The Uralic language family is divided into two major branches, the Samoyed language branch and the Finno-Ugric language branch. These languages spread from the Volga to the Arctic Ocean, west as far as Norway and the Carpathian Basin, and east slightly passing the Urals.

The Samoyed languages are divided into southern and northern sub-branches. The Northern Samoyeds consists of Nenets, Enets and Nganasan. Today the southern sub-branch has only on surviving language which is Selkup.

The Finno-Ugric branch is divided into the Ugric branch and the Finno-Permian branch. The Ugric Branch is divided into Hungarian and the Ob-Ugric sub-branch, which consists of Mansi and Khanty. The division of the Finno-Permian branch is highly debated, the following division is a combined representation of different theories. The Finno-Permian branch divides into the Permic branch, Mordvin branch, Baltic-Finnic branch and Mari, the Finno-Permian Branch is also thought to include the extinct Merya, Meshcher and Murom languages. The Permic branch is made up of Komi and Udmurt. The Mordvin languages include Erzya and Moksha. The Baltic-Finnic branch consist of Estonian, Livonian, Vote, Izhorian (Ingrian), Finnish, Karelian, Ludic and Vepsian. The Lapp language has highly debated Uralic origins as well as Baltic-Finnic origins.

Hearing somebody speak Nenets and Finnish, you would not think that the two languages are related, they share very few words that even sound alike. Take Persian and English (from the Indo-European language family) they too are related, but sound nothing like each other. Both of these pairs are genetically related to each other, meaning they are structurally similar, having similar phonological and grammatical characteristics, and theoretically descend from a common proto language. Languages which are genetically related to each other do not necessarily share much vocabulary in common. Languages can also be related to each through there vocabulary, like Finnish and Swedish for example, many Swedes emigrated to Finland during the Middle Ages with them they brought new technology, things the Finns had never seen before so this caused an influx of Swedish words into Finnish. Finnish and Swedish have more vocabulary in common than Finnish and Hungarian, but the Germanic and Indo-European structure of Swedish differs from the Finno-Ugric and Uralic structure of Finnish but shows strong structural similarities to Hungarian which is also part of the Finno-Ugric languages.

All of the Uralic languages do not express any form of gender in speech. The languages also show certain grammatical relationships by the addition of numerous case endings to words for example; talo-ssa (in [the] house in Finnish), xarda-xa-na (Nenets) and haz-ban (Hungarian). Another important aspect of Uralic languages is vowel harmony when only front or back vowels appear in a single word. Many of the Uralic languages have vocabulary in common and words rooted from a common source. These are some of the basic structural similarities which has led scholars to place all of the Uralic languages in the same language family. The Altaic language family (Mongolian, Turkic, Evenki, Yakut etc.) also shares many of the above mentioned similarities and has led many to believe in a relationship between Uralic and Altaic, a theoretical language group Ural-Ataic has been proposed but is not widely accepted. Possible common roots in vocabulary exist for example; iti (mother in Finnish) and anya (Hungarian) or anne (Turkish) another example is uusi (Finnish), j (Hungarian), and yeni (Turkish), these words are all remotely similar and is only speculation if the words have a common origin.

Many of the Uralic languages spoken in Russia are facing extinction, as time goes by there numbers get lower and lower, assimilated into Russian and other Neighboring languages. Many children and young people are mainly educated in Russian and grow up mostly with Russians, especially the more scattered groups and those living in urban areas. It is not uncommon to insert Russian words or phrases in speech, many prefer Russian outside of the home, and over 20% don’t consider there ethnic language there mother tongue. Some Uralic Languages have already passed away like the Merya, Meshcher, Murom and the entire Sayan Samoyed Sub-Branch, there are definitely others as well but little information or none at all is available. If the Uralic peoples wish to survive they must speak there language to there children and promote there culture.

The amount shown under population is the amount of people in the ethnic group they are not necessarily all speakers of the language.