The entire region is 43,300 square kilometers, which is not very much on the Russian scale. However, it is bigger than the individual territories of such European countries as Belgium, Switzerland, Albania and the Netherlands.
The city of Penza is the administrative center of the region. The distance between Penza and Moscow is 710 km along the railway. The city is located at the altitude of 235 meters on the shores of the Sura river, which is the right afflux of the Volga.
The population of the region was of 1.5 million people in 1994. Of these, 546,500 people lived in Penza.