Geographical location: Saratov Region is located in Lower Volga region. Its area is 101,200 sq.km.
Federal district: Volga
Administrative center: Saratov, distance to Moscow – 858 km
Major cities: Engels, Balakovo, Volsk, Balashov, Pugachov
Population: 2,564,835 people
Population density: 25.4 people per sq.km
GRP (2008 estimate): RUR 330.6 bln (USD 11 bln)
Per capita GRP (2008 estimate): RUR 128 208 (USD 4273.6)
Primary economic activities: Industry contributes about 30% to GRP.
Machine building is represented by the developed military–industrial complex and 8 civil sub-sectors, among them being production of electric accessories, electronic and optical equipment, transportation devices and equipment, machinery and equipment. Saratov Region accounts for about 50 % of the national output of trolleybuses. The region ranks 4th in production of refrigerators and deep-freeze refrigerators.
Chemical and petrochemical industries contribute 14% to GRP. Some enterprises are monopoly producers of strategic chemical components. Over 30% of all the glassware produced in Russia is manufactured by the regional enterprises.
Agriculture. Saratov Region is among top 8 most significant agricultural regions of Russia. It ranks 10th in the volume of agricultural output. Farming is the region’s most developed agricultural sector, the share of farms contributing 45% to the total output. Grain and oilseeds growing, meat-and-milk cattle farming are developed in the region.
Natural and mineral resources. Volga River is the main water resource of the region, apart from other 358 smaller rivers, which total length is 12,000 km. There are many mineral springs and mineral water deposits.
The soils are mostly valuable common and southern chernozems, as well as the wide-spread chestnut soils.
The region mostly lies in the steppe zone, only 5.5% (560,000 ha) of its territory being covered with natural woods and cultivated forests.
Over 40 smaller oil and gas deposits have been explored in the region, Stepnovskoye and Uritskoye being the most significant of them. Sulphur, zeolites, oil shale, agro-ores and raw products for structural material production (chalk, marl, sands, cement raw products, brick and tile clays) are mined in the region.
Fuel and energy complex. Being a highly developed multi-level structure, the fuel and energy complex of Saratov Region includes generating and power transmitting facilities, gas transportation and gas distribution facilities. The region ranks 6th in power generation among 83 regions of Russia. Regional plants represent almost all types of power generation:
Nuclear power plant. One fifth of the national power output is produced by Balakovo Nuclear Power Plant, one of the largest in Russia, which supplies energy to consumers in Volga Federal District, Central Russia, Urals and Northern Caucasus
Saratov Hydroelectric Station with daily capacity of about 5.4 bln kW/h
Complex energy sources – heat power plants
Foreign trade turnover. In 2009, the regional foreign trade turnover amounted to USD 1.8 bln; export - USD 1.36 bln (75%), import - USD 454.6 mln (25%). Export surplus made USD 906.1 mln. Italy, Kazakhstan, the USA, the Ukraine and Ethiopia were the top 5 trade partners of the region.
Transport infrastructure. Saratov is a large traffic center, linking the Central Russia with the Urals, Siberia and Central Asia.
The total mileage of motorways is over 13,000 km, over 10,500 km being public roads, 189 km - tram and trolley roads
Over 70% of all transit services are provided by the railway transport. The total length of railways is 2,300 km
Saratov is a major Volga River port. Total navigable routes make 710 km. Waterways connect Saratov with Moscow (Moscow channel), Western Ural (Kama River), the Black Sea (Volgo-Don channel), Baltic Sea and the White Sea (Volga-Baltic Waterway). There is a mechanized cargo port in the southern part of the city
Saratov airport carries out both domestic and international transportation
Tourism. 124 natural monuments, about 300 cultural monuments, 18 ancient manors and over 3,000 architectural sites can be found in Saratov Region. Khvalynsky National Park is the pearl of the region, with health resorts, tourist routes and sports clubs situated on its territory.
Saratov as well as other cities on Volga offer great possibilities for development of yachting and aquatics. Sazanka Lake located in Engels is a water channel suitable for rowing and canoeing competitions.
With almost 40,000 ha of hunting land, Saratov Region is an excellent place for duck and hare shooting.