Khanty-Mansiysk is the capital of Khanty-Mansyisk Autonomous Okrug (region). Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug occupies the central part of the West-Siberian plain. The city of Khanty-Mansiysk is an administrative center of the region, located on the Irtysh River, 15 km from its confluence with the Ob River. The population of the city is 55,700 people.
In 1637 the first settlement called Samarovsky Yam was founded on the territory of modern Khanty-Mansiysk.
The settlement was growing rapidly and by 1748 there were more than 500 inhabitants engaged primarily in fishing and hunting.
When regular navigation was organized in 1860s, it became an important transport and trade center of the region. In 1930 Ostyako-Vogulsk National Okrug, later renamed in Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, was founded on the teeritory of Tyumen region. In 1931, Samarovsky Yam was renamed Ostyako-Vogulsk village, and 1940 it was renamed again to Khanty-Mansiysk after indigenous people of Khanty and Mansi living on the territory. In 1950 Khanty-Mansiysk gained status of a city. Since 1993 Khanty-Mansiysk has been an administrative center of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug.
For many Russians, Khanty-Mansiysk is a synonym of oil because of the rich oil and gas deposits found in the area. Oil drilling started there in 1951. Regular geophysical and boring works began in 1954. Later Ust-Balikskoye, West-Surgutskoye, Pokurskoye, Vatinskoye, Mamontovskoye, Salimskoye, Pravdinskoye and many other deposits were opened. Industrial exploitation of the oil fields started in 1964. By 1980s the volume of oil extracted on the territory reached one million ton per day.
Severe climate contributed to the creation of absolutely specific cultural environment of indigenous peoples of Khanty and Mansi.
At the same time, because of rapid industrial development Khanty-Mansiysk became a kind of northern capital and a local business and cultural center. Khanty-Mansyisk is a green city surrounded by forests, with original architecture. There are many hotels and entertainments in the city. There is a State Regional Museum of Nature and People and Center of Arts.
There is also the oldest national Medical College in the region, Pedagogical and Economy Colleges and Academies and branches of several universities.
In 2002, Khanty-Mansiysk celebrated it’s 365 anniversary.
Presently Khanty-Mansiysk is the main oil and gas region of the Russian Federation. The key industry in Khanty-Mansiysk is oil production, accounting for 65 percent of Russia's total oil output. Oil is mined in 400 oil fields. The largest oil and gas deposits are Samotlorskoe, Fedorovskoe, Mamontovskoe and Priobskoe. The placer gold, vein quartz and raw materials are extracted in the region. Iron-ore deposits, copper, zinc, lead, niobium, tantalum, the manifestations of bauxite, etc. are discovered as well.
Other industries include timber production, agriculture and the raising of fur-bearing animals. For many centuries, the life of native population depended on fishing and hunting. The woods are very valuable and at the same time they are home to fur-bearing animals and forest birds. Waters contain various species of fish.