North Asia or Northern Asia, sometimes known as Siberia, is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the Russian regions of Siberia, Ural and the Russian Far East – an area east of the Ural Mountains. The region is sometimes also referred to as Asian Russia (as opposed to the smaller but more densely populated European Russia to the west). The total population of North Asia is about 33 million.
Siberia was inhabited by different groups of nomads such as the Enets, the Nenets, the Huns, the Scythians and the Uyghurs. The Khan of Sibir in the vicinity of modern Tobolsk was known as a prominent figure who endorsed Kubrat as Khagan of Old Great Bulgaria in 630. The Mongols conquered a large part of this area early in the 13th century.
The first great modern change in Siberia was the Trans-Siberian Railway, constructed during 1891–1916. It linked Siberia more closely to the rapidly industrialising Russia of Nicholas II. Around seven million people moved to Siberia from European Russia between 1801 and 1914. From 1859 to 1917, more than half a million people migrated to the Russian Far East. Siberia has extensive natural resources. During the 20th century, large-scale exploitation of these was developed, and industrial towns cropped up throughout the region.