1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kharkov (government)

KHARKOV, a government of Little Russia, surrounded by those of Kursk, Poltava, Ekaterinoslav, territory of the Don Cossacks, and Voronezh, and belonging partly to the basin of the Don and partly to that of the Dnieper. The area is 21,035 sq. m. In general the government is a table-land, with an elevation of 300 to 450 ft., traversed by deep-cut river valleys. The soil is for the most part of high fertility, about 57% of the surface being arable land and 24% natural pasture; and though the winter is rather severe, the summer heat is sufficient for the ripening of grapes and melons in the open air. The bulk of the population is engaged in agricultural pursuits and the breeding of sheep, cattle and horses, though various manufacturing industries have developed rapidly, more especially since the middle of the 19th century. Horses are bred for the army, and the yield of wool is of special importance. The ordinary cereals, maize, buckwheat, millet, hemp, flax, tobacco, poppies, potatoes and beetroot are all grown, and bee-keeping and silkworm-rearing are of considerable importance. Sixty-three per cent. of the land is owned by the peasants, 25% by the nobility, 6% by owners of other classes, and 6% by the crown and public institutions. Beetroot sugar factories, cotton-mills, distilleries, flour-mills, tobacco factories, brickworks, breweries, woollen factories, iron-works, pottery-kilns and tanneries are the leading industrial establishments. Gardening is actively prosecuted. Salt is extracted at Slavyansk. The mass of the people are Little Russians, but there are also Great Russians, Kalmucks, Germans, Jews and Gypsies. In 1867 the total population was 1,681,486, and in 1897 2,507,277, of whom 1,242,892 were women and 367,602 lived in towns. The estimated population in 1906 was 2,983,900. The government is divided into eleven districts. The chief town is Kharkov (q.v.). The other district towns, with their populations in 1897, are Akhtyrka (25,965 in 1900), Bogodukhov (11,928), Izyum (12,959), Kupyansk (7256), Lebedin (16,684), Starobyelsk (13,128), Sumy (28,519 in 1900), Valki (8842), Volchansk (11,322), and Zmiyev (4652).