Traditionally, Itelmens occupied most of the peninsula. According to various data provided by the first explorers in the 17th and 18th centuries the total population of Itelmens was estimated to be as many as 20 000 people. During the centuries of Russian expansion Itelmen population decreased significantly because of violent conflict, economic hardship and disease
According to the
State Census of 2002 the total population of Itelmens is
them live in the southern part of Kamchatka: in the city of
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski, Elizovo region, Milkovo region,
region, Sobolevo region and Ust-Kamchatski region.
As for the Northern part of Kamchatka, Itelmens mainly live on the Western coast by the Okhotsk Sea in the native villages of Kovran, Tigil and Verkhnee-Khairyuzovo. It is in this area where Itelmen culture is maintained the most.
Tigil settlement is the center of Tigilskii Rayon (Tigil region/district). Most of the few remaining speakers of Itelmen language live there.
Verkhnee-Khairyuzovo is the only remaining village which was established by Itelmens long before Russians came.
Kovran is the center of Itelmen culture. It is the only village where the Itelmen population is the majority.