The paper provides quantitative estimates of national heterogeneity in the Russian regions, using indices of fractionalization and polarization, taking into account the linguistic distance between groups. The results showed that national heterogeneity in the period between the last population censuses in Russia as a whole did not increase, but there was a different and active dynamics in the regions. The content of the national structure in the country changed in the direction of bigger cultural distances between ethnic groups. Regression analysis of the relationship between national heterogeneity and output, budget expenditures, and crime rates showed more significant positive dependencies on the fractionalization index compared to negative correlations with the polarization index. In the situation of a relatively stable institutional environment in the country, national heterogeneity showed more active positive effects, while the potential for negative effects inherent in a polarized society did not find a sufficient basis to be realized.