The history of the Finno-Ugric nations and languages is several millenniums of age. The process of formation of the contemporary Finnish, Ugric and Samoyed nations was rather complex. The present name of the Finno-Ugric and Ugro-Finnish Language Groups was changed into the Uralic one because it has been discovered and proved that they belong to that Samoyed language family.
The Uralic Language Family is divided into the Ugric Language Branch which incorporates Hungarian, Khanty and Mansi (the latter two being combined as the Ob-Ugric languages), the Finno-Permian Branch which incorporates the Permian Languages (Komi, Komi-Perm and Udmurt), the Volga Languages (Mari and Mordovian), the Baltic-Finnish Language Group (Karelian, Finnish, Estonian and the languages of Veps, Vodys, Izhoras and Livonians), the Lapps and Samoyed Languages divided themselves into the Northern Branch (Nganasan, Nenets and Enets Languages) and the Southern Branch (Selkup).
The number of nations who can speak the Uralic languages is approximated at 23-24 mln people. The Uralian peoples inhabit a vast territory that stretches from the Scandinavia up to the Taymyr Peninsula apart from the Hungarians who found themselves in the Karpatho-Danube Region, i.e. cut off from the other Uralian nations.
The majority of the Uralian nations live on the Russian territory apart from the Hungarians, Finns and Estonians. The most numerous are the Hungarians (over 15 mln people). The Finns are the second largest nation (about 5 mln). The Estonians amount to around a million. In Russia (2002 Census) there are the Mordovians (843,350), the Udmurts (636,906), the Maris (604,298), the Komi-Zyrians (293,406), the Komi-Permians (125,235), the Karelians (93,344), the Veps (8,240), the Khanty (28,678), the Mansi (11,432), the Izhora (327), the Vody (73) as well as the Finns, the Hungarians, the Estonians and the Lapps. At present the Mordvins, the Maris, the Udmurts, the Komi-Zyrians and the Karelians have their own national state entities as republics within the Russian Federation.
The Komi-Permians live on the territory of the Komi-Permian Okrug in Perm Territory, the Khanty and the Mansi - Khanty-Mansi (Yugra) AO in the Tyumen Oblast. The Veps live in Karelia, southeast of Leningrad Oblast and northwest of Vologda Oblast, the Lapps - in Murmansk Oblast, St.Petersburg, Arkhangelsk Oblast and Karelia, the Izhoras - in Leningrad Oblast, St.Petersburg and the Republic of Karelia. The Vodys live in Leningrad Oblast, Moscow and St.Petersburg.