Irkutsk is the administrative center of Irkutsk region. It is situated nearly in the same latitude as Orenburg, Saratov, Voronezh, Warsaw, and Berlin.
Today Irkutsk region is one of economically developed regions of Russia. It is a member of the Inter-regional association " Siberian agreement ", uniting 19 republics, autonomous districts, territories and regions of Siberia.
The population of Irkutsk is almost 600 thousand people. Inspite of more than 300-year history of the city, the middle age of its inhabitants is only 32,1. It can be explained by the fact that Irkutsk is the students' and youth center; it has more than 10 institutions of university level higher education, about 30 institutions of non-university level higher education and 11 vocational training schools, which realize training students on 150 directions and 260 specialities.
Irkutsk is the cultural, historical and scientific center of the Baikal area. The basic scientific potential of the region is concentrated in it. Nine academic institutes are members of the Irkutsk center of science of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of sciences, five institutes represent the East Siberian center of science of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of medical sciences.