Russia covers all of North Asia. Siberia, which has been a part of Russia since the 17th century, runs from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the borders of Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China in the south. It covers approximately 10 percent of the Earth's surface.
Siberia is a vast, sparsely populated mineral-rich region. At 13.1 million kilometers, it is 77 percent of Russia's area yet it is home to only about 40 million people. This is a stark contrast to European Russian, which is home to approximately 110 million people in about a third of the space. Novosibirsk is the largest city in North Asia and is the third most populous city in Russia. Other major cities include Barnaul, Irkutsk, Kemerovo, Omsk and Tomsk. Siberia also contains some of the world's largest deposits of gold, lead, nickel, coal, gypsum, diamonds and silver. There are also large, undeveloped deposits of oil and natural gas, as well as 70 percent of Russia's developed oil fields.
Significant geographical features include Klyuchevskaya Sopka, an active volcano and the highest point in Siberia, and Lake Baikal, a freshwater lake that is the deepest and possibly oldest lake in the world.