1009 thousand citizens reside in the region (01.01.2002). According to the census of 1989 the Russians prevail – 72%. Among other ethnic communities are – Kazakhs – 12,8%, Tatars – 7,2%, Ukrainians – 1,9%, Kalmyks- 0,8%, Chechens – 0,8%, Azerbaijans –0,5%, Byelorussians –0,4%, Nogay –0,4%, Armenian –0,4%, Darghins- 0,3%, Jews, Turkmen, Gypsies- 0,2% each, etc. The regional administration estimates that the number of the Northern Caucasus representatives makes up about 35 thousand persons. (http://www.adm.astranet.ru/doc/13.htm ).
20 national and cultural societies, 32 confessions, uniting more than 150 communities, have been registered in the region, including 42% the Russian Orthodox Church formations, 26%- Moslem, 17%- Protestant, 15%- other confessions and religious trends. Interethnic and interconfessional case is estimated by the regional administration as quite stable. ( http://www.adm.astranet.ru/doc/14htm ).
It is owing to the traditions of regional multicultural development: Astrakhan region was multinational by tradition, the tolerance has been establishing for centuries. Astrakhan imams are proud of the legend that in the 30th Astrakhan Tatar Moslems foiled the authorities’ attempt to blow up the biggest Orthodox Cathedral in Astrakhan.
Since 1988 the examinations of the youth ethnic consciousness in Astrakhan city and Astrakhan region have revealed the high level of the ethnic tolerance (http:www.stavsu.ru/CONFR/KONFL-CONF/SEC4/ruban.html ).
The further case development will be considerably determined by the events in the nearest regions - mainly, in Chechen republic and other Northern Caucasus regions as well as in the contiguous states of Central Asia, taking into account the frontier location of the region.