A favorite method of estimating population for the Soviet Union among contemporary specialists is the method used by Theodore Shabad and Harry Schwartz, based on the reported number of election districts. Using the number of election districts reported for the 1950 elections to the Supreme Soviet of the Union, Shabad arrives at a figure of 201,300,000 for the USSR post-war territory. Most subsequent estimates of Soviet population have used that figure as a base.
Further examination of election data suggests some corrections to this method. The 1950 estimate is based on a figure of 671 districts, the normal standard for elections to the Supreme Soviet of the Union being 300,000 inhabitants per district.