Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 12.2 million residents within the city limits and 17.1 million within the urban area. Moscow has the status of a Russian federal city.
Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, and scientific centre of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city entirely on the European continent.
Moscow is the seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin. Moscow is considered the centre of Russian culture, having served as the home of Russian artists, scientists and sports figures and because of the presence of museums, academic and political institutions and theatres.
Throughout the 1990s Moscow’s population swelled by about 2 million, to 10 million inhabitants. At the beginning of the 21st century, migration to Moscow remained strong, but former administrative restrictions on migration had been overshadowed by economic ones; Moscow had become one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. Moscow has an aging population. In the early 21st century the death rate was almost double the birth rate, a larger proportional discrepancy than that of any other Russian city. Like most of Russia, Moscow has a low rate of fertility. Many older Muscovites have chosen to remain in the city, while many young people are deterred from moving there because of its high cost of living and housing.
The city is served by a transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, numerous trams, a monorail system and one of the deepest underground rapid transit systems in the world, the Moscow Metro.
Moscow is the financial center of Russia and home to the country's largest banks and many of its largest companies. Since the 1998 Russian financial crisis, business sectors in Moscow have shown exponential rates of growth. Many new business centers and office buildings have been built in recent years, but Moscow still experiences shortages in office space. As a result, many former industrial and research facilities are being reconstructed to become suitable for office use. The city’s financial and research-and-development sectors (as well as what remains of its engineering and manufacturing sectors) are among the country’s most advanced. Women make up more than half the workforce.