With a population of about 1.3 million (2011 census), a rich history, deep culture and strong economic influence, thus taking the title from Nizhny Novgorod. By many measures, Kazan has the one of the highest standards of living in Russia, following after Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Kazan has just recently earned the reputation of a sports city, due to its recent investments in this domain. Kazan organized the World Summer Universiade 2013, and will be a host city for FINA World Aquatics Sports Championship in 2015 and for FIFA World Cup in 2018 in Russia. It is said that one of the World Cup semi-finals may be held in Kazan! Both the World Cup and Universiade events are enhancing the city's booming construction. In the last couple of years, sport venues have popped up in Tatar capital, together with residential buildings and offices. Many of Kazan's professional teams, such as Rubin (football) or Ak Bars (hockey), have been recent Russia champions.