a city under oblast jurisdiction; center of Prigorodnyi Raion, Sverdlovsk Oblast, RSFSR. Situated on the eastern slope of the Central Urals, on the Tagil River (Ob’ basin) and on the shore of a large pond. Railroad station on the Sverd-lovsk-Goroblagodatskaia line. Population, 390,000 (1974; 160,000 in 1939 and 338,000 in 1959). Founded in 1725, it was called Nizhnetagil’skii Zavod.
Nizhnii Tagil played a significant role in the history of the mining industry and was the center of a district that belonged to the Demidovs, a family of factory owners. In 1904 the first Urals Oblast Conference of the RSDLP was held in Nizhnii Tagil. Soviet power was established on Dec. 27, 1917 (Jan. 9, 1918). Nizhnii Tagil has been a city since 1917. It has the second largest population in the oblast (after Sverdlovsk). It has three city raions. It is a large center of the Soviet Union’s metallurgical and machine-building industry. The city’s most important enterprise is the Nizhnii Tagil Metallurgical Combine, which uses iron ore from Urals deposits. The Urals Railroad Car Plant is prominent among machine-building enterprises. In addition, there are plants making heating equipment and plastics and enterprises of light industry and the food industry. There is also production of building materials. Natural gas is shipped via pipeline from Western Siberia.
Nizhnii Tagil has a pedagogical institute, a branch of the Urals Polytechnic Institute, and technicums for machine building, construction, mining and metallurgy, Soviet trade, and industrial pedagogy; there is also a medical college, a teachers college, and a college of music and applied art. There is a drama theater and a puppet theater, as well as museums of local lore and fine arts. A vegetable-growing sovkhoz is located near Nizhnii Tagil. The city was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1971.