. The rural-urban balance in Tuva is shifting towards the latter slower than in the national average. Interethnic relations in the region can be described as stable, with a slight degree of tension. Problems mainly happen on the level of day-to-day communication. The sub-ethnicity of Tojin Tuvans is decreasing in numbers (4435 people in 2002, and 1856 in 2010). We believe the reason lies in the change of self-consciousness which accompanied the complete abandonment of nomadic lifestyle. In the article, we also define and describe the factors which contribute to the reproduction of Tuvan ethnicity, including the policy of the regional authorities, family, regional education system, media and non-government bodies. The dominating prevalence of Tuvans in the region creates a beneficial environment for Tuvan culture and language. About 98% of Tuvans speak the language and consider it their first. Overall, we conclude that the ethnosocial profile of the Tuvan population in the eponymous republic is quite stable due to such factors as positive dynamics of population change and stable development of Tuvan culture and language. However, the very same monoethnic environment, which has been rising over the last decades, has determined a number of social problems in Tuva.