According to the 2002 census, Verkhoyansk in Russia has 1,434 hardy residents who carve out a living in the deep Siberian wilderness. It was founded as a fort in 1638 and serves as a regional hub in cattle breeding and tin and gold mining. Located 404 miles from Yakutsk, another cold locale on our list and and 1,500 miles south of the North Pole, Verkhoyansk was used to house political exiles between the 1860s and early 20th century.
It was no wonder they chose to send exiles to Verkhoyansk: In January the average temperature is minus 50.4 degrees Fahrenheit and mean monthly temperatures stay below freezing from October through April. In 1892, residents recorded the still all-time low of minus 90 degrees F. Modern-day residents pile on huge fur hats and coats and tend to stay indoors when it gets really cold.