The Rostov region includes 463 municipal units which consist of 12 municipal districts, 43 municipal regions, 18 cities and towns and 390 rural settlements.
Administrative centre of the Rostov region and the Southern Federal District is Rostov-on-Don with a population more than 1 million people. Rostov-on-Don is large industrial, cultural and scientific centre, river port and important transportation hub.
In 2002 the city became the capital of the Southern Federal District attained additional political and economic importance.
Region’s main cities are Taganrog – with a population of 281.9 thousand people, Shakhty with a population 254.7 thousand people, Novocherkassk with a population 184.47 thousand people, Volgodonsk with a population 172.4 thousand people and Novoshakhtinks with a population 117.6 thousand people (according to the census of 2002).